Business News of 2013-12-02

Ghana’s problem is management not money – Former WB Director

A former country Director of the World Bank says Ghana’s problem is the lack of efficient management on the part of its leaders and not a lack of money for funding development projects.

Albert David Osei is therefore urging leaders of the country to focus on human resources at the Ministries, Metropolitan and Municipal areas and respond effectively to the people they serve. The international development expert was speaking on "Tarzan’s Take" on the Joy News channel on Multi TV Sunday.

He explained that because of mismanagement, any funding the World Bank gives eventually bears little results. “I don’t think anybody will believe me if I told them the monies granted to Ghana [from donor partners] for public sector reform as of now must exceed $400 million,” he revealed.

“What did we end up with the public sector? Who is happy with the public sector…They can’t produce”, he lamented. According to the former World Bank director, a good bureaucracy is one in which people know and trust laid down procedures to work for them anytime they make a request.

That is not what is happening in Ghana, Mr. Osei suggested saying, public sector employees instead of going by an established procedure; often choose to “re-invent solutions” “At the end of the day, in Ghana, it is not money that is the biggest constraint, it is managing things efficiently” he noted.

According to the former Resident Representative of the World Bank in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, management is about priorities, and therefore counseled Ghana's decision makers to stop going for budgetary support from the World Bank for everything.

Government ought to borrow only for a specific project, train people to monitor and evaluate progress of the project. With over 30 years experience with the World Bank, Albert Osei says he "strongly believes in capacity building attached to specific projects. For example if you want to help the fisheries sector in addition to financing, you also train people for monitoring and evaluation”.

This he says is what South Korea did after a devastating Korean War. “Very very early on the Koreans and the World Bank agreed to restrict the number of areas they would borrow…I think Ghana should do the same” If you know your priorities stick to them, he advised government.