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21.04.2019 Feature Article

To Win Power Again, Must The NDC Become A More Creative And Principled Political Party?

Opinion John Dramani Mahama, Flagbearer of the opposition NDC
John Dramani Mahama, Flagbearer of the opposition NDC

It is vital that the National Democratic Congress' (NDC) leaders understand clearly that winning power again, will require a more creative approach to campaigning for the 2020 elections than Ghanaians have seen thus far. Alternative policy initiatives that ensure a good quality of life for all Ghanaian families, each costed, and their sources of funding outlined openly, to voters, is key to any future NDC electoral success.

Time must not be wasted, for example, on cynical and amoral propaganda narratives, by getting the party's communicators to focus on calling President Akufo-Addo a thief, as a politics-of-equalisation campaign tactic. The president is not a thief - and it is an egregious travesty for anyone to say he is. What they need to do, when President Mahama is accused of being personally corrupt, by his political opponents, is to mount a vigorous defence proving by facts and figures that John Mahama never actually stole any public funds during his tenure - if that indeed was the case. Simple.

Precious few independent-minded and discerning Ghanaians believe the fiction that a permanent solution to the dumsor challenge is the availability of gas that thermal power generators, for whatever reason, cannot pay suppliers for, any time soon. That does not make commercial sense - and is thus not sustainable in the long-run. If things continue as they are, the Ghana Gas Company might collapse, eventually. For sure.

Australia's example (South Australia has the largest amount of installed wind and solar capacity, 1,831MW, closely followed by New South Wales' 1,759MW and by Victoria's 1,634MW), should be copied here: large-scale renewable energy plus grid-scale battery storage, ought to underpin our national grid. This is an example of the kinds of creative solutions that the NDC should offer voters. Haaba.

Would a trip to Australia, by Sammy Gyamfi & Co, for example, to confer with alternative energy experts, such as Giles Parkinson, the founder of RenewEconomy and One Step Off The Grid, not yield for the NDC, the deep knowledge and network of contacts, needed to enable Ghana to underpin its national grid with affordable renewable energy, plus grid-scale battery storage - and offer that to voters as it's policy alternative to that of the government of the day, to permanently resolving the hydra-headed dumsor challenge?

Furthermore, were Sammy Gyamfi & Co to fly to the U.S., to confer with Amazon's Jeff Bezos, about Amazon and Ghana doing a win-win private public partnership (PPP) deal that makes our National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), more efficient, transparent and corruption-free, by digitising its processes, would that not give the NDC ideas to make offering quality universal healthcare, a feasible NDC policy alternative to voters, i ask?

Surely, additionally, bringing up the idea, during their conversations with Jeff Bezos, that Amazon could neutralise some of its massive carbon footprint, by repaying SinoHydro the U.S.$2 billion that that Chinese company is loaning to Ghana, as carbon offset payments to save the Atewa Forest Reserve, with the payments going directly to the fringe-forest communities surrounding it, over an agreed period, would be a fantastic creative idea, as an NDC policy alternative for voters, too, one wonders?

And since lithium has been discovered in Ghana, why do Sammy Gyamfi & Co, not have conversations with Tesla's founder, Elom Musk, and the Chinese electric vehicle behemoth, BYD's founder, Wang Chuanfu, about opening a lithium-ion battery factory, in Ghana?

Ditto by talking to the CEOs of all the world's manufacturers of driverless electric vehicles, about self-financing the building of a network of tolled high-tech concrete motorways from Accra to all the regional capitals, exclusively for driverless electric vehicles, to help cut down on Ghana's high death rate statistical figures from road accidents, will that not yield a creative policy alternative for the NDC, if the responses from them are positive? Ebeeii. To win power again, the NDC must definitely become a more creative and principled political party. Haaba.

Kofi Thompson
Kofi Thompson, © 2019

This author has authored 298 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: KofiThompson

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