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Opinions of Monday, 13 June 2011

Columnist: Nduom, Papa Kwesi

How CPP Will Bring Ghana’s Economy Back Home

On September 22, 2010, the CPP started the process of
offering the Ghanaian public alternative policies based on our core
values. The Party’s view is that the implementation of our core values
will lead to the transformation of our society. Prior to 1966, the CPP
had a blueprint for the future progress and development of Ghana as a
nation. It was “…a programme of social and economic development based on
the use of science and technology to revolutionalise our agriculture and
industry.” It held a promise of a brighter future based on prosperity for
all Ghanaians, a prosperity that was in part realized until it was abruptly truncated.

Our Party believes that it is important to debate the content
of what is offered by all the political parties in Ghana as policies and
programmes to move our economy forward. In the 4th Republic, Ghanaians
have been stuck with slogans and empty promises designed to win votes. It
is in this regard that the CPP started the “How the CPP will do it” series of
to offer our alternative policies for scrutiny. The CPP believes that
Ghana’s problems have remained largely the same because those who have had the
opportunity to administer the affairs of Ghana in recent years, have not shared
our belief in the CPP core values and hence have been incapable of implementing

We wish to remind Ghanaians that as the vast majority of our
people remain in need of the basics of life, our goal as a Party remains as

establish in Ghana a strong and progressive society in which no one will have
any anxiety about the basic means of life, about work, food and shelter; where
poverty and illiteracy no longer exist and disease is brought under control;
and where our educational facilities provide all the children with the best
possibilities for the development of their potentialities.”

This goal inspired the CPP Cabinet in the First Republic to
work with a sense of urgency. It still provides us with enough motivation
to move our country through a path that is very different from that which the
NDC and the NPP have offered so far in the Fourth Republic.

Nana Akufo-Addo, the man elected to lead the NPP to the 2012
elections has been quoted as offering the following as his party’s approach to
the Ghanaian economy:

NPP seeks to create a political economy consistent with basic individual

provide substantially equal opportunities to all citizens; tackle

but not by a centralised state socialism but by a private

led economy that is allowed to create wealth and the tax revenues

the state can accrue from such free entrepreneurships shall be then invested in
the social sectors to create greater opportunities for the

well offs.”

He added
that, “We must rebuild the confidence of the Ghanaian

We must not shy away from picking local winners and supporting

deliberately to become regional and continental winners.”

The CPP wishes to inform Ghanaians that this so-called
“…private sector led economy” has been promised by NDC1, NPP1, NDC2 and has not
been realized because these administrations have refused to recognize that
Ghanaians continue to be shortchanged by a market approach to the economy that
has liberalized trade unnecessarily and by the inability to use the purchasing
power and regulatory authority of the state to give our people an advantage in
our own country.

One characteristic of post colonial
economies is the structural balance of payment deficit on trade account that
serves as the source of their dependency and poverty. Their terms of trade make
them net exporters of capital to the developed economies. It is in this regard
that the deficit reduction strategy of the NPP and NDC governments
will neither reverse nor eradicate the structure of trade deficit that is
requisite for development. They treat the symptoms of trade deficit. That is
why we are where we are after NPP/NDC rule in the 4th Republic.

We feel very strongly that it is the blind and hurried want
to put a label of “…centralised state socialism” to create an artificial model
that can be perceived as “different” that is in part preventing our forward
march. No country in the world has advanced and created prosperity for
its people without the state using its central authority to support its
entrepreneurs and creating a favourable domestic environment for investment.
A private sector engine without fuel, body, tyres etc. cannot and will not
move. The use of the central state authority for the benefit of its people
is good! Indeed it is the centralized state that will ensure social

When the NPP talks about “…picking local winners”, who will
do it? The private sector or the state? It was the state that has
done it successfully in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and China. It
was the state that recently saved the automobile industry in the USA not the
private sector.

We are asking Ghanaians to shy away from people who will
offer artificial solutions that have failed as they will remain
campaign-induced empty promises. It is instructive to note that the
“successes” touted by the NPP1 Administration are socialist-oriented National
Health Insurance, Capitation Grant, School Feeding Program, LEAP and the
National Youth Employment Programme.

In contrast, the Convention People’s Party’s objective is to
“bring the economy back home”. This unique signature has been
captured in the official manifestos of the Party since 2004. The
objective is consistent with the Party’s principle of self determination.
It means that the CPP’s economic policy will be felt and as a result, known in
every village, town and municipality in all corners of our country. Our
economic objective is different from what has been offered by the NDC 1 & 2
and NPP 1 Administrations. In practical terms it means that the CPP will
take an aggressive posture to wean the economy away from the IMF, the World
Bank and other international finance institutions. It means that the CPP
will not mortgage the future of our children and our natural resources to our
detriment and the benefit of other nations as we believe the STX Korea
agreement and existing oil and gas agreements will do. It also means that
we will use the right of the state to tax to discourage unbridled importation
of everything under the earth and use the revenues to promote the development
of our own local enterprises. We will raise the funds needed to execute our
programmes by supporting the growth and development of domestic industries and
creating jobs at home.

The foregoing is by the way of
the backdrop that enlightens our development approach. The
contemporary Nkrumaist approach is government intervention
for the development of the productive private sector in the agricultural export
commodity and import substitution sectors to eradicate the structural trade


Papa Kwesi Nduom

CPP Shadow Cabinet Member, Finance & Economic Planning