It is quite amusing and indeed eye-popping that ten months before the 2020 general elections, President Akuffo Addo is still hanging on to a political playbook that has grown old, stale and, frankly, out of sync with the grim economic realities of everyday life in Ghana.
I am referring, of course, to his constant, and relentless proclivity to conflate and compare his achievements with those of his predecessor, Mr. John Mahama.
At an investors summit in London last week, Mr. Addo did not miss a step. He kept on beating the same drum and engaging in self adulation while downplaying the achievements of his predecessor.
Before a foreign audience, he shamelessly declared to those who would listen that his time in office, albeit all three years of it, has been more beneficial to the people of Ghana than Mahama’s 6 years.
As is his style, the President rattled off economic numbers to back up his claim. To those gathered, Mr. Addo had this to say about his achievements.
“The deficit was 9.3 percent but is now 4.5 percent; inflation was 15.4 percent but is now 7.9 percent and the economy grew from 3.6 percent to 7 percent in three years,” Mr. Addo pointedly remarked.
These are quite impressive numbers by any economic standard. But do they actually reflect the economic and financial realities on the ground? The answer, my friends, is a resounding NO.
The fact of the matter is that, Mr. Addo’s contention was not only misleading, it was also patently absurd.
Ghanaians will be the first to testify that the economy under the management of Mr. Addo has sputtered and limped along like the sick man of Africa.
It has not performed to the expectations of millions. Youth unemployment is still high and daily existence is a mighty struggle. And the cedi continues its downward slide.
As the country gears up for the elections, the weak economy is the topic of many conversations among Ghanaians. Be it at work, at home, at the trotro station or at the market, Ghanaians are complaining bitterly about the daily hardships they have to endure to make ends meet.
Many are wondering if the Addo administration will ever be able to resuscitate/revamp the economy as the President promised voters in 2016.
Ultimately, it will be best if the President and his surrogates put a screeching halt to this nonsense of singing their own praises when the facts on the ground do not back them up.
“The economy sucks” as the Americans say, and Mr. Addo better pay attention to addressing the needs of Ghanaians before they go to the polls in December and decide his political fate.