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06.11.2003 Feature Article

Ghana... Far from a Success Story

Ghana... Far from a Success Story
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In reading this article, the web version of The Chronicle, Volume 12, No. 44 - Monday, November 3, 2003, titled “ BANDA CRIES FOUL, Antrak Air can’t fly ... Fingers point at sabotage: “, it is clear that we still do not have what it takes to get even close to a well functioning country, let alone the business hub of West Africa.

As stated, in reading the article, which many shall read and take informed decisions from, be they local or foreign investors, it is evident that nothing much has changed. Government is at odds with local big business.

First of all, if a businessman of this stature has to appeal to the president of Ghana, Asantehene, and the Minister of Transport to get a petition responded to, we are in trouble. How many business people can do this? It indicates that we still do not have a viable mechanism to resolve business disputes, which is crucial for local business development.

Common sense should tell us that no foreign investor would see this as an acceptable environment to doing business. Time and time again, we hear contradictory positions of government. Why should there not be a process in place by now to address in a fair manner a dispute of this nature? Arbitration courts should be in abundance by now, at least in each region.

Also, at a time when we have a failing national airline, Ghanair, which government now has decided not to liquidate, and also at a time when we want to develop and nurture tourism and industry, why can we not see that this venture is a good venture, with big implications?

This man, Banda, is actually doing some level of vertical integration, which simply strategically places his organization in a right position-Sea, land and air. People go to Harvard Business School to learn how to do this and cannot deliver, and we have a person (local) who obviously seeks to expand his business empire and we thwart his efforts, in the “golden age of business”?

None of this makes any sense, and it is about time this president decides to really roll up his sleeves, stop the lip service, and sift through the pile of incompetent administrators in the country, because as far as I am concerned this whole thing stinks, from the perspective of a businessperson.

It is obvious that the decision of GCAA, regardless of the technical issue at hand is shallow, since it attacks broader government strategy, which has serious macro and micro economic implications.

This government must understand that unless, we have local entrepreneurs who are successful, no one will come from the outside to invest, because unlike the selfish African mind, the western investor, needs some assurance that there are others who are equally comfortable in the system, since this creates a strange sense of security, before they invest.

Yes, a lot of things have to do with money, which government needs, but we also need individuals with broad and level headed minds to run our institutions. It is always evident that we do have some serious lapses, in terms of the operational capacity of some of those at the helm of things, and I wonder if this will ever change?

It is important for anyone in government to understand that people make analysis from several sources, such as news, and news of this kind has the ability to influence broader analysis for the country. In this day and age, perception is always the reality till the record is set straight, and even then, some irreparable damage could have been done already.

This should be the motivation for government to be responsive and move expeditiously with all issues, and not just those that have the potential of creating public relations damage.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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