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Opinions of Sunday, 7 October 2007

Columnist: Asante, Francis Opoku

Osafo-Maafo And Ghana's Political Dispensation

Political dispensation is a significant era in a specified political period defined by its uniqueness. Each dispensation has its own demands. The peculiarities of dispensational demands virtually lead to the emergence of a political party or a leader.

Such leaders or parties are mostly revered by the voters as the best solution to the insurmountable problems of the country. Ghana as a pacesetter of colonial renaissance in the whole of Africa, has witnessed phases of transitional dispensations in the political spectrum, right from the day of independence. It is no secret that distinct political parties with varied ideologies and economic policies surfaced over the years and dissipated. Still in the memory are “the big six” and their UGCC, Dr Kwame Nkrumah and his CPP, Dr.Busia and the PP, Dr. Hilla Limann and his PNP, Flt Lieutenant JJ Rawlings and his (P) NDC, and finally, the NPP which presented itself as the best alternative to the NDC whiles in opposition and subsequently won a historic election for the first time in Ghana.

The NPP won again in 2004 with majority in parliament due to the enactment and implementation of prudent fiscal and monetary policies that led to the resilience of the economy. It is worthy to note that President J.A. Kufour, in his first administration, hired Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo to see to the resuscitation of the economy from the verge of collapsing (due to economic mismanagement of the P NDC/NDC) and transform it to one of the resilient economies of the world. The success story was enormous and that led to Ghanaians nicknaming the Honourable as ‘oseadeeye’ or “oyeadeeyie”; meaning someone who delivers on his promises or a transformer (visionary)

The current political dispensation of Ghana is very unique in its dynamics due to sincere calls emanating from the electorate for economic renaissance, sustainable economic development, high level of capital investment, wealth growth, and the reduction of over reliance on foreign donors for economic sustenance. This explains the need for a vigorous assessment of all the presidential candidates for the selection of a candidate who has met the aspirations of Ghanaians before and is ready to repeat history in line with the aforementioned demands. There is an urgent need for the selection of a visionary leader who will increase the pace of wealth creation and economic development of Ghana as one of the iconic countries of West Africa.

It is very incomprehensible to realize that even though Ghana has all it takes to establish itself as one of the best economies of the world, yet we have not had the long expected break through. Ghana is endowed with rich natural and mineral resources such as Gold, diamond, bauxite, cocoa, coffee, cashews, crude oil ( crude oil was originally in low level quantity but vast quantity has recently been discovered), human resource that is characterized by high cognitive potentiality etc. yet the pace of our economic growth and development is relatively slow. The sluggishness in the pace could be attributed to numerous factors. However, it is about time Ghana moves forward and leave the past behind. The attainment of a middle income status needs to be actualized within the shortest possible time. With a visionary leader in the helm of affairs of our great country, the future is bright.

This is not about a beauty contest neither is it about a show of wealth (cash!). It is rather about selecting a candidate with a solid track record who made monumental promises in a historically critical period of our country and was able to fulfill them. The Honourable Osafo-Maafo stands out among the lot in this regard.

The stakes are very high. Ghana needs a leader who will think outside the box and go extra-mile in consolidating the positive macro economic indicators and transform them to one of the best economies of the world. Hon.Osafo-Maafo demonstrated that he is his own man and also thinks outside the box when it comes to policy making and implementation. The MP for Akim Oda has demonstrated in all his ministerial appointments that he is an achiever as well as a visionary leader. The ever vibrant former Finance Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo stabilized the economy at a time when the whole economy was at the verge of collapsing and most importantly, when all hope in the economy was lost. He is genuinely credited with bringing the economy back on track and he is ready to positively defy history again.

The Honourable Osafo-Maafo’s disciplinary persona and his ability to follow his sense of conviction without behaving like a puppet, has sometimes caused him his job. However, it is a show of sincere firmness and the love for Ghana to lose a job than to become a puppet. Ghana needs a leader who has proven to be reliable when it comes to delivering on his promises. The Honourable Osafo-Maafo promised to lead Ghana to the world cup tournament. To the disbelief of both his pundits and admirers he historically led the black stars for the first time to the world cup tournament. Ghana as an underdog in the world cup tournament, demonstrated that it was a force to reckon with.

As Ghana opted for the HIPIC initiative, he promised a quicker completion point and he impressively reached the completion point on a timely fashion. This led to the cancellation of Ghana’s debt by the Paris club and other financial institutions

The situation calls for a visionary leader and sacrifice from both government officials and the citizenry to build a better country. The United States did it after the world war. Japan did it after the obnoxious destruction of two of their icon cities. Pundits will argue on the basis that the success of Japan was in part due to the Marshall plan through which the United States trooped money into their economy. That is a splendid argument but the downside of it is that some countries did it without the “Marshal Plan” It takes a visionary leader with a high level of experience to effect blocks of prudent policies that will transform the economy into the pockets of the ordinary Ghanaian and bridge the high income disparity. There should be someone who will think outside the box and operate outside the status quo for the betterment of all Ghanaians. The Honourable Osafo-Maafo has demonstrated that he is ready to take Ghana to the next enviable step in the history of our country.

Without fear or favor, Hon.Osafo-Maafo undertook a far reaching program to combat fraud within the public sector. This move greatly paid off with the elimination of thousands of ghost names from Government payroll and more importantly culminated in the passing of the three Acts namely, the Public Procurement Act, Internal Audit Agency Act and the Financial Administration Acts.

Conclusion

As we debate, campaign, dream and aspire for a better Ghana, let’s all remember that Ghana is for us all and that we are all one people created by God!

Written by:

Francis Opoku Asante

The writer is a Medical Insurance Specialist (UAT/Clinical Operations), Bed.POPLE, Currently pursuing Masters of Science in Accountancy (MSA), Former SRC President (University of Cape Coast) E-mail:nanpoku_2007@yahoo.com


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

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