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Opinions Thu, 21 Aug 2014

A one or two term proposition, Mr. President?

By Cletus D Kuunifaa


It’s been bandied about, peddled around and my guess might just be that it is pedestrian news. It is a complete fiction. Otherwise, how can it be a one term proposition after putting in place all the home grown policies to prop up and cushion the economy?


One-time, the gossip reporting went wild on Dr. Raymond Atuguba, the Executive Secretary to the President on an alleged ongoing bickering at the seat of government. Two-time, the runaway train had him against the Chief of Staff at the Presidency. This time around the propaganda scheme is about a one or two term proposition for the President?


But, in all this gossip trails, there need to be a vision in the country that every Ghanaian must buy into and rally up to. By vision, I mean where do we want Ghana to be in the not-too-distant future? What is the vision constructed so that we all can rally behind to support the President for a two term proposition?


This piece aims to provide a motivation to be considered in leading and articulating a vision, the strategies and implementation initiatives to be undertaken by government to leave a legacy for posterity to judge.


Let’s take the Singapore experience and put Ghana into perspective. Not that Singapore is blessed with natural resources, nor is it that Singapore has a huge landmass. Ghana is larger, richer and older than Singapore in terms of land mass, natural resources and political independence. What both countries however share in common is their colonization by Britain at one time in their history. So, what accounts for Singapore breakthrough?




The answer lies in a leader with a vision who introduced change. This leader was Lee Kuan Yew often recognized and credited as the founding father of modern Singapore. Like many countries, Singapore had her own measure of socio-politico-economic problems at the time but with poise and focus with a clear vision constructed and forged by the then first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, they pulled through.





As a matter of fact, we do not need now to go as far as Asia to fetch out Singapore. We need Rwanda up street that has become a model country after surviving a brutal civil war and yet has come strong after the war.





Go to Paul Kagame’s Rwanda, and you would marvel at what you see: Massive infrastructural development; dual carriage highways, efficient telecommunication interchanges, 24 hour uninterrupted electricity, a country where the economy has grown an average of nearly 8 percent over the last four years, a ban on plastic bags from the country to cut down on pollution…does that ring a bell? (Environmentally-oriented industrialization!).




As if that is not enough, the nation has wired itself with well over 1,000 miles of fiber optic cables, and last year the government signed a deal to build a 4G network that would cover 95 percent of the country according to information culled from the Kigali Journal (March 24 Issue).





The Journal reports that Rwanda hopes to turn itself into an information-technology hub for the roughly 135 million people in the East African Community, a regional common market.





We pulled by a highway and one could connect, hook up and launch onto the internet. That is how a devastated nation has been totally transformed to become an economic model for the developing world.




Now, the strategic vision behind this is a knowledge economy, according to the Rwandan Minister in charge of youth and information technology. The Minister said that’s where they want to go, shifting from an agrarian base to a knowledge base, leapfrogging the industrial, the Kigali Journal reports.


This comparison is relevant for Ghana and President JD Mahama should borrow a leaf from President Paul Kagame and under-study their dynamic development model. The President’s vision must lead Ghana somewhere. What vision is he constructing for us to embrace as a change?





Given that Rwanda, a war ravaged nation, a nation with no oil, natural gas and or major natural resources has managed to grow at such a rapid pace in recent years is befuddling. It is clear that Rwanda is on the hunt for investors rather than donors.



We in Ghana must think about massive infrastructural development in all sectors as part of a modernization drive. We want to see Ghana’s economy grow as a result of increased agricultural productivity, tourism and government spending on infrastructure and housing. We want Ghana to be the most attractive African market for investors. Ghana too, must be on the hunt for investors rather than donors. Ghanaians want to see and hear talks about start-up offices for Google, Intel and Microsoft, GE, not to mention a much larger consumer market attracting foreign companies. We intend Ghana to be a rich frontier for business. We want Ghanaian businesses to grow and expand. We are watching developments closely





Cletus D Kuunifaa


Transformation Management Consultancy (TMC) Group


LIU Post Campus


Can be contacted at dipnibe@yahoo.com or Follow him on twitter @ckuunifaa

Columnist: Kuunifaa, Cletus D