Ghana’s dev’t is not about economic and science–Development planner

Nyaaba Aweeba Azongo, Development Planner and Consultant

A development planner and a consultant, Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, has described as archaic, fallacious and indoctrination of the highest order the growing Ghanaian mindset spawned by Ghanaian experts that One-Size-Fits-All Western Applied macro-economic science is the benchmark for Ghana’s development.

He said this growth of a macro-economic conventional thinking pattern was shot down about half a century ago as a development reality, and cannot emerge as a new order in Ghana. It amounts to borrowing a time-tested failure model as a new beginning for Ghana’s development.

He said this myopic thinking of development being an econometric reality driven by macro-economic indicators is not grounded in development history, and was heavily criticised over 5 decades ago after the monumental failure of the 1st UN development Decade – when macro-economic goals were set for the developing worldequivalent to the current Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals.

The crisis of the macro-economic growth-oriented order led to issuance of the Cocoyoc Declaration in 1974, calling for an alternative development model; particularly in the developing regions.

He recalled the statement of Dudley Seers, an authoritative British economist in response to the 1st UN Development Decade crisis in 1963 – that “neoclassical economics’ greatest error was its universalising from the West’s experience”.

Dudley Seers in 1969 went on to say: “The questions to ask about a country’s development are therefore: What has been happening to poverty? What has been happening to unemployment? What has been happening to inequality?

“If all three of these have declined from high levels, then beyond doubt this has been a period of development for the country. If one or two of these problems have been growing worse – especially if all three have, it would be strange to call the result ‘development’ even if per capita income doubled.”

Mr. Azongo also made reference to the 2010 post-global financial crisis conference as a case in point, when the then-World Bank President Robert Bruce Zoellick remarked that “Development knowledge should become ‘Multi-Polar’ to recognize the rising importance of developing countries as new poles of growth and experience”. Even before the crisis there was a questioning of prevailing economic paradigms and a sense that development economics needed rethinking.

The development has therefore emphasised that, there is no fixed state to be attained   by one-size-fits- all applied Macro-growth economic science but the search for creative workable Home-Grown Development Solutions.

He said the growth-concentrated macro-economic thinking has not proven inclusive over the past 5-decades in addressing Mass-Economic Drop-Outs, Development lop-sidedness, and the inter-generational cyclical financial crises.

Widespread poverty and inequalities are historically proven by-products of the existing growth-concentrated pattern of development, and cannot be a new development haven for economic scholarship in Ghana and Africa.

According to him, the quest for a Home-Grown Development Model is now the catchphrase of the global development industry after the global financial crisis in 2008/2009 – which even compelled the US to adopt a New Washington consensus with the focus on addressing inequalities.

The best development order for Ghana, according to Azongo, is to have a well-tailored home-grown planning model based on the country’s own character and context; and not who wields the best western-applied economic badge and international blueprint to engineer a self-justifying econometric calculus unrelated to the context and uniqueness of Ghanaian development challenges.

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