Professor Joseph Kofi Teye, Director of Research, Office of Research, Innovation, and Development, University of Ghana, has challenged national leaders to promote leadership practises that counter neopatrimonialism in order to accelerate Ghana’s socioeconomic development.
Neopatrimonialism is a system whereby political leaders use public resources for personal benefit, which tends to leave the country poorer and making individuals richer.
“This is called state capture, and it is not good for socio-economic development. It can also lead to poor quality of projects,” he said.
Professor Teye delivered this remark at the Yilo State Homecoming Summit 2022, which was hosted by the Yilo Krobo Municipal Assembly in Somanya on the theme: “Yilo Beyond Politics: Harnessing Our Development Potentials.”
It was meant to unite the people of Yilo territory to advance the Yilo state’s social and economic development, regardless of individual political affiliations.
Practices such as equity in resource allocation to individuals and communities should be encouraged, Prof. said, and urged that supporters of both the ruling party and the opposition parties should be part of the planning, designing, and implementation of development initiatives.
He also advised that the function of the civil service should not be jeopardised since it might lead to a fall in performance, noting, for example, that the desire to appoint political party supporters to occupy certain positions tended to create overstaffing in several government offices.
“Some new governments may also transfer public officials associated with the previous regime to rural areas,” he added, emphasising the need to eschew the practise and rather work collaboratively to capitalise on business opportunities.
He recommended the formation of sub-groups to design community development projects such as hospitals and police stations, as well as explore opportunities in sectors such as tourism, agriculture, trade, and industry.
“We can support development through Build, Operate and Transfer agreements as well as public private partnerships,” he said.
Prof. Teye also advised that resource mobilisation efforts should be strengthened to develop the country, saying, “We must contribute.”
He noted that in several parts of northern Ghana, professionals in urban areas contributed roughly GH₵1000.00 annually to develop their home towns, which is incredibly useful to sectors like education and health.
Mr. Eric Tetteh, Yilo Krobo Municipal Chief Executive, said the summit’s topic was chosen to encourage people to work together irrespective of their party affiliations to improve Yilo state.
The Krobo enclave is endowed with mountains, waterfall, limestone, arable land for agriculture, professionals, craft and associated trade employees, as well as University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD), Meridian Hospital, and JVL-YKMA Recycling Plant.
The MCE described the area as a gateway to tourist destinations, but noted that its wealth had not been matched with the pace of social and economic progress.
Chiefs, Queen mothers, and elders, sons and daughters of Yilo land and individuals, attended the maiden summit hosted in the multi-purpose hall of UESD in Somanya.
There were several cultural performances, including Klama dance and a documentary show on tourist attractions in Yilo Krobo, in addition to a talk shop on harnessing untapped tourism, cultural, and agricultural potentials in the area.
Beaded necklaces, beaded bangles, beaded key holders, beaded earrings, African wears, and mango products were also on show.