Editor's note: Based on present and recent history of Ghana full prospects as an 'independent' economy, this article by YEN.com.gh Charles Ayitey explores some selected facts about Ghana that remains difficult for any sitting president to reveal. All expressions inscribed in this piece solely bears the editorial responsibility of the writer.
Just like 'every' political leader, President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana since taking up the mantle of leadership in Ghana has come to terms to some grave realities and developments that as President, have no option than to cover up before his followers.
Now even though the very secrets President Mahama has locked up his political cupboard remain yet to be known mysteries, this article strives to unravel the very ones that could keep you enlightened.
1. The fact that Ghana's 'backward' economy cannot be reversed within a 4 to 8 year term
It is a well known fact that every nation's economy can never be transformed within a short term. In fact, there is enough proof with the likes of China which used an average of 20 years to transform its economy to be the second largest in the world; Singapore which subjected its society to a disciplinary mode of macro-economic management; not forgetting the great recession of the United States of America (USA). Having its economic prospects reversed since the 1966 coup, one thing every economic historian will allude to is the painful memory of Ghana's former export-led economy under Dr Kwame Nkrumah now being an import-led economy. Suffice to say, Ghana's economy has been saddled in debts decades ago so that with the 'manipulation' of the macroeconomic prospects by the Bretton Woods commission, well...it could take more than Mahama's tenure to fix things.
2. The fact that Agriculture is the fastest dying sector in the Ghana
Agriculture, until in recent history has been Ghana's trademark - considering the proud stories since the pre and post independence era of how we were the world's leading exporter of Cocoa. In fact, Ghana's history is documented to be built on the capacity of the nation harnessing the potential of her agricultural sector to the betterment of national development. Check out our Cedi notes...just the presence of some selected cash crops says it all. But what is the real fact of facts in present times? The fact is that Agriculture according to the Ghana Statistical Service grew by a negative margin in 2014; the fact is that Ghana is currently importing tomatoes, cocoyam leaves (Nkontomire), onions, beans, etc from neighboring Togo and Ivory Coast; the fact that Ghana (based on statistics in 2014/2015) spends billions of dollars annually on the importation of polished rice, chicken and fish...Agriculture in Ghana needs a big deal of revival and even though president Mahama has done his best, his best within a first or second term in office can never revive the shrinking sector!
3. The fact that Ghana's internal and external debts surpasses the capacity of refinancing
Well, the issue of a burgeoning debt has always been the tram card of President Mahama's opposing parties. But beside the politicization of how shrouded in debt Ghana is, the true fact remains that our humble president has not finished paying the debts accrued by his predecessors let alone that of his administration! To be sincere, Ghana's Gross Public Debt which includes the sum of all outstanding debt owed by the government including not only the money the government has borrowed, but also the interest it must pay on the borrowed money has grown and continues to grow since 1992!
4. The West 'treats' Ghana more like a 'lapdog'
Call that the 'neo-colonial' debate, Ghana since independence has been has just like many other third world countries is a pawn on the political and economic chessboard of the West. As difficult as this is to explain, the world modernization theory has shown that the powerful (the West) continues to manipulate the weak ( second and third world countries) economically, politically and even culturally. Heard of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, World Health Organisation (WHO), etc? These are all the institutional powers the West is using to control how we spend, when we spend, where we spend, by what means we cure the sick, which forms we get entertained, to even the kind of clothes we need to wear. It is a complicated centuries-old political conspiracy by the West that President Mahama dares not scare us with.
5. The fact that all isn't well with Ghana
Even though we have marginally bright prospects as a nation, no president including our very own John Mahama would dare risk his political career by being the open on the stark realities facing Ghana. Take a stroll down the mental secret journey of president Mahama and after seeing the realities of institutional corruption, hunger and disease, gradual economic regression, insecurity against terrorism, compromised foreign policy... then you will know that just like any political leader elsewhere in the world, over dear President Mahama always gathers the strength to retrain himself from revealing the skeletons in Ghana's political, economic and social cupboard.