Not a single week in the past few months have gone by without a report of people in various parts of Ghana demonstrating against bad roads.
Similarly, I read of people trolling NDC in their quest to seek public views in putting up their manifesto for the 2020 general elections. It’s a pity that when then Presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo of NPP was on a listening tour with same motive was vilified by his main political opponents of being bankrupt with ideas even as he seeks the highest office of Republic of Ghana. It’s unfortunate that most Ghanaians at the centre of this vicious spin have not realised the game these politicians play with us.
Growing up in the late 90s, the critical thing on most of talk shows in town was Ghana’s Vision 2020 and as a lad I wondered what that could be since I never imagined of seeing 2020 soon. In the later years I find out that the import of Ghana’s Vision 2020 was to achieve goals of accelerated economic growth and improved quality of life for all its citizens, by reducing poverty through private investment, rapid and aggressive industrialization, and direct and aggressive poverty-alleviation efforts.
Certainly, that was believed to be a well-thought through plan that should be useful to each government’s Economic Management Team (EMT) regardless of political lineage. So Prof. Kwesi Botchwey from the Jerry John Rawlings’ government will follow and even Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta also of the Nana Akufo-Addo led government could be referencing from as well as the later is coincidentally set to end his four(4) years mandate in 2020. So, we’re just a month away from the year 2020 and I can confidently say Ghana’s Vision 2020 is in limbo!
Yes of course the country has made some gains over the years because if in the year 1994 the country with a population of about 16 million was with a GDP of $ 5.5 Billion and twenty five(25) years now the population is about double of that in 2019 and could be ending the year with a GDP of $ 66 Billion. We could have still done better than this with the drilling of oil anyway.
It’s obvious we missed it as a country when the same party; thus NDC that hatched Vision 2020 never sort to assess the impact of Vision 2020 to serve as a basis for further plan but went ahead to form a team to be supervised by the National Development Planning Commission to draw 40 years development plan in 2015 which the current NPP government doesn’t find its usefulness basically because none of its party affiliate is part of the team. Because of the absence such of development plan fostering coherent continuity, Ghana has had lots of abandoned infrastructures which inadvertently cost the nation more.
It’s also unfortunate for a country such as Ghana that has touted its ability to change governments peacefully through elections and has become a beacon of excellence to many other African countries is not certain of a plan to adopt. It’s even dire that there are envious brains at our citadel of education yet we grapple with composition of development plan team and only fall at the mercy of politicians who have skewed everything to their own political idealogies. We missed to work with that development plan conscientiously regardless of the various calibre of politicians and political parties we’ve had in the past few decades.
China on December 22, 1978 begun a 40 Years of Reform and Development (of course one can argue about their mode of governance but is that really relevant here if the standard of living of its people are better?). As at the end of the period the people were committed too in 2018, the world is the witness of their glaring economic milestones. So there are examples for us to follow and adjust to suit the kind of society we want to have as a people.
We’ve seen lately in this country how the major political parties; thus New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Party (NDC) have been committed to fulfilling their manifesto promises and have become clueless of contents of national development plans.
Against all factors, these parties have come to realise that at the satisfactory delivery of their campaign promises which are contained in their manifesto books often branded in blue for NPP and green for the NDC, Ghanaian electorates will renew their given tenures of four (4) years. For this reason when these parties which have become the necessary evils of our democracy come to government they pay less attention to a national development plan.
If these politicians will find it convenient to comply with their manifestos more than anything else and are also aware that the renewal of their mandate hinges on the satisfactory fulfilment of the promises as required by the Ghanaian electorates, then I’ll urge for what NDC has initiated to become the norm at this point. Ghanaians should tie their various needs to their thumb, and that only parties committed to development of such and more could have their votes. In this regard Ghanaians at large won’t be taken for granted by a party and all elections will be based on credible issues that raises the standard of living of the poor.
This will as well lessen factions and campaigns woven around ethnicity or religion since obviously the people have a common need for schools, good roads, hospitals etc. The common hallmark of parties will also be effective economic management and stewardship. Ghanaians won’t have to be voting on the contest of best slogans or looks of candidates. The best to address our issues will win and the influence of money or votes buying will reduce. On that score I will encourage that NDC seeking for the views of Ghanaians to draft their manifesto be replicated in all parties and technocrats involved in sorting across the country, vilification on listening tours and trolling ceased for the common good of the people and loss of elections on vague political party manifesto.
Columnist: Richard K. B. Eyiah