Ghanaian motivational speaker, Mr Emmanuel Dei-Tumi, has described as a shame the fact that 50 years after independence, Ghana has still not developed a sustainable national vision for socio-economic transformation.
Mr Dei-Tumi, who is also the Chief Executive of Future Leaders Group, therefore, recommended the formulation of a national vision based on the three pillars of peace, unity and economic progress for the next 50 years to propel the country into a developed economy.
Ahead of a lecture he will deliver Thursday in the last of the Golden Jubilee Lecture series, the speaker told the Daily Graphic Tuesday that such a vision required a shift in the leadership of the country and a non-partisan approach in order to elicit the support of every Ghanaian.
In its 50-year history, some of the strategies Ghana has experimented with include the Seven-Year Development Plan of Dr Kwame Nkrumah's Convention People's Party (CPP) government (1957-1966), the Rural Integration Policy of Prime Minister K.A. Busia's Progress Party (PP) government (1969-1972), and the irrigation-propelled Agricultural Revolution of General Acheampong's National Redemption Council (NRC) and the Supreme Military Council (SMC) governments (1972-1979).
Others have been the Vision 2020 of former President J.J. Rawlings's National Democratic Congress (NDC) government and the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) One and Two of President Kufuor's New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
In the last Golden Jubilee lecture Thursday, Mr. Dei-Tumi will be speaking alongside three others Mr.Yonny Kulendi, Dr Nana Akua Anyidoho and Ms Nancy Myles at the Accra International Confer¬ence Centre (AICC).
"The leadership of the country must set the tone and define our destination in the next 50 years," he said.
The lecture, which is under the auspices of the [email protected] Secretariat, forms part of activities to commemorate Ghana's Golden Jubilee.
According to Mr Dei-Tumi, there could not be economic progress in the 21st century without peace and unity and that was why it was important to have a vision based on those three pillars.
He said the question of where Ghanaians wanted the nation to be in the next 50 years demanded a national answer and not a political answer, adding, "That should inform our decision in voting to elect leaders who will take us into the next 50 years."
Mr Dei-Tumi said although past leaders of the country did not fare badly, they could not develop a nationalistic vision because they lacked the capacity to massively mobilise the people behind their ideas.
He said the history of the country indicated a change in administrative direction every three years, citing the deviation from Africanism to socialism under the Nkrumah regime and then to capitalism under the Busia regime.
He said even under the long regime of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), the government deviated from its liberal approach to a capitalist approach under the influence of the Breton Woods institutions.
He described the regimes of SMC I & II as the dark age in the country's history because they were totally bereft of any vision for the nation.
According to Mr Dei-Tumi, there was a difference between vision and policy, pointing out that a lot of what the past governments referred to as national visions were rather policies which often emanated from the ideologies of political parties.
He said there was the need to establish a clear national vision which could be driven by any political party in power, regardless of its ideology.
"If we have vision, we will only need a methodology to drive it; it doesn't matter the party in power," he indicated.
Mr Dei-Tumi said it was important for people to consider the interest of the nation ahead of partisan interest or ideology, adding that there was the need for the nation to define its common identity, such as culture and values, and formulate strategies to imprint them on the minds of the people.
He cited Malaysia as one of the Asian countries which developed national visions to drive their development, using oil palm as a strategic means for growth.
Mr Dei-Tumi said a leader must have the ability to develop a long-term vision that he or she would be remembered for, even after death.
He mentioned competence, humility and a willingness to die for the people as some of the qualities of a good leader.