Strategic Plan 2013-2017

Strategical Plan

(DSP) Abridged Version
Email Address:
December ©2012

3.3. Core values

“Indeed, which of you, intending to build a tower would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it” (Lk. 14:28).
As a diocese, divine providence has placed us in a context that offers us a golden opportunity to take stock of our past and chart our way into the future. The saying is true that if you do not know where you are going, it does not matter which path you take. As a local Church I believe we know where we are going, having been called and given a specific mission by Jesus Christ, namely to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’ (cf Mt. 28:19)

The present document is the brain child of the Priests Assembly and other pastoral agents who have expressed the desire to take stock of the pastoral and human development activities of the Diocese over the past years and to strategize for an improved quality pastoral care delivery and social services for the next 3-5 years. The Priests, together with all other pastoral agents, are convinced that good structures are essential for the achievement of any goal but they are equally aware that structures in themselves cannot produce the desired results unless these and the human beings who run then are infused and led by the Spirit of Christ.

The present document is a summary of the results of various meetings, consultations, discussions and studies conducted with the help of professionals and experts in various fields and involving a wide variety of the diocesan family. It is meant as a “Vademecum” for easy reference and as a guide for implementation. It deals with the Vision and Mission statements of the Diocese and highlights the three major thematic areas which the diocese intends to work seriously on for the next three years.

Needless to underline here that this is not a prescriptive document nor is it cast in iron and mortar. Nevertheless, it is a useful tool and a companion for all members of the diocesan family as we collaborate with the Holy Spirit and with one another in the building up of the Kingdom of God in our region and beyond. The Kingdom of God, it has to be emphasised, is never a solely human enterprise. Fundamentally, it is the work of the Holy Spirit to whom we are invited to subject our plans, labours and personal desires for scrutiny and guidance. It is also important to underline that building the Kingdom of God is not an individual task or a private enterprise but a joint–task, always under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Thus, it involves all Christ’s faithful in the diocese and extends to the Province, the Church in Ghana and indeed, the Universal Church. To this end, all hands must be on deck so that we can reach our destination as a local Church and play our part in the growth of the Church in Ghana and, indeed, in the world at large.

It remains for me to express my profound gratitude to the Priests Assembly who first mooted the idea of the Diocesan Strategic Plan, and to all pastoral agents, the Religious men and women, the lay faithful, non-Catholics and non-Christians within the Diocese and to all whose contributions helped to enrich the process and its final outcome.
Our sincere thanks to; Missio Aachen who supported the Diocese with some funding to undertake this project, to the facilitators of the process for their dedication and immense assistance and to the core technical team that worked on the final form of the document.

Aware of the fact that if the Lord does not build the house, in vain do we labour, we commit this project into the hands of our Mother Mary, Our Lady of Africa, asking her intercession for the success of this journey that we have embarked upon.

Finally, let us trust the command of the Lord to pay out our nets for a catch, “Duc in altum!

Most Rev. Alfred Agyenta
Catholic Bishop, Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese
Post Office Box 351
Bolgatanga, Ghana


History and Population

The Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga started in 1906 when the Missionaries entered Northern Ghana through Burkina Faso. They first settled in Navrongo and gradually spread throughout northern Ghana. The total land area covered by the Diocese is 31,068 square kilometres. The Diocesan population is currently estimated at 1.5 million at a growth rate of 3% per annum. Forty-five percent (45%) of the population is below 14 years old. The female population is higher (52.4%) than the male (47.6%) with a sex ratio of 9:11. The population in the Diocese which is predominantly rural is scattered among several small localities with some having very high population density of 260 persons per square kilometre.

Political Boundaries
The Diocese coincides with the political administrative region of the Upper East and part of Northern Region of Ghana and covers an area of 31,068 sq km. The Upper East Region is made up of 12 districts namely: Kasena-Nankana, Kasena-Nankana West, Bongo, Bolgatanga, Bawku, Bawku West, Talensi, Nabdam, Garu-Tempane, Builsa North, Builsa South, Binduri. Part of the Northern Region within the diocese include: West Mamprusi, East Mamprusi, Mamprugu-Moagduri and Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo districts. All these districts and municipalities fall under 14 Parishes and three Rectorates from ecclesiastical demarcations.

