Dr Donald Agumenu, a Governance Expert, has called for pragmatic thought leadership to transform the economy and make it resilient beyond an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan-support programme.
The Senior Fellow at the Centre for African Diplomacy and Global Engagement (Afro-Global) said Ghana’s problems could not be fully solved with the arrival of an IMF credit facility.
He said to manage Ghana’s current economic challenges and lessen the hardship on Ghanaians, there was the need for a “pragmatic thought leadership to plan and achieve a realistic, attainable and socially driven economic and industrial policies.”
He said: “The time for thought leadership is now, and the leadership should not wait any longer as it is critical the country should be navigated through time tested experiences, critical guidance and insights to managing change and complexities of our failing society.”
Dr Agumenu called for national plan benchmarked on sustainable economic policies, poverty alleviation, agricultural revolution, industrialisation, and the need to make Ghana an export driven economy through value addition and good governance.
“What is our short, medium and long term plan for this crisis? IMF, World Bank, African Development Bank or what?” he quizzed, adding that, “history has shown us that this [IMF programme] can only be a contingency approach”.
He was worried about the high business collapse and job losses, high stress levels, health and domestic crises due to the current economic hardship, and urged that leadership went beyond such contingency approaches and looked for an inclusive solution involving expertise from opposition parties.
He noted that the current inflation rate of 50.3 per cent, a debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio of over 100 per cent, with Ghana being locked out of the international fiscal market “paints a bleak future,” and called on the citizens to join the call for thought leadership and other credible innovative ways to avert the situation to “actualise the Ghana we want”.
The Special Aide to late President Rawlings said it was time for ingenious industrialists and captains of industry with credible reputations to get involved in the solution mechanisms to get Ghana out of the current crisis and make it resilient.
He also said it was time Ghana propped up its indigenous companies and position them to grow and expand into other markets outside the country through a deliberate policy to ensure an upscale in foreign exchange earnings.
Dr Agumenu suggested to Parliament to consider granting observer status to civil society organisations, the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the Clergy and a permanent seat for the National House of Chiefs to be fully represented in the legislative chamber.
The presence of those stakeholder groups, he said, could be crafted so that their input were part of a larger collective policy framework for effective implementation.
The Governance Expert also called on the youth and women to be resolute in their actions and inactions towards choosing leaders so that “our gold, cocoa, timber and other raw materials are properly harnessed for social development”.