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15.01.2005 Feature Article

Ghana: The New Republic-Just do it-Get it done.

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The Ghanaian public decided that a second term was good for the nation with respect to the NPP government. This four-year-term should be one driven by results and it is believed that the way forward should be to move or shift from the “soft” issues such as freedom of speech etc. We now need to move into tangible records. Actions with results that have impact and are really measurable.

In the face of the elections it became evident that the country is seeking more, but especially, an enhancement in the quality of life, from an economic viewpoint. We cannot continue to approach the affairs of the nation in a lukewarm manner. Some of the issues needing a sense of urgency in terms of responsive management are as follows:

The cost of doing business in Ghana must be reduced with a sense of urgency. This is has direct impact on the policy which intends to make the private sector the corner stone of our economy. Currently, the situation on the ground makes this simply a goal. No measure of relevance supports the fact that we have an efficient system with respect to setting up a business, and all statistics indicate the cost associated with this is extremely high. Compared to several of our African nations, we still have a high cost and cumbersome process when it comes to starting a business. The whole process must be revamped and what does it take to benchmark the best system in the world and modify it to suit our local situation without compromising effectiveness and efficiency? Information to make this happen is plentiful. Get it done!

The security issue must also be contained. We just have too many unresolved issues. The aggressive PR campaign of the police is not enough. People still feel insecure, they do not respect the police and the police themselves continue to act in a manner that still reminds us of the past. Those at the top seem to want to do well for the image and effectiveness of the police. However, several “foot soldiers” are not behaving or performing in accordance to the expectation. The public must have a way to continue to pass on their opinion to the police in an effective manner. There must be respect and trust coming from the experience of the people. However, it is also worthy to note that if all those ideals, with respect to having a professional organization, effective in it discharge of duty, stay with those at the top, without filtering down to the ranks, then in effect we have a weak and non-responsive leadership. This is not what we want. We want a responsive, fair and open-minded police force that acts in a professional manner with respect to making sure that citizens of the nation abide by the law. Get it done!!!!!!!!

The banking system in the Ghana needs vast improvement and it is believed that the government needs to monitor the lending practices of these banks. It may be in the interest of the government to establish or provide seed money for the establishment of credit bureaus so as to create the environment where we have a consistent approach to lending based on the use of some credit history and other variables that are known to those who seek loans.

The inability of many to secure credit simply is not healthy for the growth of business in the country. And until there is some other system, such as a government guarantee of sorts, these big banks will forever, find other means to have their money work for them. For the sake of small business development, the banking community needs to be “leaned on” to support the desired economic growth through SME's, which have the hardest time securing needed working capital or seed money. Get it done!

HIV/Aids policy must now be a part of our economic models. It will not go away and we should not let our work to educate diminish. It is in the country's interest to continue or actually get into a more aggressive campaign, seeking innovative ways to reach those who are most vulnerable, and the population at large. Also look at the situation in countries where tourism has been big, and see the relationship. If we aspire to make tourism important to our economy, then it may be wise to include aids awareness and education as part of a comprehensive policy. Get it done!!!

All educational institutions may be looked at in terms of upgrading, both in terms of infrastructure and course content, but it is believed that the revamping of the vocational schools and polytechnics should be the primary focus. We need to educate people who come out of school, with skills that immediately can be engaged and used. This is not to diminish the university education but with respect to our proposed economic growth and current needs, together with a “poor quality” artisan human capital base, the vocational institutions and polytechnics must receive the highest of attention and resources. We produce several graduates, which our economy cannot absorb but with the right polytechnic training, the youth can graduate with skills that are relevant to our economy and can be employed immediately, or for that money with capital can create employment for themselves. Get it done!!

The honeymoon period for this government is over, and it is time to start setting records that we can feel, touch, see and smell. We are not looking for a pie in the sky but it is believed that we deserve better and can do better.

The pressure is on for the government to perform, and as such, in its agenda for the next four years, we hope that there will be a strong result oriented focus and less politics. Do not create a backlash for democracy. We believe that with a focused team of competent ministers, we can get it done! Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Ako Folson
Ako Folson, © 2005

The author has 58 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: AkoFolson

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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