Economic failure, the making of leadership or citizenry?

In the Ghanaian setting, leaders are to be accountable to citizens as the offices they hold were by the mandate of the citizens. These leaders elected by citizens of Ghana represent the views and opinions of Ghanaians and as a result, make laws and decisions in our stead.

Over the years, the country has been in increasing economic turbulence as a result of bad leadership (government, religious heads, experts and specialists in various fields and others).

In terms of natural resources, Ghana has a good standing on the African continent. The country is rich in gold, diamond, manganese, bauxite, timber, water bodies, and one of the leading producers of cocoa in the world. In spite of these, the country still wallows in economic crisis. One may ask, why?

Some Afrocentric citizens term this phenomenon as an effect of colonialism. How many years has it been now since Dr. Kwame Nkrumah helped in gaining independence? The administration of the state and its affairs has been left into the hands of leaders whom we queue every four years to elect with our thumbs. The talented human resource of Ghana, comprising of talented innovators and skilled individuals continue to live in unnecessary frustration, hopelessness, abject poverty to the extent that some citizens die of diseases that are preventable.

All these factors are tied to the leadership in some capacity who choose to remain selfish, non-progressive, naïve, visionless and greedy at the expense of citizens who clinch onto hope of impactful leadership that will result in development and economic growth.

Leaders of Ghana appear to be saints but become something else after they gain the mandate of the masses. In their first few months in office, they seem to have the nation at heart but after a while all that disappears. They embezzle national funds to enrich themselves and their families, award contracts to unqualified persons, appoint people into offices that know next to nothing about the field they have been appointed to.

Another issue is the enactment of new laws when enforcement of already existing laws has become an unachievable task. For example, there are strict laws with regards to mining in Ghana, but unfortunately, “galamsey” operators are depleting all our lands in the face of these laws.

The economy of Ghana being agrarian should be the first point of focus for the Ghanaian leadership, but what do we see? Less attention is paid to this sector despite being the backbone of our economy. In the 2016 expenditure of the Ghana government on agriculture, it was evident that there was a cut of about GH¢ 40million even as the growth in the agricultural sector stood still at 0.04% when the target of government was 3.6% growth. The agriculture sector received the least of cash out of the GH¢ 1billion allocated to the Annual Budget Funding Amount. Yet still, out of the GH¢ 30million budget for agriculture, only GH¢ 27 million was released.

We live in a country where the leadership is concerned with further developing the urban centers and pay little attention to rural areas. Most rural areas from where we get food and other raw material for factories and export do not even have good transport systems to move harvested produce to their desired destination. Moreover, there are no storage facilities to keep farm produce which are harvested in their season in abundance. Farmers eat what they can, sell what they can and the rest, left to their fate. Quite recently, watermelon was all over the streets of Accra as they were harvested in abundance. Some were sold, eaten and some had to rot as there were less or no processing factories to absorb them.

We can develop our economy and country right here, rather than our leaders running to foreign donors to seek for help which come along with paralyzing terms and conditions like no recruitments for public sectors for some years and others.

Felix Buabeng,

PR Practitioner.

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