11.02.2023 Feature Article

Is Ghana practicing a Plutocracy or Kakistocracy or both?

Dr. John-Baptist NaahDr. John-Baptist Naah
11.02.2023 LISTEN

The continuous worsening of Ghana’s economic situation and decline in moral fundamentals provokes more questions than answers under this Akufo-Addo-Bawumia-led regime. I then ask the question: ‘Is Ghana practicing a plutocracy or kakistocracy or both?’.

For purposes of simplicity and clarity of my presentation in this short piece, I want to briefly define these 2 terms: plutocracy and kaskistocracy. Kakistocracy is a term first coined as early as in the seventeenth century and used by Peter Bowlers in 1985 to refer to a government run by the worst, least qualified, unprincipled or most unscrupulous citizens in his book called ‘The superior person's book of words’. On the other hand, plutocracy means a form of government in which wealthy people use their wealth to rule.

This particular NPP government headed by President Akufo-Addo came to power on the back of unprecedented promises to Ghanaians as well as to deal with some social cankers such as corruption, over borrowing and nepotism. Indeed, that is all governance is about, which is putting in place effective development-oriented policies to make the lives of citizens better. However, the unfolding events in all facets of our nation are getting worse and worse for the past six years under President Akufo’s presidency and counting.

Apart from the inability of this government to fight corruption, nepotism as well as unprecedented borrowing, the ongoing domestic debt exchange programme (DDEP) is breaking the camel’s back! This DDEP exercise has incredibly exposed the President and the Finance Minister for their intransigence and insensitivity to vulnerable individual boldholders and pensioners’ plight and Ghanaians as a whole.

Are the worst, least qualified, unprincipled or most unscrupulous citizens or wealthy people who do not bother about the less privileged ones governing us? Why should President Akufo-Addo continue to keep Ken Ofori-Atta when it is crystally clear that the latter (Ofori-Atta) seems not to turn the self-inflicted economic mess around? Even the picketing of fragile pensioners at the Finance Ministry is not shameful to this government! In fact, the loud silence of the President and vice President, Dr. Bawumia is extremely worrying! It is sad that the Presidency is not willing to sacrifice by reducing duplicated Ministries via a serious reshuffle and yet expect ordinary Ghanaians to burden share in the DDEP. This cannot be fair. It appears Ghanaians are not angry enough.

I do not want to sincerely believe that plutocrats or kakistocrats are ruling this country. Nothing seems right at all under the prevailing style of leadership of President Akufo-Addo. Well-meaning Ghanaians must speak up loudly now against the dwindling democratic fortunes of our dear nation under this regime before it is too late to ameliorate the situation. The former Chief Justice, Gloria Akufo speaking lately on the DDEP is symbolic and appreciated to a large extend but not enough.

I will rather like to leave this question for numerous Ghanaians and the reading public to answer it in the context of prevailing economic and developmental challenges of Ghana for themselves.

It is obviously not the best of times to be a proud Ghanaian. The ‘breaks’ of semblance of plutocratic and kakistocratic governance must be pulled to take stock and redirect energies and purpose for the sake of our dear country.