Economic Policy Analyst, Senyo Hosi, says successive governments’ inability to adhere to a common economic agenda for development has rendered the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) valueless.
He said the country is lagging in development since governments have shown keen interest in fighting for credit for projects their parties undertake rather than completing projects started by their predecessors.
Mr Hosi was delivering a keynote address at the 2022 Constitution Day Public Lecture organised by the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) Law School,
He stressed that the average Ghanaian continues to bear the brunt of the culture of discontinuity – a practice he described as heartbreaking.
“We have failed to develop a common economic agenda and rendered the NDPC a white elephant replacing each national development plan with a party manifesto. Rawlings’ Vision 2020 gave way to Kuffour’s Vison 2010 and then a 40-year development plan which has also been denounced.
This ping- pong we play with our economic policies is heartbreaking. We seem to have forgotten that we are dealing with real lives. The lack of a true national agenda is reflective of the adversarial democracy we have developed from the constitution. It is an NDC vs. NPP war on who gets credit and whose face will be printed on the document.
And as the elephant and umbrella fight over the absurdity of ego, you, me and little Amina, that 1o-year-old Class 5 girl in Bunkprugu, will continue to suffer.”
The Public Lecture was held in collaboration with the One Ghana movement.
According to the policy analyst, although Ghana is known globally for its democratic governance, it has failed to live by the principles that surround democracy.
“We have land, good weather, natural and human resources and yet we are hungry and broke! How? Corruption, poor leadership and wastage inspired by the Governance frame of the constitution which yields close to no accountability.”
He noted that the United Arad Emirates (UAE) has been able to share prosperity for its citizens despite the fact that it does not practice democracy. He opined that due to the devastating effects in Ghana, the youth will jump on the first opportunity they get to seek greener pastures elsewhere.
“Imagine the United Arab Emirates announcing it is offering citizenship for 2 million Ghanaians through a process to be hosted at the Accra Sports Stadium. I do not think I need to tell you about the stampede that is certain to occur.
“The United Arab Emirates has shared prosperity for all its citizens, even though it is not a democracy. I am sure most of us salivate at the prospect of annual vacations there.
Just so we are reminded, that desert called UAE ranks 21st in the world happiness index while Ghana ranks 98th. I opine that people at core seek dignity and prosperity in living fuller lives for themselves and their children much more than an addiction to democracy. ‘Na democracy they go chop?’”
Referencing a survey by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Mr Senyo Hosi made it known that Ghanaians are disappointed in the two main political parties; NPP and NDC, after several failed attempts for each party to rectify the wrongs done by the other.
Every time we have been faced with bad governance, we have been patient to see the end of the government’s reign in hope that the next will be well.
But after trying both NDC and NPP four times each at elections, many are filled with disappointment and have concluded, it is almost the same wine in different bottles. When it feels like there is no end in sight, hope begins to deplete.
The recent survey by CDD that showed that over 70% of Ghanaians prefer having MMDCEs elections on a non-partisan basis, is very telling of the sentiments that ‘We the People’ currently have about our partisan politics. So, if I may use a friend’s terminology, ‘Enkoyelapa’, it is not going well – we are depleting that hope, and it is depleting
Mr Hosi blamed the ineffective Separation of powers, meant to ensure all arms of government are in check, for Ghana’s challenges.
He explained that the system exists in form but not much in practice.
“We have an everpowerful Presidency that appoints 50% of Ministers from Parliament and has the power to appoint them on boards. In fact, the majority leader is a cabinet minister. The judiciary on the other hand is significantly dependent on the executive for its appointments, thereby creating prospects of political and executive activism.
Respectfully, while the crafters of the constitution may have considered this structure necessary for a smooth transition from military rule to democracy, it has become the bedrock of our problems.”
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