28
Opinions Fri, 19 Jul 2013

How the IMF manipulates Ghana's economies

How the IMF manipulates Ghana's/africa's economies

The reason Vice Pres. Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has been chosen over the heads of seasoned NDC ministers, is to perpetuate the IMF/World Bank SAP programme that has forced successive governments to sell off all our key commodity exports and industries (gold, diamond, cocoa, oil; Ghana Telecom, Ghana Airways, GIHOC, etc). He is the technocrat politician who must complete Ghana’s economic recolonisation that started with Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, Dr. Joe Abbey – doctors of economic treason in cahoots with Asante Gold’s Kwesi Jonah.

This post questions Ghana's/Africa's collective silence - how this silence contributes to our nation being conned and hypnotised by the IMF/World Bank's (IMF/WB) Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) ‘globalism’, with the help of the above individuals.

Thinking through a way out of Ghana’s current economic strangulation by the IMF/World Bank SAP, one discovers that the key reason to why our most brilliant economists have failed to find solutions to our development and modernity is because it has been impossible for them to figure out how to sustainably fund a Development and Modernity Programme (DMP). They have been permanently frustrated by the reality of the economic theoretical and practical models they have rigidly imbibed from the west.

First, Rawlings prematurely invited the IMF in December 1982 amidst feverish negotiations to produce a consensus on Ghana's economic future. This was against the grain of a valid alternative self-reliant proposal by progressive individuals and groups in and out of the PNDC. Why? Among other reasons in his ‘revolutionary' rhetoric, he had rashly offered himself to be shot if he was unable to reverse the economic downturn in Ghana. Self-preservedly, the IMF/SAP was his silver bullet to escaping a humiliating firing squad. History will record, that Junior Jesus (JJ) had a deeper sense of his self-preservation than the more enduring call of possible national political martyrdom.

We all know now that by 2010 Rawlings had reinventing himself as one of the 10 richest people in Ghana. His many national utterances, therefore, reflect his self-conscious need to policing the political scene to protect his self-interest.

But it is not Rawlings alone who has been having Ghana on. In similar retrogressively manner, like a cobra will be hypnotised by its master's oscillating flute music, successive NDC, NPP and NDC governments have pursued the path of IMF/SAP. This has resulted in the treasonable wholesaling of our key export commodities and industries.

The reason our main political parties continue to pursue this bankrupt approach to economics, is because: 1) they accept the nonsensical argument of ‘globalisation’. This argues a world where the 'market' is an unproblematic terrain for competitive international commerce by nations. 2) The acceptance of IMF/SAP means less work for the leadership. They do not have to define, launch, implement and monitor the success of a Development and Modernising Programme (DMP). This outstanding act of leadership will require athleticism, intelligence, hardwork, courage, professional competence and even precocity against expected western counter measures. It is too risky – so they compromise obsequiously with western capital - take the money and run!

The above scenario, of course, flies in the face of the realities. Industrialising countries could hardly be expected to compete fairly against advanced countries in the aggressive international markets. This is why our gold mines were floated on the Johannesburg, South African Stock Exchange (STE), by Betty Mould-Iddrisu (behind the back of parliament) and not the Ghana Stock Exchange, Accra (GSE).

This, why the NPP sold minimal shares in Ghana’s oil to NPP party backers before selling the rest to western Transnational oil Corporations (TNCs). This is why Ghana paradoxically buys oil on the world market at hiked prices while our own cheaper oil is shipped quietly off to the west unchallenged. This is why the NPP’s Kufuor hurriedly sold Ghana Telecom just before he left office, for peanuts to Vodaphone Co, UK. This is why dangerous GMO companies, Du Pont Chemical Inc and Pioneer High-Seeds Co. now jointly run food policy in Kwesi Ahwoi’s Ministry of Agriculture (they have already marketed carcinogenic GMO beans, maize etc.). This is why r3ecently western speculators rushed to buy out the NDC's Government Treasury Bonds. This is why western Trans-National Corporations (TNCs) control trading at the GSE!

