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Mr. President, the economy is in a free fall

Two years into his administration, President Nana Akuffo Addo, is yet to realize his dream of radically transforming the Ghanaian economy. He campaigned on doing a much better job than his predecessor but to date, the economy, from all indications, is stuck in neutral.

Nothing concrete in terms of jobs, economic opportunities and easing the harsh financial burden of Ghanaians is anyway near attainment. Broadly speaking, Mr. Addo has failed, and that is putting it mildly. He has failed spectacularly.

While Mr. Addo is exceedingly proud of his achievements, those that he can justifiably point to, there are some basic truths he is hiding from Ghanaians: so let me clue you in:

  • Foreign currency debts are rising
  • Government revenues are flat
  • Our currency is in a free fall
  • Majority of 2018 revenue will be spent just on servicing Ghana’s foreign currency denominated debt
  • With all these revenues leaving the country, there is much less left over for Ghanaians
  • Domestic government expenditure fell from 820 cedis per person in 2013 to just 680 cedis per person last year. No wonder growth is anemic.
  • Ghana is an extreme example of what’s happening in Africa more broadly.
  • What happens after the IMF program ends in April?
  • New loans will not be the answer. Ghana already has too much debt.

Against this backdrop, it was jarring to hear the President say that the NPP would have no excuse should it fail to develop the country.

I don’t know what the President meant by that statement; a stagnant economy means the absence of development, and the economy is plenty stagnant; it is as simple as ABC.

Here is a salient point; if the economy fails to expand, jobs are not created, and jobs are the engine of growth and development, period. Any other rationalization just flies in the face of reality.

Mr. Addo’s reluctance to declare his intentions about the 2020 presidential elections perhaps has a lot to do with his stunning failure to resurrect the economy. If he eventually decides to throw his hat into the race, it is going to be an uphill task for him and his party.

Public disillusionment with his government’s performance continues to grow and that could possibly translate into a political drubbing, a shellacking, a stunning defeat come 2020. The writing is on the wall.

One thing that nags me, that bothers me endlessly is the fact that despite the poor economy climate, Mr. Addo continues to be tone-deaf; he’s paid scant attention to the plight of his countrymen and women. And, more worryingly, he continues to insist to the chagrin of every suffering Ghanaian, that the economy is in good shape.

The way to a voter’s heart is through a sound and vibrant economy. Anything less than that could spell disaster for the career of even the most astute politician.

My hope is that Nana learns this basic rule before he is completely overwhelmed by the pulsating anger of those who gave him the keys to Jubilee House in 2016.




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