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07.10.2019 Opinion

Short Term Interests: The Art That Never Got Ghana Out Of Foreign Aid

By Ken Johnson
Short Term Interests: The Art That Never Got Ghana Out Of Foreign Aid
LISTEN OCT 7, 2019

I have watched and listened on numerous occasions speeches delivered by our current president HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, where he has used the slogan,”Ghana Beyond Aid”.

What baffles me is, how does such rhetorics relate to the daily awareness and understanding of the proponent and the general public alike. An American humanist, Walt Whitman is credited as a father of free verse once said, “Be curious, not judgmental”.

I have no interest in deprecating anything this current administration has done for now, but my curiosity is to investigate whether their words have any meaning and can be tested under knowledge and practice.

So what does Ghana Beyond Aid means to you and I? Literally speaking, A Ghana where our dependence on foreign aid to our national budget is minimised and we could actually go about life without begging for cheap and frivolous gifts for our daily survival as citizens.

You must be saying, huh! Could this be possible? Frankly, I could ask same. Yes! It’s possible. But, it can only be possible if we live within our means.

Living within our means is where, a government will be purged on the number of appointments the president can have. Where the civil service is free to decide and work freely for mother Ghana.

Living within our means is where budgets are vetted thoroughly and waste minimised. A practice of ensuring fairness exist within our justice system. Living within our means implies, the good teachers, nurses, doctors, carpenters and every tax paying citizen is confident of prudent management of their taxes.

You must be tired of hearing, the likes of Taiwan, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Rwanda’s models. Why has Ghana failed to be mentioned? Because, we have a problem!

If you are a big fan of movies, the 1980 blockbuster, “the Gods must be crazy” must encourage us to rethinkGhana and our process of managing ourselves as a nation.

In the movie, the narrator says, “In this world of theirs, nothing is bad or evil. Even a poisonous snake is not bad. You just have to keep away from the sharp end. Actually, a snake is very good. In fact, it's delicious. And the skin makes a fine pouch”.

Our political class system, particularly, those from the property owning fraternity have always imagined Ghana in their smallish minds. Some few months ago, we saw a display of lies being peddled by the Vice President and his Economic Management Team (EMT). I wondered what aspect of the economy the Economic Management Team was managing? Propaganda and Lies?

How productive was it that some seven ministers of state could leave their daily routine and converge under one roof to discuss the economy? What happened to the meet the press series too? Has the project runout of steam? Could the Economic Management Team place value and the cost of their stay of respective offices for those town hall event?

Some few days after a dozen of ministers were also flown to the United Kingdom for similar town hall event. Could we be the only unreal thinkers to see such practices wouldn’t add any value to the Ghana Beyond Aid quest?

Similarly, we learnt from the education minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh that the controversial Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) curricula was aimed at helping shape a modern nation. It took the vigilance of the civil society groups to make such unsophisticated policy of the government known. Yes! Citizens are doing their work.

We have over the days learnt of a $22million support gained by infusing this controversial education policy in Ghana.

In summation, this government is suffering from a ‘group think’ syndrome and she is indulging in a ‘kicking football policy’ implementation. Wherever the ball falls that is where the policy will be implemented. This has culminated into the constant precipitous decision making witnessed thus far.

Should Ghanaians be worried about the state of affairs as it happens to indicate that the drive towards ending aid dependencies are no where near to achievement?

By Ken Johnson

The writer has interest in public policy, education and technology.

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