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Opinions of Wednesday, 6 June 2001

Columnist: Frank Q. Antwi-Barfi

The Ghost of NLM/UP is haunting Ghana

“Meeting, meeting with infirmity of purpose is what brought down the United Party (UP)”. This statement seemed to be the common theme cited by most people during the rein of Dr. Nkrumah and his CPP Government on why the opposition did not succeed.

Ghana does not have the luxury of time to keep prolonging the HIPC debates and continuous dialogue with the public. Our economic situation is in dire need of fixing. This is common knowledge and in fact, is the number one reason why the NDC lost the election of 2000. The NPP manifesto and campaign speeches gave assurance that they understood the causes of Ghana’s problems and have potential solutions.

President Rawlings’ Government had alluded to the decision as to Ghana’s status as a poor country when it set up the National Poverty Reduction Programme and submitted the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper to the World Bank in June 2000.

The Ghost of the National Liberation Movement and its cousin the United Party (NLM/UP) is haunting Ghana. The NPP should have blue print by now, considering the number of meetings, debates, discussions, and rallies on how sick Ghana’s economy was before winning the election. Enough of meetings!! Therefore we presume that President Kufour was very well versed in Ghana’s predicament before he opted to join the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC), as had 22 countries before Ghana. A vote of approval had been given at the ballot box. Therefore be bold to govern with what the NPP promised the voters.

There have been meetings of some of the Ghanaian employees of the World Bank and its affiliates with NPP Government staff during a retreat at Volta Hotel. There is on going National Dialogue on the economy; an invitation to Ghanaians Overseas to share their knowledge to grow the economy, and Hon. Dr. Nduom missed the first deadline to present his Poverty Reduction Strategy Plan. How many more meetings do we need in order to complete our Poverty Reduction Strategy Plan? There is no perfect plan so please start with what you offered during the campaign.

The United States’ President Clinton’s campaign slogan was “the Economy Stupid”. It fits our situation. If nothing alarms us of the urgency to reduce our foreign exchange debt service and to divert the savings to much needed domestic needs; the table below should help us to see the relief benefits of what other 22 countries have opted for. Ghana did not plan to fail economically but it does seem that Ghana failed to plan properly.


Frank Q. Antwi-Barfi,
Financial Planner,
Chicago, USA