Public Sector Discipline; Private Sector Growth
After emerging from the politically, economically, and socially turbulent 1980s, all the major stakeholders in Ghana appeared to have a clear-minded focus on embedding democracy and the rule-of-law as the basis for the economic transformation of the country. That task, twenty-six years into the fourth republic appears largely done.
Politically, Ghana has seen seven well-run elections, four changes of Presidential administrations, one change of President mid term, and a disputed election result peacefully settled by the Supreme Court. Nonetheless, Government is bloated, fuelled by constitutional defects that politicians have exploited to create waves of gerrymandered constituencies and districts now numbering 275 with more planned; and lately, six more economically indefensible regions.
Ministers have grown from about 40 to 110, and departments and agencies have likewise mushroomed in a similarly haphazard manner. In short, politics and democracy have become an undisciplined, growth inhibiting, defective component in Ghana’s journey to an upper-middle income status mature democracy.
The education sector is in a politically induced crisis – defined by inadequate physical infrastructure and far too frequent systemic changes compounded by population growth and social dynamics that have resulted in overpopulated schools.
The problems of the sector are exacerbated by the cadre of poorly trained teachers, an uncompetitive curriculum vis-à-vis the best economies, and an apparent lack of clarity about how education will be leveraged to create an economically competitive and socially attractive Ghana in the context of West Africa and the continent.
The national fabric has frayed.
(a) Corruption remains a major identified problem but there is no political will to address resolutely or definitively, its eradication.
(b) Young people question the relevance of the State outside of handouts given in subsidies and dubious “social interventions” that are never sustainable and thus validate poverty and exclusion from economic success for the majority of our youth.
(c) Politics validates political thuggery evident in armed vigilante/para-military groups, which seem to be beyond the full powers of the Police or the courts.
(d) Ghanaians question why they must demonstrate allegiance to the nation when politically connected people are seen to rob the national coffers with the connivance of the political class and the seeming ineptitude and sometimes participation of public servants.
Yet, there remains a confidence in Ghana that we have weathered the worst of the growing pains and stumbles of a young democracy.
Ghana remains a litmus test of economic progress in the West African sub-region. The education and health systems are seen as probably the best in the ECOWAS zone. Our judiciary is respected as independent, and civil services and public sector organisations across Africa regularly study and adapt our legal frameworks and public sector innovations.
Ghana is on the cusp. A new paradigm is needed to usher us into the post neo-democratic phase of our national evolution.
The core elements of the new paradigm we must implement now, include;
(a) A refined framework to revitalise politics and democracy and define the unique role the State will play in the lives of Ghanaians and the ground Ghana will occupy in the community of nations,
(b) A robust development agenda that will integrate our economic management priorities and the governance architecture for managing wealth and value creation in the new Ghana,
(c) A focussed and aggressive path to building strong and competitive, businesses, industries and sectors able to stimulate sustained rises in efficiency, productivity, exports, job and income growth across the economy, and finally,
(d) A trustworthy social justice and security framework that will be attractive to citizens, investors, and immigrants with the skill sets we need to launch the New Ghana.
These are not impossible dreams. They are imperatives.
Join an esteem panel at the 6th edition of the Ishmael Yamson & Associates Business Roundtable, as they illuminate the successfully navigated socio-political and corporate transitions Ghana can emulate and the visionary, innovations that should challenge our approach in putting flesh to the new paradigm that will both define and direct the course and success of the New Ghana.
|The Ishmael Yamson & Associates Business Roundtable is a thought leadership platform for business leaders, policy makers, and leaders in government|
Michael Harry Yamson
Ishmael Yamson & Associates Business Roundtable 2019
63 North Boundary Road
Community 20, Lashibi