Sunday, May 3, 2009

David Ofosu-Dorte: Reflections, Lamentations and Recommendations of an Ordinary Ghanaian

I’ve tried to the best of my ability to transcribe and summarize Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah’s (Joy FM) interview with David Ofosu-Dorte below. More and more I’m impression people like David (instead of the political talking heads) get a platform to speak to the people of Ghana and its leaders about building the foundations for sustainable development. He touched on a lot of basic but thoroughly thought through points that I have mentioned in my previous blog posts.

7 serious issues that need to be addressed in Ghana:

1. Failure to see that a united country is a very important factor in our development

  • Emphasize competence and merit and de-emphasize tribe - In the 50’s there were political parties and associations based on ethnic groups e.g. Ga Association, Northern People’s Party, Anlo Youth Association etc. Overtime there was a conscious effort to curb this tendency. Until the mid 80’s District Chief Executives (DCEs) did not have to come from the areas they served. For example, Ampofo from the south is associated with the development of Bolgatanga, Col. Minela from the north was instrumental in the development of Koforidua, and Joshua Alarbi a Ga was influential in forging peace between Kokomba –Nanomba in the north.
  • We should reshuffle of regional ministerial posts where the current Ashanti Regional Minister serves the Volta Region and vice versa.

2. Failure to address the “Ghanaian Attitude”

  • Attitudes to time affect productivity
  • We plan but don’t implement
  • We worship our leaders in the tradition of our tribal chiefs
  • We prefer foreigners to our own fellow citizens in awarding contracts etc.

3. Need for systematic changes (entrenched practices that need to change)

  • Waste (of resources) should not be encouraged.
  • We need to hold people accountable for what they do. We should not confuse justice with vengeance.
  • We need house numbers and street names.
  • National ID Card program will not be successful without it
  • National Health Insurance Scheme will not be successful without it
  • Fire Service Dept looks for smoke to locate a burning house
  • Police looking for arrest a suspect go around asking in the neighborhood

4. Failure to take bold steps to develop infrastructure

  • Transit systems should be built to ease traffic congestion along the following routes:
  • Medina to Accra
  • Obetsebi-Lamptey Circle to Mallam
  • Teshie Corridor

5. Issues that have an indirect impact on the economy

6. Failure to properly empower the people

7. Failure to integrate our thinking and policies so that one thing does not have a negative impact on others.

David: When should we expect the book on this topic? Seriously!

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