Geographical Features
The Diocese generally falls within the Guinea Savannah zone, although some portions of its catchment area (Bawku) are within the Sudan Savannah ecology. The natural vegetation is Savannah woodland consisting of short, deciduous, widely spread fire-resistant grasses and shrubs. Human activities have reduced the vegetation to an open land with some trees of economic value retained. The annual average rainfall which decreases from south-east to north-west varies from a minimum of 645 mm to a maximum of 1,250mm with a mean of 1,044mm. Rainfall is limited to one season (Mid April to October) and can be very irregular, with frequent dry spells during June and July which is a critical period for crop growth. The dry season begins from mid-October to the first two weeks of April. This period is characterised by dry, dust-laden North-East Harmattan winds from the Sahara desert.

Socio-economic features
The climate is generally suitable for the production of single wet season crops. The soils have poor water holding capacity which poses a considerable constraint to agricultural productivity. This single cropping season which depends on rainfall occurs from May to October with considerable under-employment of labour. This period is followed by a long dry season resulting in a seasonal migration of the productive labour force to southern Ghana in search of greener pastures.

Poverty is very high among the diocesan populace especially the rural areas. The Upper East Region which forms most part of the Diocese is currently assessed the second poorest region of the Country. It is estimated that 80% of the population of the Region is below the poverty line, compared to the national average of 66 %.( Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy II, 2005). The main economic activity of the population is agriculture with 85% being peasant farmers. A small percentage of the population is involved in the handicraft industry. The proportion of females in sales work (13.3%) is twice that of males (5.8%). The proportion of males in agriculture is 71.8% compared to 61.2% females. (Ghana living standards survey report 2008).

More than 88% of the diocese’s 1.5 million people are rural dwellers depending mainly on rain fed agriculture for food and income. Income levels of the population are generally low due to the poor soils to support crop growth, erratic rainfall and other adverse agricultural practices.

Ninety percent of the housing units are made of bricks with high cost of repairs and maintenance. Styles of buildings are changing as a result of improved technology. All the District capitals are connected to the National Grid and telecommunication networks.

Ecclesiastical data
What is now the Navrongo-Bolgatanga diocese has had a history of 106 years of evangelization (1906-2012), the longest in the Tamale Ecclesiastical Province. The small detachment of the members of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) who arrived in 1906 pioneered the evangelization of Navrongo and its environs.
From their efforts, a new ecclesiastical territory emerged, first, in the form of an Apostolic Prefecture in 1926, and then an Apostolic Vicariate in 1934. From 1950 the territory became part of the newly created diocese of Tamale. In 1956 the Diocese of Navrongo was erected, a status the territory enjoyed until 1977 when it received the new name of Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga, following the erection of the Tamale Ecclesiastical Province.

The major religions in the diocese are the African Traditional Religion, Christianity and Islam. In the Upper East part of the Diocese, the Traditional Religion remains the dominant religion (46.4%) followed by Christianity (28.3%) and Islam (22.6%).

In the Northern Region part of the diocese, however, the situation is different. For instance, in the Mamprusi West/Yagiba (Walewale Parish), the dominant religion is Islam (66.7%), followed by the Traditional Religion (16.3%) and Christianity (14.4%). On the other hand, there is a balance between the three major religions in the East Mamprusi part of the diocese, i.e. Christianity, has a slight edge with (35.1%), followed closely by the Traditional Religion with (32.6%) and Islam (30.4%).

When one narrows down to Christianity, Catholics dominate (57.7%) followed closely by the Pentecostal/charismatic groups (21.7%) and the protestant (12.3%).The Catholic population is served by 55 priests, 36 religious men and women, 14 full time catechists and about 220 voluntary prayer leaders.


2.1 Background to the process
Given its history, and as far as the north is concerned, the diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga has had the longest exposure to the Gospel. The work of evangelization that has been done in this ecclesiastical jurisdiction has, no doubt, yielded very positive results in the form of a steady growth of the Church, the number of indigenous clergy and religious, pastoral agents and interventions in the socio-economic and human development fields.

Despite these outstanding achievements, the diocese has also encountered some challenging situations. These include, notably among others, the fact that in all these 106 years, the growth of this ecclesiastical territory has depended heavily on external support, coupled with the difficulty of managing and harnessing our multi-ethnic and cultural diversity. All this makes it clear that we still have a local Church that has not systematically evolved the necessary institutions, systems and processes to sustain itself.

2.2 Objectives
To address these fundamental challenges a survey was conducted aimed at:
i. Evaluating the wider context within which the Church has been operating in terms of the physical setting, socio-economic and political context.
ii. Appraise both the pastoral and human promotion activities of the Church as against its mandate.
iii. Draw lessons that will inform the formulation of strategic directions, medium and long term plans, programmes and specific interventions to enhance the sustainability of the Church’s mission.

