One of the issues that cause the most disaffection, amongst rural demographics nationwide, is the dreadful condition of Ghana's rural road network. That disaffection has the potential to undermine our democratic system. We must therefore look to the private sector for funding the construction of new roads and to rehabilitate all existing roads - as bad roads actually hinder economic activity, cause accidents, damage vehicles and give rise to citizenry-disaffection nationwide.
In media vox populi, after media vox populi, respondents across vast swathes of the GhanaIan countryside, have indicated clearly that they will not vote in upcoming national elections, if existing rural roads where they live and work in, aren't rehabilitated. Clearly they have not had their fair-share of the democracy-dividend: and that is a national security issue.
Some estimates indicate that Ghana's total road network amounts to 67,291 km - out of which 42,394km happen to be rural roads, while 12,785km out of the total are urban roads. Since the 1992 Constitution was promulgated, every administration elected to power, thus far, has done its best to find funding, to enable it build new roads and rehabilitate existing roads.
If funding were available, there is no question that Ghana would have some of the best roads on the surface of the planet Earth - for it is an aspirational-society lucky not to suffer from a dearth of competent entrepreneurs in the road construction sector of its national economy. The time has therefore now come for our ruling-élites to walk the talk, and actualise their mantra-of-convenience that in their view, the private sector ought to be the engine of growth for Ghana's real economy.
Let them now be bold and imaginative - and move to invite road construction companies from around the world, noted for using bleeding-edge technologies, to come and self-finance the building of new tolled roads, and to rehabilitate existing ones, nationwide: and turn Ghana's entire road network into tolled roads to recoup their investments tax free, over a period of 35 years.
In that regard, one humbly recommends the affordable and cutting-edge Ecoroad road construction technology, developed by the giant U.S. road construction company, Terrafusion International, to our ruling-élites. The company can partner private-sector Ghanaian entrepreneurs, the 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces and local communities, nationwide, as joint-venture public private partnership projects (PPP), on a build, operate and transfer basis. If we are to achieve our national-goal of becoming competitive enough to attract the investment needed to make Ghana the hub of manufacturing for the African Continental Free Trade Area, we must have a modern and workd-class tolled roads network nationwide. Self-financing road construction companies will make that possible in shortest possible time--frame.
By Kofi Thompson