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07.05.2009 Editorial

That is the spirit, Mr. President

By theghanaianjournal
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The President in his May Day address to Ghanaian workers hinted the desire of his government to use home grown solutions (domestic stimulus) to deal with the global economic recession of which Ghana is also badly affected.

It has been the wish of many Ghanaians that government adopts a more proactive and practical answers, using local human and other home developed methods to deal with the myriad of economic problems confronting the country.

It might be long overdue though; nonetheless we take consolidation in the fact that it is better late than never.

The Paper therefore commend the President for defying the many artificial suggestions, some of which are coming from his party people and for once, seeing the wisdom in the capability of the Ghanaian in dealing with purely Ghanaian problems.

Some have even suggested that we go back to the Breton Institutions-the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the very institutions whose draconian measures had paralyzed the Ghanaian economy all these years.

One of the achievements of the Kufuor administration was the untiring efforts at weaning the country from the IMF and World Bank and its harsh conditionalities.

The fact that we survived what some economists thought was a bad decision on the part of the previous government meant with careful planning and well thought- programmes Ghana can still stand on its feet without the Breton Wood institutions.

We may not have achieved the desired result anticipated in the wake of the IMF-World Bank snub because most of the interventionists measures adopted by the Kufuor administration were either based on after-thought or just on ad-hoc measures.

That explains why many laudable programmes like the Presidential Initiatives on textile, cassava, distance learning and the support funding of many micro-project did not yield the desired results.

However with the benefit of hindsight, the paper believes the President and his government are better placed to improve on the interventions introduced by the previous government.

We on this paper are of the opinion that the President needs to bring back these models, charge the newly instituted economic management team to repackage it and offer the needed financial assistance for it to be successful.

In order to withstand the global economic crunch, even the Americans are supporting their industries and other small scale industrialists. That should inform the so-called Third World countries of which Ghana is a member that government has a crucial role to play in bailing out their economies from the recession currently confronting us.

We commend government for the provision of free text books, uniforms and furniture for the basic schools. However that is not enough. Government should be mindful of the need to stick to its campaign promise of making basic school to the Senior High School free. Not only that, it should also be compulsory to all children and teens of school going age.

Many countries have attained the status of developed countries because there was the conscious effort on the part of their governments to make education compulsorily accessible to every child of school going age.

We recommend that the study of Information Communication and Technology should also be compulsory from the basic to Senior High School levels. The world has gone ICT and the only way to be active member of the Comity of Nations, is when we lift our ICT level from its current teething state to a more workable level.

We again charge government to offer support to our local industries; that support seems to be negated by government decision to remove tariffs on consumable imported items. The practice is very unfair and discriminatory against local industries, especially at a time that Ghanaian industries are not supported in any form.

The tariffs on the imported items could be used as part of the financial support for our local industries. As a traditional import substituted country, it surely will not be too pleasant for us to remove the tariffs on imported goods now.

Nonetheless if we want to graduate from import oriented country into a more production oriented country then, we have no choice than to chart a more difficult course that demands SACRIFICE. And we believe in less than no time we will all be reaping the immense benefits.

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