2.3 Emerging issues
The issues raised during the process imply that given the current situation the diocese will have to reposition itself in order to deal decisively with the following issues;
i. To become a truly united and an inclusive church
ii. To draw on the available local resources to become self-supporting and self-financing
iii. To continue to harness enough pastoral agents to become self-ministering

2.4 The Consultative process
The consultative aspect of the Diocesan Strategic Planning took a process oriented approach. This involved all the key players; Parish Priests, Religious Congregations, Institutional leaders, professional experts and Parishioners in the assessments and analysis of socio-pastoral issues. A Small Group was constituted to be responsible for the technical inputs and synthesis of the proceedings. Two professionals from the University for Development Studies were invited by the Diocese to facilitate the whole process to a logical conclusion.

The process entailed engaging different people both as individuals and in groups with different stakes, interests and backgrounds who provided information on their perceptions of the integral socio-economic and pastoral development efforts of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese against its vision and mission as a Church and as a major partner in socio-economic development.
The Bishop and his team of the clergy, religious and lay Pastoral Agents worked to accomplish the vision and mission of the Church. These constituted the internal perspective. The lay faithful and beneficiaries of the Church’s socio-economic development also

constituted a critical group, and provided useful insights of the operations of the church as the clients/beneficiaries of the Church’s pastoral and socio-economic development efforts. This group provided the client/beneficiary perspective. A third group, that is those living within the diocese, although not directly involved in the activities of the Church but are witnesses to what is going-on in the church was also consulted. These provided the independent external opinions on what they saw to be the main strengths, weakness, achievements and/or failures of the church.

A triangulatory approach to collecting information from multiple sources was a useful way of ensuring both internal and external validity. The assessment, therefore, focused on the following four perspectives:
 Internal perspective-The principal actors’ own assessment of the Church’s interventions and perceptions of the extent of achievements and constraints measured against the vision, mission (written or implied) in the on-going pastoral and socio-economic development efforts of the diocese.
 Client perspective-The beneficiaries, i.e. individuals, groups and communities, assessment of the on-going diocesan pastoral and socio-economic activities, achievements and constraints measured against their own priorities and expectations of the diocese.
 External perspective-Independent evidence that either corroborates or deviates from internal and client perspectives.
 Uptake pathways- A synthesis of all stakeholders’ renewed perception of the diocese’s vision, mission and operational environment that informed the formulation of the strategic directions, medium and long term plan, programmes and specific interventions.
The outcome of the assessment was shared at Parishes and Diocesan level with feedback to representatives from Parishes, Congregations, Institutions and Lay faithful. It was from these processes that we carved for ourselves the Diocesan Values, Vision and Mission statements guided by the Teachings of the Holy Church.

3.1 Vision
3.2. Mission

3.3. Core values
The Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga believes in the following core values and seeks to live and promote them in all aspects of her life.
Inspired by the Gospel message of love, we work together as a united family of diverse peoples towards the promotion of the kingdom of God in the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese through:
1. Celebrating the Word and Sacraments
2. Witnessing to the forgiving, healing and saving presence of Jesus Christ
3. Being stewards of God’s creation
4. Promoting justice and peace and enhancing the integral development of the human person
5. Promoting peaceful co-existence in and outside the diocesan family
6. Partnership and Networking.
To Make Visible a Faith Driven, United, Self-Reliant Catholic Diocesan Family, Founded on the Values of Christ.

The Diocesan Strategic Plan for the period 2013-2017 carved out three broad thematic areas that were deemed the key focus to addressing the current socio-pastoral needs of the Diocese.

In the footsteps of the Good Shepherd who came that we may have life and have it in abundance (cf Jn 10,10), pastoral care is at the basis of all that the Church does in her one single mission to make Christ known to all people. In this sense, the theme of pastoral care rightly forms the first principal pillar of the strategic plan of the diocese and will seek to inform and inspire all other activities of the Church.
Strategic Goal 4.1 Methods of imparting the gospel message enhanced
Objectives for goal 4.1.1
 Primary evangelization teams at the Parish, Deanery and Diocesan levels in place
 An elaborate primary evangelization programme (PEP)in place
 Parish structures strengthened
 At least 2 Catechists for each Parish trained
 At least 20 Catechism Instructors and Prayer Leaders for each Parish trained
 The RCIA programme in the Diocese enhanced and standardized
 Post baptismal catechetical programme in the Diocese in place
 The Small Christian Community concept and practice become an integral part of parish life
 Sunday School Teaching enhanced
 Biblical apostolate enhanced

