Nkrumah's Vision for Solar Energy & Development: Memo for Ghana

Tue, 15 Sep 2015 Source: Lungu, Prof.

Dear Ghana,

"...leaders and planners should not...mandate future governments to any program of action under the unreformed 1992 Constitution. When they do, it will not be to any "practicable" effect as the record... shows...That mandate ought to be more strongly and precisely stated in the amended Constitution, first. After all, today's Chief Justice will not sit in that Chair forever. Nor, will the NDC and all the "Superior" and "Inferior" judges...In fact, as Anas Aremeyaw Anas is now showing us, many of those judges who are behind the "40-Year Development Plan" that leaders and planners expect will kiss and bless that document may already be in prison before the ink is dry on that document, if Ghana is half a serious country the People think Ghana is...", Prof Lungu, 12 Sep 15).

The other day, many online readers were surprised to read that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana was actually talking about solar energy and other scientific and technological initiatives 51 years ago1. We are saying that is evidence of "Strategic Forecasting".

"Strategic Forecasting" is an old concept with a new name, better methods, and more effective tools. The world, after all, has advanced technologically and scientifically, as we've seen varying improvements in the living conditions of humans since 1964, the year Kwame Nkrumah made the speech at Kwabenya.

Unfortunately, one "forecast" by Nkrumah that has come to reality is the solar energy revolution, but for other countries. Sadly, the scorecard shows Ghana has totally failed in this regard because in 2015 the entire 92,000 square-mile (238,000 square kilometer) of Ghana, all practically sitting on top of the Equator, has only 2MW of solar power for its 30 million residents. On the other hand, the United Kingdom, practically the same size as Ghana and sitting in a higher temperate zone, has 2,900MW (2.9 GW) of solar power for its 64 million residents.

Operationally, as far as we are concerned, when applied to human and physical development in space, "Strategic Forecasting" is a spatial "Development Plan" with a focus. It is a "Development Plan" with a sharply defined duration (not this latter-day "40-Year Development Plan"). Above all, it is a Development Plan for the future by the People built on current human values. Those values are expressed and ranked freely and openly by the People themselves: From the Town/Village, to the District, to the Region. The Plans are then moderated at the level of the Nation to achieve economies of scale, egalitarianism, sustainability, and above all, measurable improvements in the lives of all the People.

A national "Development Plan" should not begin in Accra, in the halls of the Judiciary and Parliament, then leap-frog to "important" regional capitals, and back to Accra, to the offices of the planners and technocrats for the summary/modular "40-Year Development Plan". That is, unless, the political party actually runs on the main essence of that plan as part of their own political platform during an election, as Nkrumah's CPP did more than once.

We are saying that the most elementary lesson from the inter-disciplinary field of Planning the last 60 years is this: "Development Plan" for a country, region, town, or village cannot begin with "values" pompously decreed in a 20-year old document (or Constitution!). Least of all, a Constitution no objective person on the land is even proud of. Such is the Rawlings Constitution, with all those unreformed warts and the "loop-hole" to which the NDC planners have now hitched their "40-Year" dream plan.

In 2015, in this Solar Age, leaders and planners should not pick and choose which warts in a condemned Constitution they love that best support their pet ideas about development. After all, it is all about "Development with the People", not "Development for the People".

And yes, it should certainly not be about "Development with Political Parties". After all, practically 95% of those political parties do not represent even 5 percent of the People!

More important, leaders and planners should not, cannot, mandate future governments to any program of action under the unreformed 1992 Constitution. When they do, it will not be to any "practicable" effect, as the record clearly shows. Ghana needs an even stronger law in the Constitution, complementary to the politically tinged "causing financial loss" to the state. That mandate ought to be more strongly and precisely stated in the amended Constitution, first. After all, today's Chief Justice will not sit in that Chair forever. Nor, will the NDC and all the "Superior" and "Inferior" judges under this same NDC government. In fact, as Anas Aremeyaw Anas is now showing us, many of those judges who are behind the "40-Year Development Plan" that leaders and planners expect will kiss and bless that document may already be in prison before the ink is dry on that document, if Ghana is half a serious country the People think Ghana is.

In fact, as Anas Aremeyaw Anas is now showing us, many of those judges the planners and politicians behind the "40-Year Development Plan" expect to kiss and bless that document may be going to prison before the ink is dry on that document, if Ghana is half a serious country the People think Ghana is.

