The coronavirus has altered the social order and aspirations of Ghanaians; it has created a ripe environment for the resurgence of scientific socialism in national affairs.
Centre-left politics will influence the culture of Ghana for generations to come; the era of far-right politics in Ghana may have just reached an end.
Ghanaians are eager to hand over the wheel to a government that will modernise and invest in public services. Citizens have demonstrated an incessant desire for a shrewd combination of tech-driven social innovation and political pragmatism.
The pandemic has exposed the stark contrast between the adept alternative proposals from the centre-left National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the incompetent responses from the far-right New Patriotic Party (NPP).
It appears, and to the surprise of many Ghanaians, that the sitting government — the NPP administration — has almost completely ditched science and abandoned reliable epidemiological modelling in its policy response to the pandemic. A candle converts only around 0.01% of its possible energy into light¬¬. I dare say, there’s a striking similarity between the current government and a candle. A government that fails to adapt a viable solution to such a national crisis is in itself a problem.
The Mahama-administration invested up to US$2billion in health care infrastructure and resources. This included a US$264m initiative that replaced outdated facilities with avant-garde treatment and diagnostic equipment for over 150 hospitals. The 617-bed University of Ghana Teaching Hospital; 420-bed Ridge Hospital expansion project and 295-bed Bolgatanga Regional Hospital are just a few examples of healthcare institutions that were freshly constructed or revamped.
The previous government also planted the seeds of technical proficiency through the expansion of vocational education. The NDC pumped more than GH₵150m in grants to public institutions, and in 2015, allocated GH₵65m to private sector firms, to enhance the quality of labour. These went along with sizeable investments in critical public goods such as tertiary education and transport.
The Republic will flourish with a model that balances an invisible hand of the hyper-innovative free market and a visible clean hand of good governance.
The arch perception of leftist movements, such as the NDC, given its revolutionary background, has waned. The NDC has evolved into a progressive centre-left government with a clear set of commitments to protect employment and income; scale up safety net programs for the most vulnerable in society; maintain the affordable prices of key commodities and stimulate the productive sectors of the economy.
The National Democratic Congress acknowledges the utmost importance of welfare for public servants –– teachers, doctors, nurses, police officers and so forth. It is fundamental that public servants do not feel undervalued and taken for granted. It’s time to uplift the dignity and integrity of the civil service. And I believe that is a core objective of the centre-left movement.
Good public services are vital for our continued prosperity as a Republic. Our national economic wellbeing depends on a skilled and talented workforce. This requires a government that can create the environment for citizens to thrive. Ghanaians need a leadership that encourages social cohesion and can ensure socioeconomic rights are enforceable.
The task of transforming Ghana isn’t a walk in the park. There are still 7,442,500 Ghanaians that live on less than GH¢ 1,485.12 per annum. It is just a handful of people (1%) in Ghana that live a life of dignity. The rest (99%) either have their heads just above water or simply never ever get to come up for air; they wallow in poverty and suffer perpetually.
The bright part is that the NDC still has a large pool of intellectual capital representative of experienced, exuberant and energetic politicians with the right attitude for governance, social reforms and massive economic interventions. Elect a government that treats you with the purpose and focus you deserve.
The author, Vincent Djokoto, is an Adviser at D. K. T. Djokoto & Co and a Columnist passionate about politics, pop culture and history. He is an avid chess player, music enthusiast and Accra Hearts of Oak fan.