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Mr. Addo’s Misplaced Priorities

I am always at a lost trying to understand some of President Nana Akuffo Addo’s policy decisions. Indeed, more often than not, you wonder if Mr. Addo is in full command of the decision-making process or if he is being influenced by political considerations?

Your answer is as good as mine. However, at the very least, let’s give the jolly Mr. Addo the benefit of the doubt. Let us momentarily pretend that he has the interest of the country at heart and that he is doing everything in his constitutionally guaranteed authority to improve the living conditions of long-suffering Ghanaians.

But seriously, Mr. Addo has his priorities misplaced.  In all honesty, he has pursued policies that have compounded the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian. If you were to pose a question to Ghanaians about their economic well-being, the answer will be short, crisp and clear.

Ghanaians will not hesitate to tell you that they aren’t feeling the positive impact of Mr. Addo’s economic and financial decisions. And they would point to mounting evidence of their daily struggles to make ends meet as proof positive.

Given the economic hardships Ghanaians are going through, one would have assumed that Mr. Addo’s topmost priorities will be revamping the economy. The national economy as is abundantly clear by all economic indicators is struggling; it is in the doldrums and has been stagnant for the last three years.

So, the common understanding is that Mr. Addo will do his utmost to grow the anemic economic which ultimately could wind up creating jobs to fill the ever- widening unemployment gap.

But no; Mr. Addo apparently isn’t bothered an iota, nor is he troubled one bit by the daily struggles of young men and women to survive in a difficult economy environment. He is not listening to their cries for help. Instead, he is dancing to the music of partisans in his party.

At the funeral ceremony of C.K. Tedam in Paga last week, Mr. Addo promised mourners he was going create a new university out of the existing Navrongo campus of UDS and name it after the late, great Upper East political gadfly.

It will be called the C.K. Tedam University of Technology and Applied Science, Mr. Addo blissfully added. Stunning as the announcement was, it was not in the least surprising. Mr. Addo is known for promising Ghanaians heaven on earth.

Remember his 2016 campaign platform was replete, full of grandiose promises, many of them still unfulfilled. Creating a new university when graduates of current universities are unemployed, idling about and with dim job prospects is mindboggling.

The question that immediately pops up is this: what was Mr. Addo thinking? Granted, higher education is the path to development. But the fact remains that a weak economy cannot absorb all graduating students, let alone the millions of young people already on the unemployment lines.

This is a stark reality, but which unfortunately Mr. Addo does not seem to appreciate or understand. Come to think of it, Mr. Addo’s policy advisers are failing him massively, and by extension the country more broadly.

Mr. Addo’s decision to create a new university is a policy failure of huge proportions. The truth is: Ghana does not need any more universities. Anyone who thinks otherwise is profoundly out of touch with realities on the ground. What the nation needs most desperately are jobs for millions of its young men and women. This should Mr. Addo’s topmost priority.






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