Fundamentally, a "National Development Plan" should inform us that if we do "X" and "Z" within "Y" years, we can expect improvements in "A", "B", "C" conditions of the social, economic, transportation, power, education, etc. type(s), for ourselves (and our children). More important, it is all about development that benefits the people who own the resources in the country, allowing entrepreneurs to make a decent return on their investments, and still protecting resources for future generations. The time horizon for full realization of each "Plan" ought not be tagged to nearly 75% of the lifetime of a person's life span, long after politicians who made fundamental decisions about "The Plan" are gone from the scene, in most cases probably dead and long forgotten.

So, the way we see it, the Peoples' "Development Plan" is actually a record of current needs of the society expressed by the People themselves, extrapolated into a defined, but time-limited future so they can see in their own lives what was achieved, at what cost to themselves. The "Development Plan" is a definition of the problems the People see, a scoping of the scale of the problems, execution of the "Plan" among alternatives to solve those problems within their own lives time, and evaluation of all those actions that re-adjust to more better improve conditions. As such, tying them all in the "backbone" is a fundable expenditure (Capital Improvement) plan the people can understand, support, and fund for themselves.

Sadly, today, we can say that most Ghanaian officials have been joking since the overthrow of Nkrumah. They cannot bring themselves to admit that Nkrumah's vision for economic, social, and political development are precisely the ideas objective Ghana will adopt. They are the ideas they will adopt and apply if development planning is to mean anything at all to them, and not just to benefit a few, the rich, the elite, and corrupt judges in their imported comical wigs worn to impress only fools and absent-minded lawyers and court clerks who hide official files.

The funny thing: Kwame Nkrumah had as advisors some of the world's leading economists, social theorists, and judges of evidence. In fact, one of them, Sir Arthur Lewis, from St. Lucia, would go on to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in 1979 for his work development economics, precisely the ideas and programs Kwame Nkrumah and the People envisioned for Ghana, and enshrined in the 7-Year Development Plan2.

Sir Arthur Lewis proposed that for Ghana, Jamaica and other newly-independent states:

"... Foreign investors should be encouraged to introduce modern technology...and access to external markets...Practically speaking, industrialization had to start by addressing the domestic market, whether in Jamaica or in Africa, where Lewis, as the first economic advisor to the newly established State of Ghana, recommended import substitution combined with agricultural development..." (Kari Polanyi Levitt, UN Chronicle)3.

That was in essence the Kwame Nkrumah development program in bare bones!

But, what do latter day Rawlings/PNDC/NPP/NDC governments do: They prefer nameless "professional" consultancy firms from overseas with front-offices Accra who will merely crank out reports to validate their self-serving plans from the get go!

So, we want you, dear reader, to chew on this bit of data that has "Development Plan" all written over it.

Just the other day, it was reported that the size of the Ghana public debt is now 71% of the annual GDP, just like it was precisely in 1992. You know, 1992 was the year Mr. Rawlings decreed in his Constitution that:

"...The salary, allowances, facilities, pensions and gratuity referred to in clauses (3) and (4) shall be exempt from tax.." for the President of Ghana and numerous higher-paid government officials.../.../...As far as practicable, a government shall continue and execute projects and programmes commenced by the previous Governments..."

Talking about a wart-infested-Constitution that can only be remedied by amendment!

We reckon Mr. Mahama and his NDC government, including Dr. Nii Moi Thompson of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), at the end of all the effort, will brilliantly calculate for all the People the taxes they must pay. They will happily show us all how much in current and additional income taxes every worker, teacher, farmer, fisherman, carpenter, miner, civil servant, tax collector, judge, and entrepreneur must pay each year of their "40-Year Development Plan", while President Mahama and the numerous higher-paid government officials pay zero (O) income taxes all those years.

We all recall Ghana had substantial "debt forgiveness" in the mid 2000s under the NPP government. But now, the Debt-to-GNP ratio is back up, at 71%.

Here is the rub, though!

After all the spending on Akosombo Dam/VRA infrastructure, public education, transportation, agriculture, defense, healthcare and hospitals, etc., the size of the Ghana public debt was less than 25% of the GDP of Ghana when Nkrumah was overthrown in 1966. That, after the immoral conspiracy by the Cocoa Trusts in the West that punished Ghana with disastrous world cocoa prices for almost a decade, while promoting competition by other countries, and assuring Ghana they would pay at least $660 per ton up to 1970. So, from a high $1,000 per ton in 1958, the price of cocoa decreased to about $500 in 1964 when Nkrumah was at Kwabenya, then to a low $210 per ton in 1966, when Nkrumah was overthrown in February of that year. Miraculously, during April, just weeks after the overthrow, the producer price for cocoa in London jumped to nearly $500 per ton.

