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25.10.2017 Feature Article

To Put Ghana In Humankind's Collective Consciousness Let Us Have Gender Parity Now

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A conference was organised recently in Accra by the Executive Women's Network (EWN) - a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the interests of female entrepreneurs and women in senior positions in corporate Ghana.

One of the issues they discussed was the need for all well-meaning citizens to embrace the brand Ghana.

The question is: What are some of the requirements we must meet as a people to enable our homeland Ghana have a positive and long-lasting brand, as a good place in Africa to live and invest in, or spend time in as a responsible tourist interested in immersing one's self in a different culture?

To begin with, our country must become a well-governed African nation - whose national economy is run efficiently and is private-sector led (by dynamic and creative entrepreneurs whose businesses are world-class and underpinned by corporate good governance principles).

Amongst other things (too numerous to mention here) needed to enable Mother Ghana to have a positive brand, is to ensure that at all material times our nation is governed by wise, God-fearing and visionary leaders who eschew corruption and understand clearly that empowering those in the base-of-the-pyramid demographic to bootstrap their own prosperity, is a surefire way to turn Ghana into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

Let us also learn to keep our cities, towns and villages super-clean.

To save hapless taxpayers from the Sisyphean task of funding roads that invariably end up being washed away by heavy rains, we must endeavour to begin building plastic roads by mixing plastic waste with bitumen.

We ought to adopt that simple road-building technology to build tolled roads financed and maintained by private-sector entities as infrastructure PPPs. Those private-sector entities - can in return own and maintain those tolled pladtic roads as tax-free businesses for 35 years.

Plastic roads, by definition - technically - remain pothole-free throughout their long lifespan, last three times longer than conventional roads, bear heavier loads, and, because plastic is impermeable to water are never be washed away by flash floods.

Building them will eventually enable Ghana to improve its disaster-resilience in an era of extreme weather - by its acquisition, through leveraging the private public partnership (PPP) model, a value-for-money climate-change-proofed road network.

If we are wise and creative, we would also abolish initiative-destroying personal income tax - and make Ghana an investment destination with the world's lowest corporate tax rates. Cool.

Finally, if we really want to put Ghana on the map, so to speak, let us make our nation one in which gender parity exists - by reserving half the seats in Parliament for women. Ditto reserve half of upper echelon public-sector positions (including ministerial appointments) for women. That is the best way to put Ghana in humankind's collective consciousness. My two pesewas.

Kofi Thompson
Kofi Thompson, © 2017

The author has 651 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: KofiThompson

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