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Opinions of Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Columnist: Asante, Francis Opoku

NPP setting on visionary leaders -Osafo-Maafo

Patriotic calls emanating from Ghanaians in general for Ghana ’s Economic renaissance, rapid economic growth and development, high level of capital investment, and leveling the wide income inequality, calls for a visionary leader and hence makes the stakes very high for both the NPP Presidential primaries and the general elections of Ghana . For the sake of the good people of Ghana and the future generation, it is very significant to note that our political correctness or incorrectness would be judged by posterity and if we make a wrong selection for a mere political expediency, the future generation will never leave us off the hook. It is therefore endearing to recapitulate the qualities of visionary leaders and put Hon. Osafo-Maafo in perspective.

Visionary leaders depict greatness, anticipate events, influence the future and enable individuals or the citizens to flourish in fundamental ways. Visionary leaders perceive challenges and growth opportunities before their occurrence and strategize to produce extra-ordinary results that mark indelible success for their countries and the world. Visionary leaders always conceptualize concepts, align them with optimism and transform them into realization in generating hope when hope is hard to come by.

The Hon. Osafo-Maafo has been a perfect visionary leader who conceptualized economic models and transformed them into an economic success story for Ghana . Most importantly, at a juncture when the future of Ghana ’s economy was at the verge of collapsing.

GHANA’S ECONOMIC PROSPERITY ENVISIONED AND ACTUALIZED; AN INDELIBLE ACHIEVEMENT BY OSAFO-MAAFO

The Honourable Osafo-Maafo as a visionary leader envisioned the following economic dynamics and actualized them through tremendous work, total leadership and willingness to put his all on the line for mother Ghana .

He first opted for HIPPIC with optimism and worked tremendously to reach a completing point of the initiative which came with tremendous benefits for our country.

Increase in the tax revenue from CEDIS4.4 trillion in 2000 down to 12.4% in July 2004 Reduction in the average lending rates from 47.5% to 29.5% and the Bank of Ghana Prime rate from 24.5% in 2002 to 18% in July 2004 Creation of medium term treasury market by creating 1 and 3 year treasury bills in addition to the existing 3 months treasury bills due to dramatic improvement in the stability of the economy Rise in foreign exchange reserve from $233 million to $1.425.6 million Net domestic financing decreased from 1117.6 billion cedis to (1732.2) billion cedis Overall budget deficit reduced from 6.5% of GDP to 1.7% of GDP Ghana qualified amongst the first nations in May 2004 to benefit from the Millennium Challenge Account instituted by the United States Government Granted independence to the central bank by law giving it the power to set interest rates and determine monetary policy

Implemented policies in the cocoa sector which led to the highest yields ever in the cocoa sector. Output increased from 389,770 metric tones in the 2000/2001 crop year to 667,732 metric tones by 2003/2004 crop year

Financial sector reforms including the new banking law and other bills to modernize the legal framework for payment systems, the preparation of an insurance bill and draft bills on money laundering, insolvency and financial institutions

As a reflection of the general improvement of the economy, the daily national minimum wage increased between 2001 and 2004 by 267% (4,200 cedis to 11,200) and by dollar terms by 70%

Readers, the imagination of his predecessors in the Finance Ministry, never envisaged the possibility of creating such a vibrant economy but as a visionary leader, he envisioned (conceptualize) it, evolved policies towards that and finally realized it. Thus visionary leaders always create path where there is none for others to follow. Thus visionary leaders, such as Morita of Sony, Martin Luther King of the civil right action, Bill Clinton of the US budget for surplus, Osafo-Maafo for Ghana ’s economic prosperity, always leave positive indelible marks behind them. The Hon. Osafo-Maafo once again envisions a well accelerated economic growth that transforms into the pockets of ordinary Ghanaians whereby the conspicuous income inequality gap could be bridged. An economy with high scale capital investment where modern machinery would be manufactured for local use and export. More vibrant economy where by job creation would be highly placed on the scale of preference.

The positive economic trickle-down effect coupled with the multiplier effects would be actualized by such a visionary leader. Our raw materials would be processed into finished products by our manufactured machines to add value to them for the sole purpose of local consumption and export. I am of the view that the NPP delegates and Ghanaians in general will never let this opportunity pass by. Creative (visionary) leaders such as Osafo-Maafo are needed. The World Bank saw this in him hence it hired the Honourable to help craft the Liberian economy

ENVISIONALIZATION AND CONCEPTUALIZATION WERE PLACED AT THE MINISTRY OF DUCATION, YOUTH&SPORTS

During the vetting process, the then newly appointed Minster of Education, youth&Sports, indicated and I quote’ my dream is to lead Ghana to the World Cup” That was his vision as a visionary leader. It sounded like a myth to many Ghanaians but He made it to the surprise of his pundits and admirers. This was very phenomenal as this was the first time the black stars ever tasted the world cup. A new hope is coming fellow Ghanaians. The visionary personality of Honourable Osafo Maafo is characterized by his versatility in all fields.

The Honourable once again, envisioned the need to equip students of Ghana with computer technology in today’s global competitive market. This brilliant idea was actualized on a perfect timing and this has made our graduates more computer literates and competitive on the global market. Visionary leaders always mean what they say and say what they mean. This has been the man’s hallmark, in fact, at any place he finds himself. He was also instrumental in setting up a dedicated teacher training college for Math and science and ICT. Moreover, the honorable Yaw Osafo Maafo finalized the bill to parliament for the council for technical and vocational education training (COVET)

During his period in office, he introduced the new distance education scheme for teachers to solve the perennial problem of teacher shortages due to large numbers of teachers taking study leave to attend full-time courses and also oversaw the implementation of the national Basic Schools and capitation Grant scheme, aimed at ensuring universal free basic education.

GHANA’S URGENT NEED FOR A VISIONARY LEADER SUCH AS OSAFO-MAAFO

With Ghana ’s economic prosperity coupled with the giant macro-economic indicators that are enormously promising, visionary leaders who have caused positive transformations in both the political and economic arena should be selected to create accelerated economic growth and development as Ghana gets ready to move to middle income status. In one of his recent interviews he indicated a quality that is typical of a visionary and I quote” it is not about telling people what one would be able to do when given the nod to lead this country but it is about telling the people what one ever promised doing and was able to do for which reason one should be given the chance to do what he says he would do” As a visionary, he instituted solid blocks of policy implementations which have been so instrumental to the success of all the two ministries he handled even till now. Readers, Ghana ’s insatiable needs make the political stakes highly conspicuous so much so that politics of rhetoric and confrontation should be relegated to the background. The level of competence, firmness, maturity all inclusiveness, humility coupled with efficiency make the Honourable more appealing to independent voters and positions him as the one who has what it takes to beat Atta Mills.

VISIONARY LEADERS BELIEVE IN THE FACT THAT CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME

With the concept of “charity begins at home the honourable embarked upon institution of developmental projects in his constituency which has led to a positive transformation in his constituency. This is the person you want to see leading the NPP and Ghana . This man will create sustainable development which will take into consideration, the needs of the future generation.

CONCLUSION

On this note, I implore all the NPP delegates to vote Osafo-Maafo as the flag bearer of the NPP because he has all that it takes to beat at Mills without run-off. With Osafo-Maafo (oseadeeye), the future of Ghana and the NPP is bright!

Written by: Francis Opoku Asante (Nana Poku)
Former SRC President of University of Cape Coast


Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.