As such, the solar research and revolution did not even begin for Ghana because Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown by a military-police-civilian group of traitors recruited by foreign countries protecting their own interests. The Ankrah-Kotoka-Afrifa-Busia military-police-civilian dictatorship jettisoned Ghana's 7-Development Plan then under implementation.

From that day, Ghana has been in their dungeon ever since, even as Mr. Rawlings would later take advantage of their "New Liberal Slave Ship" and reap rewards simply because he did not directly have a hand in the overthrow of Ghana's first popularly-elected government.

So, 51 years later (after Kwabenya), Ghana did not leap-frog industrial development, transportation infrastructure, education capacity, health administration, electricity/power production, legal administration, etc., an entire century as Dr. Kwame Nkrumah "Strategic Forecasting" and the development plan promised Ghanaians. In fact, compared to Singapore and the Asian Tigers, Ghana appears to have hopped just 10 years, all those 51 years. (The confusion at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the symptoms of the "New Liberal Slave Ship" being perpetrated on Ghanaians under the NDC government, after similar con-job under the NPP government. The confused "Academy" does not have a clue which way is right, left, or forward!).

Meanwhile, latter day political-economic-social neophytes continue to coast on the investments Nkrumah made. The investments include Akosombo Dam/VRA and more important, the Ghana Unitary Vision and State that some of them (Danquah-Busia-Dombo-Confederates) strongly opposed. Then there are others who bought into the Nkrumah legacy only for show, and to co-opt the Nkrumah legacy (Rawlings).

We see the so-called "40-Year Development Plan" by the NDC as another trick by the Mahama-NDC government to co-opt commonsense and the Nkrumah legacy, and to continue rendering asunder the Kwame Nkrumah vision for a strong and independent Ghana by using self-serving portions of the Rawlings wart-ridden decrees and Constitution to serve their own interests. It is all a part of the continuing pattern of the "New Liberal Slave Ship". This Dum-Sor (Dumsor)-No-Power "New Liberal Slave Ship", controlled mostly by people without vision, serve their friends and themselves very well, all expenses paid, and tax-free to boot.

At the same time, the Mahama-NDC government is practically demanding that Ghanaians should fall over themselves ecstatic receiving 5,000,000 barrels out of a total of 265,000,000 barrels, (a mere 1.9%), from the Jubilee Oil Fields. All this, via a fraudulent NPP-engineered contract they, as NDC, do not now care to transparently amend. Rather, just so they can hydrate their private pockets and make foreign oil corporation effective owners of Ghana's oil resources, they have chosen to issue in total secrecy new contracts they call the "Ghana-Hybrid System", while thrashing the world standard Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) found in serious countries, from Indonesia, to Tanzania, to Senegal, to Mauritania, to USA.

So tell us, Mr. Mahama and Amissah-Atta-NDC patrons!

What are truly the virtues of the "Ghana-Hybrid System" Oil contracts you are engineering and approving for Ghana?

How much solar power on top of the stingy 2MW do you all plan to support and help fund this year and next, under Dom-Sor in Kwame Nkrumah's Ghana?

Tell us how much are you spending on the "40-Year Development Plan" initiative, and why!

Why this time?

Tell is why those funds are not being used to build up the capabilities, capacities, professional skill of the planning Districts in the Regions, administrative units that in principle most the heavy-lifting for any "National Development Plan", bottom-up!

Why, and why this time, sirs?

Greetings, Ghana!



Prof Lungu

13 September, 2015


1. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Speech at Kwabenya, 1964, in Francis Kwarteng, "Nkrumah On Solar Energy, Scientific Research, & Science Education", Ghanaweb / ModernGhana, 5 September, 2015.

2. The Ghana 7-Year Development Plan - Get a copy of the 11 March, 1964 Inaugural Speech by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, at (http://www.ghanahero.com/Visions/).

3. Kari Polanyi Levitt, "W. Arthur Lewis: Pioneer of Development Economics", (http://unchronicle.un.org/article/w-arthur-lewis-pioneer-development-economics/).

©Prof Lungu is Ghana-centered/Ghana-Proud.

Prof Lungu is based in Washington DC, USA.

Nkrumah's Vision for Solar Energy & Development: Memo for Ghana.

Brought to you courtesy www.GhanaHero.com©13 Sep 15.

Columnist: Lungu, Prof.