Vision 2020: Moving Forward

When the programme was first initiated Ghana was a low income country and at the end, the country retained the “low” and added “middle” to become a lower middle income country.

In 1996, the government of Ghana under Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings initiated a programme called Ghana-Vision 2020. This was a coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies that was to consolidate the gains so far secured over the past decade, and to lay strong foundations for accelerated growth and development in the subsequent two (2) decades (2000-2020). Yet, the current face of the country’s development shows signs that most of the policies were not fully or properly implemented. On the whole, the living standards of citizens are fairly low, there is an unemployment crisis, and real estate is not Affordable.

In the 1990s, the population of Ghana was fairly low with 15 to 17 million people – which meant the resources available could be tailored to the needs and interests of citizens. Low economic growth that resulted in poverty looked like it could be overturned, and this made the country’s status of being considered a low income country Beatable.

It is not easy for an individual to move from one income group into another unless that individual improves upon his or her productive patterns – and the same goes for any government. With long-term goals featured in the programme under headlines such as Human Development, Economic Growth, Rural Development, Urban Development and an Enabling Environment, a middle-income country status seemed far away, but the feasibility of the policies ushered out meant the country was Capable.

About one-third of the population lived below the poverty line. Fast forward 25 years and there are a lot of children who do not get GH¢1 a day as pocket money for school; many workers earn below GH¢1000 monthly; and a lot of private businesses are built solely on the idea of importation instead of exportation. This has seen the Ghana cedi (GH¢) descend into free-fall, and in the following years it became Depreciable.

In the Presidential Report, issues raised were high rates of unemployment and underemployment. Fast forward into the 21st century and its 20th year and nothing has changed, because there has been a significant increase in the population but resources remain in the hands of a significant few and the masses struggle to get by. Clearly, distribution of resources has not been Equitable.

On the list of the world’s great economies (GDP 2018), Ghana lies at number 73 as per information retrieved from the World Bank data catalog. On the African continent, it holds 9th position. What measures were taken to ensure all the short-term, medium and long-term goals were met? Wasn’t the programme analysed and tested to see if it was Feasible? On the Human Development Reports by the United Nations Development Programme, Ghana lies at the 142nd position with regard to the Human Development Index (with a value of 0.596), which after 25 years is not Favourable.

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It has been projected that the population of Ghana will hit 35 million by 2025, and if appropriate measures are not put in place to counter social problems – and more importantly force government to create an enabling environment for citizens to take advantage of – the country will reach a state wherein it will not be Governable.

Rural Development was present in the report, but urban roads are facing crises year in and year out – which has seen rural development weakened so that it is on its knees. A huge number of people are still moving from rural areas to urban areas, causing a highly populated urban environment where everyone wants to make something out of their own Hustle.

More than half of the population has got a work-for-the-state employee’s mindset; everyone would like to work for the government. After 25 years, it can clearly be seen that governments have changed; but all the successive governments under this current democratic dispensation have not known how to generate money (relying on loans and grants). That on its own makes individual citizen’s contribution to production and exportation low; and this lack of effective contribution puts the nation’s dream of attaining a middle-income country status highly Impossible.

After all these years, we have not put Ghana on the map. The country is only recognised through sports and not on any level of industrialisation. Globally, foreigners think that Ghanaians, and Africans on the whole, are people who are still living in the Jungle.

There are many ways of going about development. Tech companies have proven that you do not necessarily have to be resident in another person’s country before you can operate. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Instagram among others ushered in a new era. On the other hand, Amazon broke all the rules and showed the world that there is no singular way of producing and exporting goods, even paper and ink books were converted and sold in the form of Kindle.

In 2020, we still cannot stand toe to toe with other nations worldwide; and people still regard us as inferior because we are always asking for help. The rest of the world considers us as a country and continent which contribute nothing to the global economy, because we cannot offer our own selves help; and if we can, help is very Little.

If not all, most of our real productive patterns such as Gold, Timber, Bauxite and Oil among others are not entirely controlled by Ghanaians. We are people who cannot go into other nation’s territory but have opened up the length and breadth of our natural resources to foreign nationals because of our consistent need for help. This has allowed people to get into our industries, while in their home countries they are affairs in which we cannot Meddle.

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Every country makes deals, and we can all see the tension between the United States under President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping in the US-CHINA trade war because no country wants to be taken advantage of. In our situation, governments over the years have signed numerous deals with other nations; but we are always short-changed and help those countries put their economies in great positions on the World Bank list. They fall among countries that are Notable.

On economic development, women and rural-dwellers were supposed to be integrated into the national economy. Women have come far but are still fighting for total inclusion; but most rural dwellers have not, because there are children who are going to schools under trees. Such disturbing systems will not be able to see the country combat hard-core poverty, although measures can be put in place because they are Operable.

With people crying and governments not being able to turn the economy around as per people’s perception, it begs us to ask if creating an enabling environment for human development and, as importantly, for individual businesses to thrive and become successful will ever be Possible.

If citizens decide to stay quiet year in and year out, our situation will remain the same. We must be able to ask questions and hold governments accountable. Our efforts to achieve rural development, an enabling environment, human development must Quadruple.

With time, there have been people who have climbed into certain positions who lacked the knowhow to understand the course of the group they led – and accomplished nothing. As citizens, we cannot blame anyone because most of the decisions we have taken over the years were centred on emotion. Most often, they were not Reasonable.

If we always decide to stay quiet, we are the ones who will suffer the repercussions of a declining economy. As the population increases, so do the number of people who Struggle.

As we move into a new decade (2020-2029), there is a chance for a Vision 2030; and if new short-term, medium-term and long-term plans are made, it would only be wise if persons in implementing positions were to follow detail – and more importantly adhere to deadlines as per the Timetable.

As a nation, we are tired of always hitting rocks where promises are made but could not be achieved because politicians were just Unable.

We are all citizens of the country, and whatever affects us should be the primary cause for concern because human resources are the main variable for development. Citizens should not be taken advantage of because they are Vulnerable.

Lower-middle income countries have a GNI per capita between US$1,026 and US$3,995. The country must improve in the new decade (2020-2029). Finding a wealthy-coat is difficult, but if we carry on the same path with nothing to show in terms of development, we should bear in mind that a poverty-coat is easily Wearable.

Email: darkwahraphael@gmail.com

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