Our independence and the 24-hour economy



The discourse surrounding the 24-hour economic concept in Ghana, often mired in political rhetoric, tends to dismiss its potential, yet I find this perspective rather amusing. As I have delineated the various dimensions through which we could operationalize the 24-hour economy, it becomes evident that Ghana requires this economic model to enhance our democratic credentials.

Presently, Ghana’s economic landscape mirrors the Harrod-Domar model, which underscores the relationship between investment, capital accumulation, and economic growth. However, the proliferation of poor leadership and failed institutions has resulted in a structurally defective system characterized by unnecessary bureaucratic layers and duplication of effort.

For instance, the bloated government size with 121 ministers and deputies alongside CEOs of state-owned enterprises contrasts starkly with the streamlined approach required under a 24-hour economy, where only around 20 ministers would suffice for governance.

The touted Guggisberg economic model, championed by the Akufo Addo-led government, aimed at transforming Ghana’s agrarian economy into a diversified and industrialized society, but it fell short due to managerial inefficiencies and incompetence. This economic model has become obsolete, given its exclusionary practices, reliance on export-oriented growth, neglect of social welfare, unequal distribution of benefits, dependency on colonial powers, and environmental degradation.

This approach has perpetuated what I term the “entitlement philosophy,” where opposition parties vie for power every eight years, regardless of the ruling party’s performance, leading to governance challenges. The result has been structural defects in economic growth, with successive governments abandoning incomplete projects, bloating the civil service, and perpetuating unnecessary red tape and duplication of efforts, all compounded by expensive political campaigns.

Consequently, the one-man-one-vote majoritarian winner-takes-all system has proven ineffective in a multicultural society like Ghana, necessitating the adoption of a 24-hour economy model to provide an all-inclusive governance structure with collective accountability and responsibility, fostering collective success for national development.

The past seven years have been marred by partisan politics that have permeated and divided every facet of Ghanaian society, from ministers to MPs, the judiciary, agricultural and educational sectors, security forces, market women, Okada drivers, and the health sector. It is disheartening to witness our civil services devolve into arenas where political elites enrich themselves, with reports of alleged officers acquiring extravagant properties or hoarding millions of dollars under their beds. This trend has widened the gap between the political class and the ordinary citizen in Ghanaian society.

In recent times, Ghana, once proud of its independence, has had to seek assistance from the IMF due to its annual recurrent budget standing at a staggering 88percent, leaving a mere 12percent for capital investment. Coupled with poor accounting practices on both the expenditure and revenue sides, this has plunged the economy into disarray, prompting reflection on the true meaning of Ghana’s independence.

Our leaders now resemble mini-gods, reminiscent of the unfortunate events of the 67th Independence Day, where an officer lost his life and over 66 school children collapsed, yet no apologies were offered to the citizens. It is an undeniable fact that the present government has disappointed Ghanaians in all spheres, with uncontrollable inflation, currency depreciation, high indebtedness, and an unprecedented 17 IMF bailout requests, mocking the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ slogan and casting us as beggars incapable of managing our own affairs.

As I write, representatives of the IMF are stationed in the Bank of Ghana and Ministry of Finance, raising questions about Ghana’s sovereignty. Therefore, I propose the adoption of the 24-hour economy model as a game-changer to usher in a paradigm shift and a sustainable, homegrown development strategy.

This solution will be twofold: first, from a religious perspective, restoring the fear of God among citizens to promote integrity and servant leadership among the ruling political elite, thereby minimizing bribery and corruption in our society; and second, from an economic standpoint, replacing the unsustainable, exorbitant partisan politics of the entitlement philosophy embraced by dominant political parties with an all-inclusive, sustainable servant leadership governance.

Laying a solid governance foundation, including the establishment of a presidential board, limiting political parties to a maximum of three, adopting a rotational system for cabinet positions every five years, and abolishing party manifestos in favor of a single national development plan, will facilitate the transition to a 24-hour economy.

Moreover, promoting non-partisan legislatures and assemblies, with MPs and DCEs/MMCEs being elected based on merit and not political affiliation, will further reinforce the ethos of collective accountability and responsibility. This governance overhaul will pave the way for the practical implementation of the 24-hour economy model, catalyzing an economic revolution in Ghana. By stimulating continuous economic activities, creating employment opportunities, enhancing productivity, and fostering inclusive growth, the 24-hour economy model will herald a new era of prosperity and advancement for all Ghanaians.


>>>the writer is a seasoned InvestBankpreneur with an illustrious career spanning 29 years across academic, corporate, and agribusiness sectors. His extensive professional journey includes pivotal roles at esteemed institutions such as UBA Ghana, SIC Financial Services, Empretec Ghana, and the Swiss International Finance Group, reflecting his profound understanding of global finance.

Renowned as a pioneer in risk management, compliance, and corporate strategy, Dr. Tetteh-Dumanya has made significant contributions to the Ghanaian financial landscape. He has been instrumental in spearheading initiatives in Venture Capital, business/financial reengineering, and fundraising, thereby playing a pivotal role in the growth and development of numerous entities.

Driven by a fervent dedication to capacity development, Dr. Tetteh-Dumanya has offered consultancy services to a diverse array of local and multinational organizations notably GIZ, AGRA, SNV, DANIDA, and USAID among others. His expertise in financial and business domains is multifaceted, showcased through his adept navigation of complex challenges and his commitment to driving sustainable growth in every endeavor. For inquiries, Dr.  Tetteh-Dumanya can be reached at: [email protected]

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