Strategic goal 4.1.2: Liturgical celebrations across the Diocese standardized
Objectives for goal 4.1. 2
 Liturgical committees at all levels in the Diocese set up
 Research and inculturation in the liturgy promoted

Strategic goal 4.1.3: Vocations and family life enhanced
Objectives for goal 4.1.3
 Promotion and fostering Catholic vocations to ministerial priesthood and consecrated life enhanced
 Quality family life fostered
The gospel of the kingdom which is coming and has already begun concerns all men and women of all time. All those, therefore, who have received this message and by virtue of it have been united in the community of salvation have the power and the obligation to hand it on and disseminate it (Evangelium Nuntiandi #13)

Strategic goal 4.1.4: Enhanced structures for effective integrated youth development in the diocese.
Objectives for goal 4.1.4
 Dormant youth groups revitalized
 Programmes to sustain active youth groups and to attract unattached youth developed
 School Ministry in the Diocese enhanced
 New Integrated Catholic Youth Formation Programme (NICYFOP) promoted and implemented in all Parishes

Informed by this exhortation of the Holy Father, the Diocese as a local community is committed to promoting human development with leverage on four critical areas namely; (a) Livelihood, (b) Education, (c) Health and (d) Good Governance, Justice and Peace.
A secure livelihood is only adequate and sustainable when access to income and other resources enables households to meet their basic needs. Adequate access to food, potable water, health, educational opportunities, housing, participation and social integration are fundamental to the Church’s mission

4.2.1 Diocesan Livelihood and Advocacy
Strategic goal Farm Families in the diocese are food secure
Objectives for goal
 Farmers are able to identify and systematically innovate Sustainable Agricultural Practices (SAP)
 Farmers adopt and practice integrated Sustainable Agriculture Practices (SAP) on their farms
 Functional farmer groups in place
 Increased use of innovation to produce value added farm products for improved incomes
 Participatory technology transfer among farmers intensified
Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of the all humanity. Charity is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of Justice and peace (Caritas in Veritate 2009:3).

 Farm families and communities understand natural resources ownership and sustainable management
 Conflicts regarding natural resources among Traditional institutions, farmers and pastoralists minimized
 Equity in access to productive land increased
 Awareness and understanding of Climate Change (CC) issues in the diocese increased
 Networking with partners on climate change issues intensified
 Women and Youth entrepreneurial skills enhanced
Goal Disaster and risks among the poor and vulnerable reduced
Objective for goal 5. 2.1.2
 Diocesan response to emergency and disaster relief enhanced
Goal Sound environmental management enhanced
Objective for goal 2.3
 Environmental management promotion in the diocese intensified

4.2.2. Catholic Education
“Catholic schools are a precious resource for learning from childhood how to create bonds of peace and harmony in a society, since they train children in the African values that are taken up by those of the Gospel” (Africae Munus, 134)
Strategic goal Access to quality education improved
Objectives for goal
 Access to quality education particularly in deprived areas enhanced
 Quality Teaching & Learning materials support to schools improved
 Capacity of Catholic Education unit strengthened
 Partnership with Ghana Education Service (GES) and relevant Actors Strengthened
 Support to vulnerable but brilliant children improved

4.2.3. Diocesan Health Service
“The Church has always been concerned with health. She follows the example of Christ himself who proclaimed the word and healed the sick, and then gave his disciples the same authority, to heal every disease and every infirmity” (Africae Munus 139).
Strategic goal Access to quality health services improved
Objectives for goal
 Equity gaps in access to quality health care and nutrition services bridged
 Maternal and child health care promoted
 Management structures and systems in place at both levels
 Healthy lifestyle promoted

4.2.4 Good Governance, Justice and Peace
Strategic goal Justice in all sectors and structures of the Church and Civil societies promoted
Objectives for goal
 Justice and Peace structures at the Diocesan, Deanery and Parish levels established
 Structures that work for Conflict Transformation harmonised and strengthened
 Intra- and inter-ethnic conflicts managed and minimised
 Child rights promotion and protection intensified
 Collaboration with other religious bodies, Pontifical Missionary Societies, and other development agencies enhanced
Strategic goal Unity in the Diocese enhanced
Objective for goal 3.3.2
 Structures and processes to foster unity in the Diocese established

