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Navigating the Transition to a 24-Hour Economy: A Daunting Task for a Leader with a 4-Year Term

Feature Article Navigating the Transition to a 24-Hour Economy: A Daunting Task for a Leader with a 4-Year Term
THU, 23 NOV 2023 LISTEN

Implementing a 24-hour economy in a developing nation like Ghana requires a well-thought-out approach. A 24-hour economy refers to an economic system where businesses and services operate around the clock, beyond traditional daytime hours, to meet the demand for goods and services at any time of day or night. While it may be feasible in specific sectors like healthcare, emergency services, or transportation, which already do it in a limited sense, expanding it across all industries might face formidable challenges. Factors such as infrastructural limitations, workforce readiness, and socio-cultural considerations need careful consideration.

Understanding the lag time between policy implementation and tangible results is crucial. A leader with a limited four-year mandate must balance the urgency of implementing policies for long-term results with the need to show tangible progress within that timeframe. Understanding the lag time between policy implementation and tangible outcomes is crucial for managing expectations and setting realistic goals. Mr. Mahamah should focus on laying a solid foundation for sustainable change, communicating the vision effectively, and initiating policies that demonstrate immediate positive effects. Emphasizing incremental milestones and short-term wins can help maintain momentum and showcase progress to Ghanaians, even within the constraints of a limited tenure.

A transition to a 24-Hour Economy involves multifaceted changes encompassing structural, cultural, and infrastructural aspects that necessitate a strategic and gradual implementation process.

At its core, establishing a 24-hour economy demands intricate alterations in regulations, infrastructure development, workforce adaptation, and societal norms. These changes are not instantaneous; they evolve gradually over time. Essential aspects like infrastructure improvement—such as enhancing transportation, bolstering security, and ensuring round-the-clock services—require substantial investments and prolonged efforts.

Cultural shifts are equally pivotal. Adapting the workforce to unconventional hours and fostering a culture where extended operations are embraced may face initial resistance. It involves comprehensive training programs and adjustments that unfold gradually.

Specific to Ghana, economic and social challenges, including unemployment, fair labor practices, and societal expectations, present hurdles that must be addressed for a seamless transition. Mr. Mahama's limited four-year tenure underscores the need to prioritize foundational issues that set the stage for a 24-hour economy rather than aiming for immediate implementation.

Initiating fundamental reforms, establishing frameworks, and making strategic investments are crucial steps to pave the way for a smooth transition beyond Mr. Mahama's tenure. The delicate balance between addressing immediate needs and envisioning long-term goals becomes paramount in such circumstances.

A thriving 24-hour economy intertwines economic structures, governmental policies, and industry demands. Industries like healthcare, emergency services, hospitality, transportation, and digital services operate around the clock in a limited fashion. This is due to their needs or their global clientele. This exemplifies the adaptability required to sustain services and manage global operations.

Transitioning to a 24-hour economy in the public sector requires careful consideration of productivity. Meticulous planning is essential to avoid inflating public wage bills without productivity gains. The current scenario reveals a significant imbalance in the public sector wage bill, accounting for nearly 50% of government tax revenue. Meanwhile, the public sector workforce constitutes only 3% of the population. So where will Mr. Mahamah find more money to support more public sector employment at night when they do not do that much during the day?

In the private sector, addressing indiscipline and cultivating work ethics is paramount. This involves a multifaceted approach, including strict labor regulations, skill enhancement programs, and stakeholder collaboration to enforce ethical work behavior standards.

The government can play a pivotal role in this transition: Providing incentives for productivity improvements, supporting skill enhancement programs, and collaborating with industry associations to set ethical standards are vital steps. Aligning these strategies can foster a culture of discipline, ethics, and productivity within the private sector, facilitating the transition to a 24-hour economy.

Yet, challenges such as heightened crime rates loom large. Safety concerns impact employee safety and customer confidence, potentially necessitating increased security measures and higher operational costs.

Furthermore, high crime rates affect infrastructure, investment, and the business environment. Effectively addressing violent crimes through law enforcement, community engagement, and robust prevention strategies becomes imperative to create a safe environment conducive to a thriving 24-hour economy.

In conclusion, transitioning to a 24-hour economy demands a delicate balance between economic demand, governmental intervention, and addressing challenges like crime rates. Mr. Mahamah should focus on dealing with corrupt practices draining the country's coffers, especially the public procurement system, instead of all these ideas that might not see the light of day.

To pave the way for a 24-hour economy, we need robust infrastructure, flexible regulations, and technological innovation. Supporting small businesses, prioritizing safety, and fostering a vibrant nighttime culture are crucial. Creating flexible zones and sustainable initiatives form the backbone of a robust and well-rounded economy that works non-stop.

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