Now the Need for full Privatization of the Media!
By: Kwaku A. Danso, Livermore, California
The idea of having the State finance the major newspapers in the nation and
have resources to compete with the private sector does not make sense in a
nation that claimed it moved away from socialism or communism after
Nkrumah's overthrow, more than 46 years ago.
Jerry Rawlings did a good job in taking good advice including that of some
of us in 1992 who argued for privatization of the media. However, like most
things of the PNDC era, he left the job half done because of the powerful
people around him he would later call "greedy bastards".
The report that Nana Akufo Addo was prevented from enjoying the traditional
limelight often accorded dignitaries at funerals seems to cause pain now,
but this is something the NPP deserves for leaving the major newspaper and
media outlet funded by the State! They should take responsibility for it!
The report said:
"Even though Nana Akufo-Addo was part of the NPP delegation which included
his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and his wife, Samira and the NPP
National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, the state broadcaster, Ghana
Television failed to capture the main opposition leader when he paid his
last respect to his one-time friend at the University of Ghana, Legon.
According to sources, a member of the NDC communication team allegedly
instructed the GTV crew not to capture Nana Addo" (Daily Guide Aug 10, 2012.
Posted on GLU Forum by Petero).
As in my 1992 article in the Ghanaian Chronicle, I have said and advocated,
and still advocate strongly for the total privatization of all media. Now
that I know even more, I add for the total decentralization of towns and
districts and regions. Any effective President who sincerely cares will task
and push the national educated executives who are drawing $400,000 to
$600,000 per year to use their educated brains to find a formula for sharing
revenue between what the cities and districts collect and let the nation and
people learn and grow! Central government cannot manage every town in Ghana
and should not appoint their leaders. Democracy should start for the ground
floor up. We don't need to stifle growth in towns like my hometown Abetifi
and other rich towns such as Nkwatia, Pepease, Mpraeso, Obo, and more around
the nation. Instead of waiting for central government for water, such towns
should be able to pay property taxes and take care of most of their needs
and share in major infrastructures such as highways, electricity generation
and Communication networks such as Broadband Internet. Any town where
humans live should be able to pay to have common water facilities, schools,
and common services including electricity and Internet network so far as
they can pay for the monthly bills.
Failing that decentralized power, all human beings have a tendency to
use state assets under their control to their benefits and competitive
advantage when nobody is watching or nobody has enough muscle to take the
bone away from their teeth!
I wonder if as a nation, we really lack people with a heart, or the
average people out there who get into politics are simply not smart enough
to do such things as giving one man control to appoint over 4,000 agency
heads, town, metro, district and regional heads! The mistake made in 1992
must be corrected and done now! What arrogance people like Kwamena Ahwoi to
suggest that the people in the districts and towns like my hometown Abetifi
or major towns like Agona Swedru, Nsawan or Nkawkaw are not capable of
electing their own leaders! Can somebody get me the contact email and
telephone for this man. (Please send to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if
anybody has email and contact for Kwamena and Ato Ahwoi).
In conclusion, every party should come to power to serve the people and not
take advantage of state resources for their end. The NPP came to power
based on the social dissatisfaction with the NDC policies and failure in
implementation and accounting for public loans and projects. The NPP also
stayed in power for eight years without delivering the required public
accounting and many were accused of enriching themselves. This incidence
should serve as a lesson for Nana Addo and the NPP, and hope they as well as
all of us as a nation do better. The ugly open gutter they left uncovered
may be the ones they may fall in later. A word to the wise!
Dr. Kwaku A. Danso
President- Ghana Leadership Union (GLU) and Moderator - GLU Forum.