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16.03.2006 Press Review

Editorial: Why Deceive Ourselves?

By Chronicle

An economist, Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, speaking at a public forum, has challenged claims about the state of Ghana's economy, suggesting that our condition is not as glorious as the people are made to believe.

A fundamental point made by the eminent and frank economist is: 'You can't address a problem that you don't even recognize exists'. There is no doubt that the first steps to solving any problem is first identifying and then defining that problem.

Again, if assertions by the economist about 'misrepresentations' and what appears to be misinformation, some of which The Chronicle has previously commented on, are things to go by then we are in for a very long harmattan.

Issues have been raised also about the need to prioritize our development needs, considering that we are a country having to do with very limited resources, some of which we have to borrow from external sources at terms that end up tightening us further.

Telling it like it is has never been the hallmark of many professionals, particularly when the person or institution to be addressed is in politics.

The need for professionals to be actively involved in the evaluation of the country's progress is very crucial. However, as the late Professor P.A.V. Ansah, once noted, 'Economics is too important to leave to professional economists alone since its performance affects all of us.'

The argument of the late literary guru becomes more insightful when one considered that many of the professional economists we have, for fear of being tagged by politicians as political opponents, decide to go mum.

That is not good enough and does not speak well of them as persons who cherish their professional calling and are jealous enough to guard it. It is important that they speak out, like the Nii Moi Thompsons, so our economy and for that matter our country is not run into a ditch for us to be doing fire fighting.

We cannot continue to blame the politicians alone for our cyclical economic decadence, if the rest of our society that has the expertise would look on, whilst a few of their colleagues in politics lead the country in the wrong direction.

Sycophancy, is one canker that has led to many of our professionals, not only in economics but in other spheres of our national endeavour, to look the other way, with some stooping as low as singing praises of governments for the sake of their bellies, throwing to the dogs the principles and ethics of their calling, over things they do not believe in.

As far as The Chronicle is concerned, we shall go nowhere if we deceive ourselves as to our present economic location; it is only when we know the truth that we would know where we have to go, and move in the right direction. Anything short of that would mean going over the same routes that we have trod, and that can only return us to where we are.

If we claim victories that are non-existent, we deceive ourselves, and when the chickens have come home to roost, we shall be laughing at the wrong sides of our mouths!