Ghana needs national consensus on solutions for economic hardship

Abu Sakara Foster
Abu Sakara Foster

Two former presidential aspirants and a private legal practitioner have called for a national consultative dialogue to find lasting solutions to the country’s economic challenges.

The Government, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, have attributed Ghana’s economic hardship mainly to the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.

Dr Abu Sakara Foster, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) Presidential Candidate in the 2012 elections, Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah, an Independent Presidential Candidate in the 2020 elections, and Mr Martin Kpebu, a private legal Practitioner, in a discussion on a local television station on Saturday said the country needed a consensus to surmount the challenges.

Dr Abu Sakara, who is the Founder of the National Interest Movement – a non-partisan civil society platform, said Ghana had reached a point where the ideas of political parties alone could not solve its challenges.
He said: “Drastic situation requires drastic measures, and we need to call for a national meeting to build consensus on, which way to go. We must accept and admit that no one group of people in Ghana can solve the problems.”

“We have a crisis, and we must first contain it by accepting that it’s a collective work to solve the situation. We must come together, build consensus, face reality and come up with long term plan,” Dr Abu Sakara, emphasised.
He called for a fundamental reform to the constitution to bind Governments to go by the country’s long-term national development plan for inclusive and sustainable growth.

On governance, he called for a shift from the attitude of “borrowing to spend” to having a prudent and fiscally disciplined economy that invested in agriculture and manufacturing.

“We must grow the economy through agriculture and manufacturing and adjust trade and investment policies into these areas. There must be an underlying conveyor belt to transition small-scale farms and agribusinesses into medium-scale and large-scale in the long term,” the Agronomist said.

Also speaking on reforms, Mr Yeboah said the time had come for Ghana to make changes to the 1992 constitution, which he noted had some defects that Government in power exploited to their advantage.

“We need to change the constitution, until the constitution is changed, we can’t develop. The NDC (National Democratic Congress) and the NPP (New Patriotic Party) are benefiting from the defects in the Constitution,” he said.
Mr Kpebu called for a constitutional process to remove both President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, from office, stressing that they had failed to fulfil the Article 36 requirement of the constitution.

Article 36 (1) states that: “The State shall take all necessary action to ensure that the national economy is managed in such a manner as to maximize the rate of economic development and to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every person in Ghana and to provide adequate means of livelihood and suitable employment and public assistance to the needy.”

Mr Kpebu said: “The President and the Vice President should go, and there should be a buffer of experts constituted to support the Speaker of Parliament who will then take over as President because he is from the other side of the political divide.”

“We need a Kumepreko demonstration and then Parliament takes up from there. One third of MPs (Member of Parliament), let’s make the efforts to remove Akufo-Addo from office otherwise it will be an indictment on all of us,” the private legal practitioner said.

The Government has admitted to the economic hardship and confident that measures taken and the ongoing negotiations with the IMF for a loan support programme would help alleviate the sufferings of Ghanaians in the shortest time possible.

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