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Feature Article of Friday, 5 August 2011

Columnist: Sakyi, Kwesi Atta

What Is The Way Forward For Ghana?

By Kwesi Atta Sakyi

I hope this article may not be looked upon as a wish list or wishful thinking or being wistful as regards ascending to the corridors of power or pertaining to what prevailed under the first Republic of Nkrumah. I have been a humble teacher of four decades. I think I can arrogate to myself some authority to share my ideas, having had stints teaching a myriad of subjects in schools and colleges across Africa.

1. We need to adopt sustainability in the exploitation of our resources, especially minerals, marine and forest resources, as these are finite and non-renewable. In so doing, we shall help slow down climate change in Ghana. It beggars belief how our environment is being wantonly damaged by those in the extractive industries. Our flora and fauna are being decimated at a fast pace towards extinction.

2. The Chinese have accumulated enormous foreign reserves because of high levels of thrift and hard work. The same applies to the Japanese. I think in Ghana, we enjoy flaunting our propensity to consume. I think we need to save much both in the public and private sectors, though there is the paradox of thrift which states that oversaving can lower real GDP. Of course, Ghana as a newly-minted MIC, has not yet got to that level. We need massive capital injections to lift us out of the low equilibrium trap. Hence, the need to increase domestic savings and to reduce our marginal propensity to consume.

3. Our educational system at the pre-tertiary level needs to be revamped by making it customized, user-friendly and tailored to the labour market. Our curriculum needs to be both Ghanacentric and globocentric so that our products can compete efficiently on the global market. We should vigorously incorporate entrepreneurship in our curricula so that we empower the youth to become employers instead of employees.

4. We should deepen our decentralized system by freeing some fiscal resources for our local governments in order to have bottom-up development or grassroots participation.

5. We need to clean up our judiciary system by putting in place mechanisms to speed up the disposal of court cases and arrest the rising spate of judico-corruption.

6. We need to come up with long term infrastructural masterplans for building a new capital city, new railway lines, new airports and harbours and massive infrastructure such as drainage systems, irrigation dams, water and energy projects.

7. Encourage massive FDI by reducing the cost of doing business, following the example of Rwanda in Africa or the Asian Tigers.

8. For each district, ensure that small scale industries are set up in partnership with foreign capital and expertise in order to reduce the backlog of unemployed JHS, SHS and university graduates.

9. Add more value to our exports by paying critical attention to the 4Ps (price, product, place and promotion) or the extra 3Ps for services, namely, people-centeredness, physical evidence and processes.

10. Vigorously market Ghana abroad as a favoured FDI destination through the foreign and domestic media and ensuring we develop proper economic, political and social institutions.

By Kwesi Atta Sakyi

Send your comments to:

kwesi.sakyi@yahoo.com

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