Ghana Has 16 Regions: What Next?
The idea of a poor nation further dividing itself into smaller units does not make much strategic or economic sense except in Ghana! In our country, winning power by politicians seems the ultimate mission! Of course, our politicians will never admit that Ghana has limited resources or is poor when it comes to spending.
Human organizations can develop on their own, given the freedom and a competitive non-suppressive environment.
As a young Engineer and Manager in a long-evolving electronics technology career in the 1970s to 2000s, I had a chance to live and work in Santa Clara area, aka Silicon Valley California, as well as Kokomo Indiana, Dallas Texas, Orlando Florida and Santa Barbara California. I learned a lot about how America survives despite each of the 50 States maintaining a semi-autonomous government.
After more than four decades and after studying Organisational and Management, I can see within each framework of Ghana’s subdivisions where the competitive spirit of the people can be unleashed for national growth.
This is my vision for Ghana if we want to really be a free nation where individual contributions are valued and we all develop and move forward with each feeling their contribution valued.
The first and most important formula is this: Let us decentralize and reduce the powers of the President to appoint every executive in the nation of Ghana. The 1992 Constitution is way past due for an amendment to allow towns, districts and regions to elect their own governments and leaders.
The second element is unleashing the spirit of survival through competition. Competition has a way of unleashing powers within man! Let us remember each area of Ghana has their natives overseas around the world- the greatest resource we have.
Give the people of Volta Region (Ho) a chance to prove that they are as smart if not smarter than the people of Central Region (Cape Coast) and Eastern Region (Koforidua). They will start local manufacturing of tools and implements. Once that starts, trust the Kwahus in Eastern Region/Koforidua to Nkawkaw will invite the British and American partners they do Business with to come and create factories in their areas- and produce textiles, cloth, shoes, etc.
As soon as they do that the Ashantis are going to feel behind and try to prove that they had more entrepreneurship than anybody even before the white man came. They will revive and expand the Kumasi Shoe factory with some Canadian investors, adding some drug factories and other products. Soon Kumasi magazine will be kicking butt with spare parts manufacturing, metal sheets, and utensils, to meet almost all domestic and even export consumption!
This news is never going to sit well with the people of Bono East (Techiman) and Ahafo (Goaso) who would feel behind as all the cocoa and food being shipped to Accra would make them feel they could get better value for money by processing some of the food and seek some American partners to process Chocolate and Nuts. They will get into large scale mechanised farming and grow new crops!
Of course, we all know the Gas in Greater Accra Region are not going to sit idle and will seek to be the first to develop Underground sewage system and produce super clean beaches as a Tourist attraction and claim their title as the Real Capital to visit!
Of course we should not forget UpperWest (Wa), Savanna (Damongo), Upper East (Bolgatanga) and Northern (Tamale) regions will all team up to increase production of shea butter, cola nuts, almonds, corn, rice, vegetables and introduce new vegetables and flowers using modern irrigation methods like California does in their dry desert areas. They will learn to impose road tolls to build first-class multi-lane highways to enhance travel to their 4-Region area and boost their air-Transport of products like Flowers to Europe. They will also be processing shea and other oils as cosmetics for local and export consumption.
There is no need to mention that Western (Sefwi Wiawso) and Oti Region (Dambai) are going to be more competitive in cocoa production, palm oil and attract some soap manufacturers to come to their area to produce soap.
All this can happen when the people in a given area realize they have to survive and not depend on Accra except for some share of research information and share of ports and harbour revenue.
It is hoped that each region will try to attract the best cross-disciplined human resource talent with incentives to help educate their children, and help them plan and manage and develop. Each region should be given the Constitutional mandate to elect their own Regional Governor as well as DCEs and Town Mayors.
May God bless our motherland Ghana as we all aspire to develop our best potentials.
Dr. Kwaku A. Danso, M.Eng., PhD
(The writer is an Engineer, Technology & Management Consultant and lives in Livermore, California and East Legon, Accra, Ghana. He is the author of two books:
“Leadership Concepts and The Role of Government in Africa: The Case of Ghana”; and
“Life is War: A letter to Nephews, Nieces and Loves Ones Behind: How to Survive Using the Mind”)
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