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22.02.2024 Feature Article

Unveiling the Mirage of Kofi Bentil's Bawumia Endorsement and Championing Mahama's Economic Stewardship

Unveiling the Mirage of Kofi Bentil's Bawumia Endorsement and Championing Mahama's Economic Stewardship
22.02.2024 LISTEN

Voting the NPP government back to power again is tantamount to rewarding poor performance and poses a significant risk to our democracy. While Kofi Bentil argues that Dr. Bawumia has a better track record than former President John Dramani Mahama, this assertion lacks depth and substance. Dr. Bawumia's supposed track record as Vice President does not equate to presidential performance, and it is flawed to compare his tenure to that of President Mahama. Additionally, Bentil's claim that Dr. Bawumia is incorruptible lacks evidence and is baseless, especially when contrasted with the unsubstantiated accusation of corruption against President Mahama.

Moreover, Bentil's endorsement fails to consider President Mahama's proven track record as head of the Economic Management Team during his tenure as Vice President under President Mills and later as President. Analyzing the economic data, it's evident that President Mahama's administration achieved notable milestones in stabilizing the economy, as evidenced by the establishment of the $300 million Stabilization Fund and the $270 million Ghana Infrastructural Investment Fund, which aided the country's survival during the COVID-19 pandemic. President Mahama's mastery of economic management far surpassed Dr. Bawumia's, highlighting the fallacy of Bentil's endorsement.

Under President Mahama's leadership, Ghana's debt-to-GDP ratio remained below the IMF's recommended threshold for middle-income countries, standing at 57%, whereas under Dr. Bawumia's tenure, it soared to over 100 percent. Additionally, inflation rates were significantly lower during President Mahama's tenure compared to the subsequent years. For instance, in 2011, inflation stood at 15.5%, while under Dr. Bawumia's leadership, it surged to 54% in December 2022 before dropping to 30% recently.

Furthermore, cocoa production, a vital sector of Ghana's economy, thrived under President Mahama, with production reaching 960,000 metric tonnes compared to under 500,000 metric tonnes under Dr. Bawumia's tenure. It is noteworthy that during Vice President Mahama's tenure from 2009 to 2012, Ghana's real GDP growth saw significant improvements, with rates at 8.4% in 2008, 4.0% in 2009, 7.7% in 2010, 13.6% in 2011, and 7.9% in 2012. Non-oil real GDP followed a similar trend, indicating robust economic growth during this period.

Moreover, President Mahama also tripled oil revenue by securing two new oil fields, namely the Tweneboa Enyenra Ntomme (TEN) oil field and the Sankofa oil and gas fields, a feat unmatched by Dr. Bawumia. Additionally, Vice President Dr. Bawumia's performance, particularly regarding real GDP and non-oil GDP growth, pales in comparison to Vice President Mahama's achievements during his tenure. Despite lacking a doctoral degree in economics, President Mahama's mastery of economic management far surpassed Dr. Bawumia's, highlighting the fallacy of Bentil's endorsement.

Lastly, Bentil's argument that Dr. Bawumia's decision-making ability improved upon assuming the presidency overlooks the fact that as a member of the cabinet, Dr. Bawumia had significant influence and decision-making authority under the NPP government.

In conclusion, it's imperative to recognize Kofi Bentil's history of political endorsements. He supported President Kuffour over Arthur Mills, Nana Addo over Mahama and Mills, and now vocally backs Vice President Bawumia. While everyone has the right to support a particular candidate, Bentil's narrative about the comparative assessment between Mahama and Bawumia is flawed. It's evident that he is a loyal NPP supporter and would endorse any candidate the NPP puts up, regardless of competency. His endorsement lacks impartiality and fails to acknowledge President Mahama's superior economic stewardship, thereby diminishing the credibility of his analysis. As such, it's crucial to approach political endorsements with skepticism and prioritize evidence-based assessments of candidates' performances.

Ebenezer Ato Ntarkurfah Jackson, Cornell University -Johnson School of Business, MBA Class of 2015

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