Mon, 01 May 2023 Feature Article

Building the Ghana we want together

Building the Ghana we want together

The manifesto items of the political parties in Ghana must outline the practical measures they will implement to build the Ghana the citizens want. Current happenings in the management of public finances, the economy, and natural resources obviously indicate that the current Ghana is not the destination desired for the citizens at independence.

That is to say, everything points to the conclusion that politicians have missed the opportunity to build the Ghana we want alone, and it is time to build the country together with its citizens through civil society participation. Civil society organizations act on behalf of the citizens who lack the luxury of education and the opportunity to demand the provision of enhanced welfare for them. The country is currently experiencing the most difficult challenges and predicaments since it gained independence.

The immediate former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, proposed in the campaign he recently launched that "Ghana’s next leader should exercise sound judgment and be able to make the right calls at the right time." That the new leader "should be one whose heart is filled with compassion for the people and who has the humility to connect with and understand the needs of the people he serves." The reality is that all the political parties that have governed the country in the past relied on their biased policy choices, and the cumulative effect of them is the new experience. It is time to connect suitably with civil society and academic research institutions to formulate development-oriented solutions for the advancement of the country.

Politicians are not democratic in their policy decisions, and that has been a hindrance in the proffering of solutions to address critical development challenges. The political parties and their followers have demonstrated their exceptional abilities to fail. Their failures have manifested in the management of the economy of Ghana, in fighting corruption and financial malfeasance at the MDAs, and in fighting and minimizing galamsey operations and their dire consequences on the environment. In building the Ghana we want together, the next government must have inclusive governance systems and structures to accommodate divergent views and the expert opinions of people from civil society and academia.

The polarization of state institutions, mismanagement of public financial resources, institutionalization of corruption, and laissez-faire approach adopted to fight corruption did not just start a couple of days ago. The policies of the political parties to fight corruption and mismanagement have not been effective for more than two (2) decades. It clearly signifies that the politicians do not have corporate solutions to the problems of the republic.

Just like "dead goats", the politicians in Ghana have their heads in the clouds in response to strikes and protests by the citizens in response to bad governance. In building the Ghana we want together, political leaders must not neglect the remonstrations of the citizens; they indicate bad governance choices that do not serve the interest of the populace. The complaints of the citizens do not get the attention they deserve, but such complaints sometimes have the required solutions to the economic and governance challenges of the state.

None of the political parties can promise to keep their government officials' behavior and relationships with the citizens controlled. Government officials of all political parties exhibit high levels of greed, corruption, and arrogance of power, as well as engage in activities that have conflict of interest characteristics. The next government must demonstrate humility to accommodate useful criticisms, first from the leader (the president) and then from the appointed officials. Government officials act as if development ideas are exclusive to them. It is time for people in authority to be democratic in their policy formulation by incorporating the empirically grounded opinions of people in civil society and academia.

The Ghana being built by the politicians is not the one sought by the citizens. So, the next government must collaborate exceptionally with the citizens through the civil society groups in the country and the research institutions to find solutions to the endless development challenges in Ghana. Politicians have failed to build the Ghana we want on their own; they need to innovate the governance system of the country by involving the citizens in the process of development.

Emmanuel Kwabena Wucharey
Economics Tutor, Advocate, and Religion Enthusiast.

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