This is why I have contextually stated that our leaders are a bunch of court jesters!! (Perhaps the undiscerning general Ghanaian electorate, who allow our leaders to get away with their treasonable actions, ought to be included in this criticism). Why are we all silent about this blatant mismanagement of our national economy? Like sheep, we allow our leaders to implement the debilitating IMF/World Bank SAP programme of under-development along western lines.

After Pres. Mills’ death, the IMF/World Bank and the combined power and influence of the west, clearly forced the hands of the corruption-sieged (Woyomegate) NDC-NPP leadership. What was the outcome? Newly appointed Pres. John Mahama quickly appointed Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur over the heads of seasoned NDC ministers:

“It has been confirmed that the former Deputy Finance Minister in the PNDC regime and current Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, has been selected by President Mahama to become Ghana’s new Vice President. The position of Vice President became vacant following the sudden demise of President John Evans Atta Mills exactly a week ago on Tuesday, 24th July. ..Many names were bandied around as potential replacements for John Mahama, including Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, former Finance Minister, Madam Hannah Tetteh, Trade and Industry Minister as well as former flagbearer aspirant, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah. .. Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur had been involved in the team of technocrats who managed Ghana’s structural adjustment programme since 1980’s. Mr. Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur served as Chairman of Ghana International Bank Public Limited Company and has been its Director since November 25, 2009. (Amissah-Arthur nominated as Vice President, radioxyzonline.com, General News, 31 July 2012,http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=246473).

The above quote contains all the ingredients needed to ascertain the ideological and professional allegiance, since the 1980s, of our VP in the IMF/World Bank SAP programme. But he has not been alone. The other prominent culprits are: Dr. Kwesi Botchwey and Dr. Joe Abbey – doctors of economic treason - and the unconscionably greedy Kwesi Jonah of Asante Gold infamy. Between them, these traitors have conspired with the IMF/WB/TNCs to take Ghana through a torturous treadmill of economic manipulations. Result: the total bankrupting of our national commodity and industrial base.

The writer had occasion to debate with both Kwesi Botchwey (1982) and Joe Abbey (at a meeting in Glasgow when he was Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK) about why they historically ignored the self-reliant proposals mentioned earlier. They opined Ghana will not embrace the IMF-SAP permanently. The SAP temporary allowed us to address structural incoherencies and displacements, while gaining us fiscal and material support in the interim. At some point it could be reversed.

After thirty one years of retrogressively undermining our state sector and private industries; of the bankrupting of our commodity exports, is it not clear enough to our discerning economists, political leaders and critical public observers that Ghana is going nowhere in a hurry on this high-speed-train-with-no-breaks IMF-SAP/WB/TNC circus show? Do we not now know the full impact of the above fallacious assumptions conned us by Botchwey, Abbey and Arthur?

To conclude, with the appointment of Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur as VP, it is obvious Ghana is even more impaled by the fangs of the IMF-SAP/World Bank/TNC-concocted economic vampire. Puzzlingly, and to the obvious elation of both the NDC-NPP neocolonial political leadership, the public is not challenging this clear national economic betrayal. Rather, it allows itself to be led by the nose through daily public debates of facile, mundane, party political and ridiculous narratives. Alas, the noses of our public are stuck deep in the antebellum slavery grip of their current mutually destructive Election Petition. This basically is a cyclical power struggle for either the NDC or NPP to be legally empowered to continue another four years of futilely implementing the IMF-SAP. They both lack the innovation, design and planning compass and courage of leadership to lunch a Development and Modernisation Programme (DMP) that will transform our nation into an industrial giant. They are bereft of serious discourse on national development in form, content and practical enforcement.

More importantly than the wasteful Court Petitions, Ghana’s continued relationship with the IMF-SAP/World Bank/western TNCs is the battle field to which all serious individuals and political commentators and activists must direct their critical enquiry. We must be focused on challenging these. I don't care what detractors think. It is the patriotic duty of all of us to defend our national and continental interest. One is either for Ghana’s/Africa’s self-determination or for our total subjugation to foreign diktats. Chose your side and help or oppose our nation and continent's slow death!

Columnist: Kofi of Africa