... and commend Mills for adopting the CPP 7 Year Development Plan.
Two young leading members of the Nkrumaist group have called for a merger between Convention Peoples Party and National Democratic Congress. The most significant of this call, is one is a deputy Minister of State in the Mills administration and the other is a respected leading member of CPP.
In the last elections in 2008, the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance of the two parties help then candidate Mills’ (a former cadre of Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute) won eight out of ten regions in the presidential elections with huge majorities.
The two leading Nkrumaists are also calling for a radical reforming single Nkrumaist party (CPP, NDC and PNC) committed to equitable distribution of the country’s wealth, income and power from the few to the many and even distribution of development in all ten regions. The two argue that in 2008 presidential elections people voted tactically, and if they do same again in 2012, the way will be open for a merger of NDC CPP/PNC that would revolutionize democracy in Ghana. Although a coalition after 2012 is the most popular option while an outright merger has the least backing, especially among diehard Nkrumaists in CPPNA and CPPUK.
Otchere Darko’s analysis of John Mills’ choice of NDC instead CPP published in August 14, 2010 on the website www.ghanaweb.com has suddenly become news because the drive towards centre-left merger just won’t go away despite official denials on all sides.
The need for centre-left realignment has been a recurrent topic in political circles ever since the 2008 elections when CPP was left with only one seat in parliament. It is also acknowledge that without support of CPP supporters Mills would have lost the election to NPP presidential candidate in 2008.
They want the Mills government to promote policies (Nkrumah’s original 7 Year Development Plan) which will advance public service and home ownership in every district. They seek to end poverty and maintain free education, incentives for teachers, medical professionals and the security services, including the fire brigade.
They welcome President Mills’ commitment to increased government spending on infrastructure development in all ten regions and said they will push for progressive taxation on telecom and extractive resource companies to fund further improvements in education, health, transport and housing. They praised ex-President Rawlings for laying the foundation for accelerated growth, which they argue, was sadly reversed by the reckless bad policies of the NPP administration.
With assistance from the Britton Woods institutions (under Structural Adjustment Programs), ex-President Rawlings’ PNDC administration transformed Ghana from a largely rural sleepy and poverty-stricken country into one of sub-Saharan Africa’s growing economies which has resulted in three US presidential visits and the Queen of United Kingdom and head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Ghana’s success is often called “Ghana’s Economic Miracle”.
They explain that the criticism from certain members of both the ruling and opposition parties does not reflect Mills’ concrete achievements or the testaments to social progress. They argue that President Mills has laid down the foundations that would lift millions of poor and children out of poverty. According to the CPP youth member, after eight years of nepotism, corruption and tribalism under the NPP government, President Mills administration has given hope to the hopeless and voice to the voiceless. He said, “No other president, apart from Nkrumah, could claim that mantle, nor ever may”.
The two argue that President John Evans Atta Mills’ economic strategies are well reflected in Dr Nkrumah’s micro-economic strategies (The 7 Year Development Plan) by adopting the open economic policies of the plan with the realization in mind that the world trend of liberalization (Started under Rawlings PNDC – the Structural Adjustment years) is irreversible. According to the deputy Minister “we are living in an era of integrated economies, a deeply imbedded neo-classical economic thought and its applications across countries”. He said in the 1980s, Dr Kwesi Botchwey prophetically stated that, “It is better to adopt the Structural Programs wholesale than face the prospect of being left behind as a failed nation”.
Today Ghana’s per capita GNP is the highest in the ECOWAS. It is attracting inward investment at a greater pace and is one of the most stable and best governed countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The Britton Woods Institutions has acknowledged that Ghana can move from poverty to plenty in one generation. Already the many professionals Ghana lost during the “lost decade” (1980s) are returning to the homeland many with huge investments and businesses. One such returnee and business magnet is Mr. Kwame Pianim (now a special economic adviser to the President). He is a role model for many Ghanaian entrepreneurs who have given real meaning to the present day Ghana by transforming the financial sector into one of Africa’s best. Under Pianim’s guardianship the financial services in Ghana have emerged as a new business and funding options are aplenty increasing the chances of raising capital. This has evolved as a separate and major source of business fetching revenue to the service providers. Under both Kuffuor and now Mills, the private sector is gaining importance. They have entered all the core industries like oil, mining, telecommunications, road and rail road building, ports, aviation etc. The government is encouraging rush of entrepreneurship by providing liberal subsidies to individuals to set up small scale industries, cottage industries. Government’s encouragement in the act of entrepreneurialism is helping to transform small scale businesses into medium scale industries.
The two argue that it is necessary for progressives to begin lobbying the CPP and NDC leadership to let them know by forming a coalition between the Nkrumaist parties is what will safeguard Dr Nkrumah’s legacy and the gains made thus far under John Mills.
Those familiar with Ghana’s history since independence insist that the ingredients for success was laid by Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s educational policies, however obscured they may have been in the dark days of NLC under armed criminals, Afrifa and Kotoka.
They also argue that although considerable progress has been made toward entrenching democracy, the overriding need for rapid economic growth and infrastructure development is central to the President Mills’ economic planning (The original 7 Year Development Plan). According to the two, by the time Mills step down from power in 2016, Ghana will boast a diversified and modern economy, away from the export of raw materials to the assembly of electronics. They said one of President Mills’ projects is the “knowledge-based economy master plan” to be spearheaded by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa and University for Development Studies, Tamale. They state that like President Nkrumah, President John Mills had clear long term vision and strong political leadership skills to make use of the diaspora skills and inward investments in the country’s favour. They said Ghana has strong and efficient technocrats who have the ability to chart the Vision 2020 (7 Year Development Plan) into planning with the capability to get things done in much effective way.
The two, like the rest of the youth leadership in all the three major parties (NDC, NPP and CPP) realize that now is the time to start preparing to take over the political leadership from the old guard and help transform the country into an economic power house in West Africa.
They said President Mills has given real meaning to the ability to translate President Nkrumah’s vision (the 7 Year Development Plan or Vision 2020) into realizable planning and policies which would help transform Ghana as one of the richest nations in sub-Saharan Africa.
They said a long term economic vision (which President Nkrumah draw up in the 1960s – 7 Year Development Plan and was refined by President Rawlings into Vision 2020) is necessary for Ghana to establish herself in the global market which facilitates the process of becoming self-sufficient in due course of time.
For these progressives, voting against Mills in the 2012 NDC primaries would be a huge betrayal of the ordinary folks and the leadership need reminding of this, whatever the opinion of some factions in the party.
It is known that those who voted for Mills in 2008 were definitely voting for a candidate who believes in the tenets of Nkrumaism and want to continue with the Nkrumah legacy – the 7 Year Development Plan.
NDC’s 2008 electoral success has much to do with Professor Mills Nkrumaist credentials as the collapse of the CPP/PNC votes typifies. Therefore, it is also known that most voters (after seeing the large scale corruption under the NPP administration) wanted a centre-left, progressive government, and in Mills they saw hope, peace, freedom, fairness and justice.
Ironically they also call for an all-female presidential ticket for 2016 elections (already many Nkrumaists are covertly floating the names of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and Samia Yaba Christina Nkrumah as the dream ticket).