Strategic goal 4.3.1 Institutional effectiveness and efficiency enhanced
Objectives for goal 4.3.1
 Coordination between the Pastoral and Socio-economic wings of the Diocesan secretariat strengthened
 Diocesan Communication system and structures enhanced
 Clear diocesan policies and structures in place
 Awareness of Catholic Social Teaching enhanced
 Laity structures re-organized and strengthened
One of the tasks of the Church in Africa consists in forming upright consciences receptive to the demands of justice, so as to produce men and women willing and able to build a just and social order by their responsible conduct (Africae Munus #22)
“One can never be a Christian alone. The gifts given by the Lord to each – bishops, priests, deacons and religious, catechists and lay people – must all contribute to harmony, communion and peace in the Church herself and in society.” (Africae Munus, 97)

Strategic goal 4.3.2 Diocesan Self-reliance drive enhanced
Objectives for goal 4.2
 Finance Committees at Parish and Diocesan levels in place
 Clear systems and procedures for administering Parish and Diocesan resources in place
 Diocesan self-reliance drive improved
 Workable welfare policy for all pastoral agents in the Diocese in place

In line with the spirit of grassroots participation that guided the whole process of the strategic plan, its implementation cannot be otherwise; it has to begin with a personal resolve to own the process and move gradually along the following lines:
 Parish Level,
 Deanery Level
 Diocesan Commissions, Councils, Committees
 Sector Coordinators
On the part of sustainability, the Diocesan Strategic Plan will be sustained on four counts:
 The foundation is prayer: while we work with this plan we believe that it is God, the owner of the vine yard, who directs and guides the process. We will therefore sustain it on the wings of prayer
 Since the process leading to this document began with the grassroots, and considering the enthusiasm and active participation of the planning committee members, this outcome is owned by all in the diocese. It is this ownership of the Plan on all levels (Parish, Deanery and Institutional) that will sustain its implementation and outcomes
 The Diocese has the needed human resources to implement the Plan
 Efforts are foreseen in the Plan to develop fund raising and investment strategies to finance the planned activities.

The implementation approach is in two phases. The phase one is a three year operational perspective and the second phase covers the remaining two year perspective. It envisages team work and joint monitoring. This involves various organs and leadership which shall be coordinated by;
 Diocesan Pastoral Care Coordinator,
 Diocesan Finance Administrator
 Human Development Coordinator

6.2. Evaluation
The three Organs mentioned above shall facilitate periodic review sessions for learning and knowledge sharing towards the realisation of the Plan.
 The three year operational plan will be reviewed twice yearly
 The Bishop’s Office will hold debriefing meetings where all sector heads will be present and make presentation of progress of work once a month
 At the departmental or sector levels, there will be bi-weekly management meetings where activity plans and progress reports are discussed
 At the parish level, the Parish Teams shall hold bi-weekly debriefing sessions to update on progress of work based on shared-tasks
 The various parish organs will also, on monthly basis, organise meetings and debrief themselves and parish leadership
 At the deanery levels, the various task groups shall hold monthly debriefing sessions on the progress of work
 At the Diocesan level, the various commissions, councils and committees shall hold quarterly or half-yearly sessions on the progress of their work.

  1. Mr. Oscar Mac Avomah

    God bless you Most Rev Bishop Alfred Agyenta for this wonderful thinking of a Strategic Plan for the Diocese. My appeal to all, Clergy, Religious and The Lay faithful to support our Bishop for the Plan to succeed by our major, minor possitive suggestions in whatever form. From Diocesan Laity Council Chairman,

  2. A new era has indeed arrived. The Diocese can boost of a concrete way foreward document very available for study of us all. My Lord Bishop and Clergy/The Religious and of course, the Lay leaderships for this wonderful Strategic Plan. So far some of can witness its fulfilment. I however hope it would consistently be honoured. Glory to GOD. ‘Our Father, bless this plan’

  3. His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Alfred, we are very grateful and blessed for your radical approach of change and new method of evangelization in the diocese. We are grateful!
    My major concern, as a youth activist and developmental agent, I would like to appeal on behalf of the many Catholic Schools in the Diocese to be considered in a high esteem.
    In fact, many Catholic Schools are in deployable States and are without furniture and other logistics especially in the East Mamprusi District.
    It my hope that the authorities responsible for this would be tasked to do more than what they are currently doing,
    God Bless Our Lordship and the Entire Diocese.

  4. Pamella Mahinda

    Your lordship
    The strategic plan is well sound, but it means minor issues such as stakeholder analysis and SWOT Analysis.
    Am interested on gender issues, it not clearly mentioned. GOD BLESS U

  5. let all be involved. God bless nb diocese and keep Agyenta big in shepherding the flock of God.Amen

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