Ken Ofori-Atta Gets Down to Brass-Tacks
To say that he is the finest cabinet member of the Akufo-Addo Administration, as one of the dozen-a-dime so-called security experts was recently quoted to have said, is a gross understatement in which I would not indulge. In the recent past, for instance, I have commended Mr. John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Forestry Resources, for being one of the finest vanguard or front-row appointees of the Akufo-Addo government. In other words, there are far too many sterling executive appointees and operatives in the present New Patriotic Party (NPP) government for me to facilely cherry pick. But one thing that cannot be gainsaid is the fact that the success or otherwise of the Akufo-Addo Administration depends more on how effectively Mr. Kenneth Nana Kuntunkununku Ofori-Atta performs as Finance Minister than anybody else.
And so far, the Ivy League-educated Mr. Ofori-Atta has more than amply demonstrated that he has what it takes to rapidly and exponentially move the country’s economy ahead and indisputably establish Ghana as the economic powerhouse of the West African sub-region, if not the entire African continent. His 2018 National Budget, read on the august floor of Ghana’s Parliament on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, has absolutely no rival in at least the quarter-century span of the country’s Fourth Republic (See “Ghana 2018 Budget: About 100,000 Graduates to Be Employed in 2018” MyJoyOnline.com / Modernghana.com 11/15/17). He does not tell us exactly how much has been earmarked for this massive Ghanaian version or equivalent of legendary Marshall Plan, opportunely and deftly cobbled together by the United States’ Federal Government to bail out the effectively bankrupted Western-European economies in the apocalyptic aftermath of World War II, but what is inimitably creative about the initiative to gainfully employ some 100,000 presently unemployed graduates of Ghanaian tertiary institutions is its multi-fronted and broad-based approach.
Unlike the rather crude and economically regressive National Service Scheme (NSS), Nana Akufo-Addo’s Nation Builders’ Corps (NBC) intends to distribute the currently unemployed university and college graduates across such critical areas of national endeavors as education, sanitation, health and agriculture. The reporter of the article on which this column is based does not mention it, but I am quite certain that transport and communication are also among the targeted areas of national development within the purview of Mr. Ofori-Atta’s budgetary policy initiative. I also love the creative categories under which the graduate-employment initiative is being effected, namely, Teach Ghana, Clean Ghana, Heal Ghana and Feed Ghana, among several other operational/functional categories.
Not very long ago, I wrote and published an article in which I observed that the verbal rhythm of the so-called Planting for Food campaign was not one that had been crafted by a poet with an in-depth appreciation for public relations and advertising spiels. And so I am quite elated to no mean measure that, after all, the Akufo-Addo Presidency is also one that listens as well as it says it does and darn ought to, if it is to opportunely achieve its set target of moving Ghana well beyond the vicious cycle of water-in-a-basket approach to governance that was so blindly and prosaically pursued by the Mills-Mahama regimes of the National Democratic Congress; and before the latter, the Rawlings-led Provisional National Defense Council (P/NDC).
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
November 19, 2017
E-mail: [email protected]
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