Ghana’s social media space has been trending with topics on the recent increase in fuel prices and other tariffs.
In order to get the government’s attention to step up their game, the Ghanaian populace have taken to social media to pour out their frustrations on the need for government to put in their best to remedy all the issues affecting the country.
The people of Ghana started a trend with the hashtag, #FixTheCountry. So many people have shared their sentiments to the various sectors of the economy that they think need to be fixed since the trend started.
Some Ghanaians are unhappy and are venting their anger and disappointment over what majority describe as a failure on the part of the successive governments to improve and better the lives of Ghanaians. There have been tens of thousands of posts that have circulated on social media highlighting some of these inadequacies.
#FixTheCountry is really gaining weight as many people are willing to get on the streets of Accra to protest. This campaign has been one of the boiling topics on social media for the past 3 days and has also met with lots of criticisms from people who are of the view that the people of Ghana should rather fix themselves before asking the government to fix the country.
Some twitter users say the impact of what the government is doing is not felt on the ground despite the efforts by government which includes the Nation Builders’ Corp (NABCO), the National Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) and some other commitments towards investing in the growing human capital. The sentiments shared on twitter are rising youth employment, dilapidated health system, skyrocketing home-renting structure, poor road structure, increase in fuel prices among others.
Others are also lamenting about erratic power and water supply, saying that the development has compounded their challenges and has made life very difficult for the average young Ghanaian to even live a decent life. An online petition has also been launched to aid this cause with almost 100,000 signatures so far. Most people who have joined this social media campaign are only asking the government for good roads, better healthcare, jobs with good salaries, affordable rents and potable water in villages and towns that have no water for their daily usage.
Ghana officially achieved its independence from the British rule in 1957 and fully became a republic in 1960. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah became the first President of the Republic of Ghana. His administration funded national industrial and energy projects, developed a strong national education system and also promoted a pan-Africanist culture. Ghana under Nkrumah played a leading role in African International Relations during the decolonization period. The population of Ghana in 1960 was 6.635 million.
In 1966 the first President and pan-African hero, Kwame Nkrumah was deposed in a coup, heralding years of mostly military regime. In 1981, Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings staged a second coup. The country then began to move towards economic stability and democracy. In 1992, a constitution that allowed for a multi-party system was approved in a referendum that ushered in a period of democracy. A well-administered country by regional standards, Ghana is often seen as a model for political and economic reform in Africa.
Economic development lags woefully behind political development in Ghana creating contradictions and crisis of political legitimacy. What makes democracy beautiful is that the citizenry is able to register their grievances through peaceful demonstrations, scolding or nagging as they find fit without having to face any repercussions. It is an undeniable fact that we choose to vote by electing a president hopeful that the said leader would form a formidable government to be able to run the affairs of the country to benefit everyone. What most people are refusing to see and failing to acknowledge is that the economic meltdown is not Ghana specific but this is globally due to coronavirus.
The socio-economic meltdown is being felt across the globe due to the unspeakable coronavirus. The emergence of coronavirus in Ghana has shown as that we need to fix our own country and that is the responsibility of the ruling government alone but it is you and I, our responsibility together with the government to fix the country and to make sure we have the Ghana we want where the lives of the citizenry have improved. The fixing of Ghana does not rely on the sole remit of a political party.
We are in a country where, when a ruling government starts a project and was not able to complete, the other political party that takes over does not complete the project because it is not their party’s project. Contractors must be able to complete their projects and not abandon them when there is a change of power to a different political party.
We are in a country where anytime the police see a citizen, the first sentence that comes out of their mouth is ‘anything for the small boys’ thus, the police taking bribe left, right, center. To be able to fix the country, the leaders, their followers and the entire Ghanaian citizenry must also change our attitudes and mindset and get the better Ghana that we want. The laws in the country must work.
Ghana as it stands now has a population of 31.732 million. Our population has grown and so our infrastructure must match up to Ghana’s current population. Hospital beds must match up with minimum people who visit and are admitted in the hospital. The first people you will be met with when you leave the Kotoka International Airport are street children coming to wipe your windscreen.
All these children must be moved from the streets and be put in shelters where they will be properly taken care of, have a quality education or even learn some skills that will equip them to be able to fend for themselves. We have lost the battle if we politicize this #FixGhana campaign. Development is progression and every development should be in the glory of the country.
A constitutional referendum was to be held on December 17, 2019 alongside the District Level Elections. The purpose of the referendum was to see if Ghanaians were in favor of the Bill to amend Clause 3 of Article 55 of the 1992 Constitution or not. Article 55(3) states that “subject to the provisions of this article, a political party is free to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, social and economic program of a national character and sponsor candidates for elections to any public office other than to District Assemblies or lower local government units’’.
Consequently, Parliament was to also amend Article 243 (1) to allow Ghanaians to vote for their Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) instead of being appointed by the President. Article 243 (1) states that: “There shall be a District Chief Executive for every district who shall be appointed by the President with the prior approval of not less than two-thirds majority of members of the Assembly present and voting at the meeting.”
The President in a press release said that in these circumstances, he is convinced that this is not going to serve the public interest to go ahead with the holding of the public referendum which was supposed to be held on December 17 even though he believes a strong campaign for a YES vote would have been succeeded.
To conclude, we as a research institute believes that there must be a GHANA AGENDA which is devoid of any political party influence. This we believe will help keep our priorities right and do the needful which is not solely dependent on the government. In the next 36 years of which Ghana will be 100 years, the country should have a Ghana Agenda.
- Government sectors must put in place implementation measures for all drafted development policies.
- Funds allocated to development projects must be channeled solely to respective sectors.
- NGOs must support Government in establishing working directives for various sectors.
- Citizens of Ghana must support Government in a collective agenda toward developmental goals.
- Political Parties must collaborate with government to implement policy strategies outlined in their manifestos.
- Contracts won by existing government must be continued, if not completed by the successive government to the benefit of all.
>>>The writer is the Executive Director, Kandifo Institute. He can be reached on [email protected]