A Leap into the Future: President JD Mahama’s Vision for Ghana.
By Cletus D Kuunifaa
I trust that no amount of idle, empty or vile talk can put off the President’s focus and poise to turn the economy around. We have been on the threshold for far too long of entering the middle level income economy status and I can vouch that this is the time. This is it. A lot of indicators show that and renown economists attest to that.
Instead of us rallying around the President to achieve this feat for the nation, after all, doesn’t Ghana’s entry into a middle level income nation status a success story for all Ghanaians? Yet, there are some fellows, as usual, plotting to derail his attention to achieving this goal.
The last time the President was in Nigeria at the behest of ECOWAS and held a fruitful discussion on the sideline of his schedule with former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil. According to the report, the two discussed some concrete steps that could be taken to boost agriculture and food self-sufficiency in Ghana, with lessons from successes achieved in agriculture in Brazil during the administration of Mr. Lula. The former President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva made a pledge to support Ghana’s efforts to implement policies and build infrastructure that guarantees sustainable development. (See General News, May 9, 2014) http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=308787&comment=10436981#com
Some folks read reason into this and rendered disparaging comments about the pledge made by the former President. These individuals even questioned how he will assist Ghana since he is no longer in charge of Brazil’s purse.
These fellows are so shortsighted and obsessed in their impish minds not to think that support does not come only in material aid and in cash. We are talking here about ideas, proven ideas, potent ideas, good decisions that inform policy formulation. Indeed, we are talking about policies that have been tried and tested elsewhere.
As some experts have observed, former President Lula’s track record as a successful leader lay in his vision and his invaluable contribution in turning the Brazilian economy around. Mr. Lula therefore has the leverage. As a former president who transformed Brazil into the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nation status, he is got proven successful valuable ideas that he could share with current President JD Mahama.
The BRICS are the five major emerging national economies of which former President Lula stirred his country into. Simply put, the BRICS members are all developing or newly industrialized countries and are distinguished by their fast growing economies.
It is common knowledge that subsistence agriculture will send Ghana nowhere other than massive commercial agriculture. This, we all know. We also know that a massive infrastructural development is needed in Ghana for a leap into the future.
Former President Lula’s experience with Brazil’s transformation will be valuable lessons for President Mahama to pick, review and possibly apply what is relevant for us in our situation.
That is why when you read about such proposed intervention from these experienced leaders and you hear people lambast it, one wonders the intellectual locus of such lambasts and that sends unpatriotic shock down the spine?
Our first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah envisioned Ghana to be a force to reckon with on all fronts at the comity of nations and did not live to see that vision he set for Ghana. Yet, we can attest to his legacy of massive infrastructural development à savoir; Akosombo Dam, Tema Motorway, Tema Township, Volta Aluminum Smelting Plant, all of these which cannot go unmentioned as part of his great accomplishment for the country.
It is interesting to note, we even had educated intelligentsia at that time (in Busia?) who went to a Senate hearing in the US to tell the US Government that they should not give us money to build the Akosombo Dam because Nkrumah was a communist? And this is on record? ( See General News, May 13, 2014) http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=309115
Had Dr. NKrumah existed until today, I have no doubt that Ghana would have reached a certain stage of our developmental agenda process. His 7-year development plan would have seen fruition. Unfortunately, his vision for Ghana was cut short for the contested reasons best known, yet controversially responsible for his demise.
President JD Mahama has set a vision for Ghana: reaching a middle level income nation status. He is inspiring all of us to put our energies and intellect towards achieving that vision. That transformation demands sacrifice. All of us must pitch in. That is why the Economic dialogue was so vital to solicit the ideas that might work toward that vision. There was/is no need sitting on the fence. Let us get serious, because the ideas that would emerge from the dialogue would be beneficial to all and sundry in Ghana, regardless of political party persuasion.
Cletus D Kuunifaa
Transformation Management Consultancy (TMC) Group. Can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or Follow him on twitter @ckuunifaa
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