Caucus for Democratic Governance, Ghana (CDG-GH), has observed with keen interest, the policy proposal of the 24-hour economy, put forward by HE John Dramani Mahama. A policy proposal which many Ghanaians including TUC see as “game changer”.
40-YEAR DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Studying the lectures of HE John Mahama, at TUC and UPSA among others, we observe that the concept of the 24-hour economy, now being discussed in many developed countries, was first captured by HE John Mahama in his 40-Year Development Plan in 2009, and also in the 2020 NDC-Manifesto. It is important to note, that the 24-hour economy, is a process and not a quantum. A process which depends on specifics and input in its graduation. Indeed HE John Mahama has thought through the concept for several years and has better understanding and appreciation of the specifics and the financial inputs and innovations to success and transformation.
AKUFO ADDO AND ECONOMIC MESS
It is important to note that this vision of HE John Mahama for Ghana from 2009, was truncated by the eight years of mismanagement and economic mess of Akufo Addo and Dr Bawumiah`s government. Seven years of corruption, mismanagement and massive borrowing, has put Ghana into a junk economy with high inflation of 43%, unemployment of 14%, cedi to dollar depreciation of 200% (2017-2023). Abject poverty and plethora of taxes are collapsing Industries and causing hardship. Ghana therefore needs a strategic policy intervention to activate and improve the collapsing economy.
Indeed, the 24-hour economy seeks to bring us out of the economic abyss and to remove and limit the inefficiencies of the 8-hour economy. It is a process through which Ghana`s productive forces will be developed and sustained. A product of innovation, to arrive at efficiency and effectiveness. It seeks to transform and eliminate the misuse of time. Institutions such as Universities, Ministries, and Passport offices depending on their Internally Generated Funds, can join the 24-hour economy without Government subsidies. Many suggest that the 24-hour economy is a by-product of massive economic transformation in the developed world. It has therefore no place in developing countries with junk economies like Ghana. This is a “hollow slogan.” Invariably, it is the 24-hour economy that at its best will transform the economy massively.
Though voluntary, the Policy Blue Print, in its implementation phase, would focus on industries such as Agro Processing (tomatoes, cashew…), Pharmaceutical sectors, Manufacturing sector, Construction, Extraction Industry, Sanitation Industry, Digital and ICT Investment, Financial Services, Retail services, Harbour services, Health and Education. These Industries would be provided with policy interventions such as Tax incentives, Security demands, cheap and reliable energy during off-peak seasons. These measures would be complemented by inputs from stakeholder forum.
Those who love Ghana and who know the economic destruction brought by Akufo Addo`s junk economy will know that the 24-hour economy is a game changer as supported by TUC, NUGS and GUTA.
BY Dr E.K.HAYFORD
CAUCUS FOR DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE, GHANA