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Opinions of Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Columnist: Tamakloe, Kojo

Ghana’s vision 2020 ,7 year development Plan

...and the Senchi Consensus

How NPP destroyed a good Program

In 1995, the NDC administration launched the Vision 2020 document that was put together by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) as Ghana's blue print for sustainable socio-economic development.

The Vision 2020 which was presented to parliament by President Jerry John Rawlings recognized two extremely important facts:

1. The only means by which the country's resources can be used efficiently to achieve rapid economic growth while maintaining the integrity of the environment hinges on the integration of Science and Technology in the various programmes.

2. Decentralization of Ghana's public administration system to the district level will make it possible for Districts to take responsibility for their development programmes and resources in line with the Vision 2020 programme. The Vision 2020 document envisaged the use of science and technology to rapidly address Ghana's development to improve the quality of life for all, at the same time maintaining the integrity of the environment. This is this country's current priority in development.

Not long after the NPP took over the reins of government, its Minister of Finance, Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo, dealt a severe blow to the Vision 2020 document. On Kwaku-One-on-One, a GTV talk show programme which was screened on Sunday, 30th of September 2001, Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo declared that 'as far as I am concerned, the Vision 2020 programme is dead Arable The Finance Minister went on to say that 'a Vision 2010 programme, which aims at increasing food production and processing and job creation, would replace the Vision 2020 programme'.I want to reprint the situation as it was quoted in 2010 “ Arable and industrial crop production has increased only marginally over the last 10 years with the only exception being cocoa which increased significantly between 2000 and 2005. Cotton and coffee production declined very significantly in the last decade. While there is little reliable information on the livestock sub-sector, it is known that the country’s meat situation is deficit to the tune of over 95,000 metric tonnes annually. There is similarly a deficit of about 460,000 metric tonnes with respect to fish. The identified basic problems of the agriculture sector include: reliance on rainfed agriculture and low level and relatively inefficient irrigated agriculture; low level of mechanization in production and processing; high post harvest losses as a result of poor post harvest management; low level and ineffective agricultural finance; poor extension services as a result of several institutional and structural inefficiencies; lack of ready markets and processing; low performing breeds of livestock; poor feeding of livestock; high cost of feed for poultry; poor livestock housing and husbandry management; competition from imports and poor post-production management of livestock products; over-fishing of natural waters; undeveloped fish value chain “

From the pronouncement of Mr. Osafo Maafo, science and technology were no longer the engine to drive Vision 2010, but rather food production and processing as well as job creation.

I wonder how he was going to produce and process food and also create jobs without the input of science and technology. No wonder we are still stuck with hoe and cutlass, importation of fertilizer and massive post-harvest losses of almost everything our farmers break their backs to produce Recently some of the NPP stalwarts have championed importation and consumption as avenues to develop the Ghana economy . Some of us hold a different view of production and value addition . We have welcomed AGOA as opposed to EPA which could make ECOWAS a dumping ground But as most of us like to copy the USA I have taken the liberty to refer to what the current USA President is doing . Those in Germany and China may see similarities “President Obama has highlighted manufacturing in his past two State of the Union addresses

Boost Exports: Manufacturers need actual policies that would help them enter and expand into new markets abroad. Although the president has championed the multiple economic benefits of exports”. President Obama it will be recalled bailed out Manufacturing entities like Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors and a lot of Banks , with the understanding of the “ Multiplier Effect” and then went on the offensive “ Buy America” . How do these differ from Prez Mahama’s call of “ Buy Made In Ghana” ?

Let us compare to Nkrumah and CPP ‘s & year development plan that incorporated both agricultural expansion and manufacturing These are some of the objectives “During the plan period, Ghana intends to develop the large-scale industrial sector considerably by:- Setting up industries wherever practicable which will provide domestic substitutes for the manufactured staples of consumer demand, the supply of which has at present to be imported; Processing wherever economically feasible, those agricultural and mining commodities that are now exported as primary products, such as cocoa, timber and gold; Setting up industries to provide materials for the building industry, in order to conserve foreign exchange, and to lower costs Setting up, as appropriate, basic industries in the fields of metals and chemicals; Starting the development of other basic industries which will form part of later stages of industrialisation in subsequent years Planning industrial development in harmony with the development of other African countries. Of total imports in 1962, 42 percent was in the form of food, drink, tobacco, textiles, clothing and other consumption goods. The more industries that can be set up in Ghana successfully to produce substitutes for these goods, the more money will be available to import raw materials, fuel and equipment. These cannot yet be produced in Ghana, but they are essential for the industrial and agricultural development that is the object for the Plan. It is hoped that by the end of the Plan most of Ghana’s demand for consumption goods such as textiles, shoes, tinned meat and fish, drinks and sugar will be met form domestic sources” So just as Osafo Marfo and the NPP abrogated the Vision 2020 for adhoc planning and market liberalization in 2001 to the earlier NPP government under Busia also abrogated and DESTROYED the 7 year development Plan while destroying 400+ infant industries . I have said it and will say it again , poultry farms were closed and feed factories denied import license for raw materials and instead we imported Turkey tails . Let me ask Ghanaians how many solutions have DR Bawumia come up with and as a country Representative in Zimbabwe was he able to sort out the economic problems of Zimbabwe? What then make s you think he can do it in Ghana under an NPP government? Is Nana ‘s Akufo Addo’s Akyem Abuakwa an industrialized Zone in Ghana ? He represented them for 16 years . Recently we read they citizens were using the classrooms as toilets. Hello , we borrowed $750m under Ghana@50 and part was to built toilets . Could that not have been used to build dams and improve energy supply ? Who was A G when Ghana signed the contracts of Woyome , Balkan Energy and the others , that have become “ Judgment Debts”? Let us stop politics and talk basic economics of survival

So should Ghanaians be despondent? I think NO . It is time for ACTION . 7 year development Plan , Vision 2020 , and now Senchi Consensus . Must we wait for 2016 to start with people who have proved to be failures or we start NOW?. I say Now, for this reason . It was Einstein who came up with a theory of Relativity . If we stand still , we will be moving backwards as others are moving forwards . Time for IMPLEMENTATION . Ghanaians cannot continue to suffer because they are being held hostage . The NPP has inflicted enough damage . If you are hungry and broke , instead of insults , Go and farm. If you are a patriot with connections and can demonstrate , do so for INVESTMENTS . Let us learn to PRODUCE and search for markets. If you are a science person , invent cheaper building materials , or ploughs . If you can mobilize , then mobilize to clean our rivers and water ways so we can produce more fish . If you are a teacher, teach people about hygiene, sanitation and keeping the environment clean . Economists and geographers , look at your localities and see what can be produced . Give back to your communities Let us seriously find ways to reactivate the bricks factories, jute factory, boat factory, the fishing corporation, cattle development, poultry, match factory, gold processing, oil mils, TOR, VALCO, . Enough of the shout of government, government, government. USA job report showed 20500 jobs for July .They were NOT government jobs but private sector jobs . UK has caught up with the jobs it shed in the depression . All are getting money in their pockets and so there is “ demand” . Let us find out what we can sell to them under AGOA , or EPA . Let us stop the theories and put our hands where our mouth is . “At some point, we have to stop looking somewhere else for solutions, and you have to start looking for solutions internally," Obama said. "And as powerful as history is, and you need to know that history, at some point, you have to look to the future and say, 'OK, we didn't get a good deal then, but let's make sure that we're not making excuses for not going forward.'" Ghana , let us revert to “ Work and happiness’ Forward Ever , backwards never

The writer Kojo Tamakloe is a Pan Africanist who believes a United Africa is the panacea for our Under development

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