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29.10.2004 Feature Article

The Importance of Continuity in Ghana

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As a Ghanaian living abroad and whose last trip to Ghana was five years ago, my recent trips to Ghana in the last two years have been a revelation. Each trip has gotten better and better.

For the first time this year, I absolutely fell in love with my country. I appreciated all the good things the country offered. The quagmire was why my fellow countrymen complained all the time about how hard things are. Is it because the days of making easy money are long over, I wondered.

Why is it that there are so many foreigners living in Ghana today who love it so much and see all the positives the country has to offer. We only see the negatives. The argument that foreigners have more capital just doesn't hold.

One of the best achievements of the NPP government has been to tighten fiscal policy and reduce inflation and interest rates. This has forced the banks for the first time to operate more as banks, that is, marketing and selling products their customers want and lending money to businesses, rather than just buying and selling treasury bills as was the norm in the NDC era. Businesses are now being challenged to become more dynamic.

Most successful small and medium scale businesses in the world are set up with very little capital. Lack of capital has never been a hindrance to business success. Now that we clearly have a government that wants to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit, what we now need to do as a country is to put our thinking caps on. We need to generate good ideas, use good management, and exhibit lots of hard work and creativity in implementing our business ideas. By being more entrepreneurial, we can create more jobs and help develop the country.

We forget that Rome wasn't built in a day. All successful economies have evolved over a period of time. Continuity is very important. The main reason why most Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and China are developed and have done so well economically is because of the continuity of their governments. Look at where they are today.

Therefore, why do Ghanaians feel that after just four years the economy would be rosy. Like waving a magic wand, our standard of living would automatically rise. When NPP came into power in 2000, the economy was in dire straits, with wildly fluctuating currency rates and empty coffers. Slowly but surely the economy is improving. This will take time. Off course, life for all Ghanaians will be hard initially but we will eventually see the fruits of this new direction of government.

Although more needs to be done, booming stock markets, low inflation and a stable currency are good signs of economic success and things to come. Investment in the country is growing. Liquidity in the system at the moment is low. Simply because contrary to what people think, the reality is there just isn't any money for the government to splash around. All revenue and attempts to raise more finance are geared towards developing the infrastructure of the country, new roads, schools etc.

NDC, the main oppositions' election campaign has been all rhetoric. More like gutter politics. Just throwing insults at the NPP government. Nobody knows what their polices are, what they stand for or what they would do to improve the standard of living for Ghanaians if elected. Do we want a party as government who cannot even be bothered to articulate their polices to the public? We deserve better.

JA Kufour and his NPP government have prepared a solid foundation. May they continue. It is absolutely vital and important for our beloved Ghana that they continue. After eight years we can judge how successful they have been in turning the country around and raising the standard of living for Ghanaians. Anything else would be a disaster for the country and set us back to the stone ages. Is that what we want?

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

Lydia Naa Ayele Provencale
Lydia Naa Ayele Provencale, © 2004

The author has 2 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: LydiaNaaAyeleProvencale

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