14.03.2022 Feature Article

Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta in Tamale: Is Ghana Learning Genuine Democracy?

Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta in Tamale: Is Ghana Learning Genuine Democracy?
14.03.2022 LISTEN

Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta’s Town Hall Meeting with the people of Tamale (JoyNews ) explaining the e-Levy, is the first attempt I have seen in the post-Rawlings or even post-Nkrumah era at real grass roots democracy! Finally an elected or appointed politician finds time to dialogue, in humility, with the voters and taxpayers of Ghana!

Finally in 40 or 50 or more years somebody thinks of the people of Ghana as human beings. He even got a few applauses. Bravo Ken!

It is very sad how we Africans have abused democracy.

Democracy is really not that complicated. It works along the Akan principle of “Do wo yonko” or “Dwen wo yonko ho”- meaning to love thy neighbor or think of your neighbor.

  1. Be humble and talk to the people!
  2. Explain things out why we need the money for the school building, and
  3. Seek the consent of the people and represent them!

From my standpoint as a senior to Ken, I can say that finally the NPP boys are realizing what real democracy is all about!

GO TO THE PEOPLE and explain things to them!

  1. Never sit in your office and do the Math and think it’s enough to make policies and shove it down the throat of people! No!

And let me add one advice:

  1. Be humble and lead by example and cut down those ostentatious and wasteful executive spending habits!

Having listened to Ken Ofori Atta and his humble appeal, I now would support this e-LEVY.

Yes, it is the easiest way to collect taxes since the same leadership before Ken have refused or failed miserably to organize and manage Ghana. Ghanaian politicians have all failed to organize logical planning by naming streets (until 2006 by Mahama’s administration), and logical house numbering in our towns and cities. They have failed to create databases for towns and districts, and they have failed to re-install ELECTED TOWN COUNCILS and MAYORS and DCEs.

I will advise Ken and Nana and all the NPP folks to please think of the people first! Let’s make democracy work!

1. Stop considering yourselves like Royalty of Ghana! No!

2. Cut out the insensitive ostentatious lifestyles of Private Charter Jets, traveling in large entourages of expensive vehicles, and

3. Cut out some of the ostentatious expenditures for elected officials and abuse of the public purse such as

  • 400,000 ex-gratia every 4 years,
  • 33,000 salary for Presidential wives
  • Only the most expensive V8s or SUVs costing $100,000 for elected and appointed me with Free petrol.

Once people see that you consider yourselves as fellow human beings also, they will respond in kind and pay taxes willingly!

Dr. K. Danso (Mar.12, 2022)