Saturday, September 25, 2010

In Support of Shadow Governments

America’s democracy and economy are fully mature so it makes sense that they to take detours into personalities, racial/tribal divisions, abortion and homosexuality as issues upon which voters decide the future leaders of the country. We in Ghana don’t have that luxury. However, our politics and the hot plate issues of the days increasingly appeal to the base elements of our culture and society and the fringe element of the two major political parties at the expense of substantive issues that affect the welfare of Ghanaians.

As an avid listener of Ghanaian online radio (shout out to Adom FM’s Abieku Santana, Joy FM and Citi FM’s Shamima Muslim!), I am growing impatient with the kind of issues that make news and are discussed daily by political pundits and national media outlets. Here’s a sampling of recent news headlines that have caught the attention of most of the national media over the last month alone:

1. There are Homosexuals in Ghana’s Parliament – Derrick Adjei – Ghanaweb September 13, 2010
2. NPP-UK, Ireland are illiterates - Boakye Gyan- Myjoyonline
3. J J must be arrested - Francess Essiam - Ghanaweb September 22, 2010
4. Kufuor Is A Pathological Liar –Rawlings - Ghanaweb September 20, 2010
5. Nana Addo is no drug dealer – Myjoyonline
6. Nana Addo was too short, his entourage reeked of alcohol – Myjoyonline
7. Only mad people speak 'tongues' - Tony Aidoo – Myjoyonline

Fellow blogger Abena “the Rambling Procastinator” Serwaa has also raised the issues of the preponderance of ridiculousness in Ghanaian political discourse.

In light of all these recent happenings, I was elated when the CPP came up with the concept of the shadow government this week. Here’s the news item:

The Convention People's Party (CPP) yesterday made a resounding statement of its united front and readiness to govern the country, if given the opportunity, with the announcement of a 15-member shadow cabinet....The shadow cabinet will hold weekly activities, including press conferences, issuing of statements that will focus on each sector of the government, explaining the basis of CPP's vision and its proposals on credible, achievable, cost-effective and human-centered alternatives for the way forward…He said the party would not hesitate to deal ruthlessly with anyone who had not been accredited to speak on its behalf and attempted to do that in any part of the country.”

True to their word the CPP went out the next day and executed on this concept with the Dr. Paa Kwesi Ndoum questioning the NDC government on the relevance of the “Better Ghana” agenda .

Where is the largest opposition party NPP on this issue? Why don’t they have a shadow government? All major political parties in opposition should be required to have a shadow government so the national media don’t defer to out-of-touch ex-Presidents or “foot soldiers” (who incite violence) for the party’s official position on key issues affecting the future of the country.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Exodus Project - Ms. Angie Speaks

  1. How long were you in the US?
    10 years
  2. What was your experience in the US?
    Good - overall--went to college - grad school and worked for almost 5 years :)
  3. How has your experience in the West shaped your perspective?
    It has made me more "execution oriented", more of a "go-getter" and a tad "individualistic" lol...hence the need to get back to my roots lol
  4. What has the experience been since you moved back to Ghana (socially & culturally)
    I am fortunate in many ways in that i have a handful of friends who have moved back as well....we enjoy visiting the numerous places that are opening up around is all a learning experience for me since I didn't really know Accra that much before I left to go to college.....and you best believe there are quite a handful of places in Accra that are interestingly very a la mode is all a matter of your pocket so you pick accordingly...and in your work/business activities? Again, I have been very fortunate, I work in a very international environment....besides doing work that I personally find very fulfilling now, nothing much has changed for is intense lol
  5. What is your advice for others who want to move back to Ghana?
    Come with little expectations and experience home for what it simply is ....home :)
  6. What are your hopes for the future of Ghana?
    That we will become the determinants of our own fate.....a nation that is focused on developing itself internally and not according to external pressures :)
  7. How do you think we can achieve them?
    We need an effective visionary leader......someone with the political will to make the tough decisions that reprioritization demands :)
  8. What business opportunities or (opportunities to have an impact) do you see in Ghana?
    Business opportunities abound all over.....especially in the hospitality business....apparently all the hotel rooms are usually all booked...given that these rooms are overpriced and customer service leaves much to be desired ...someone could make a killing with some investment...if that is your calling in life.
  9. If you were President of Ghana give us a list of Top 5 things you will do.
    · Introduce policies to instill some law and, punctuality at all events, discipline on the roads by drivers and pedestrians, no littering
    · Ask all ministries, departments and agencies to publish a list of staff areas with deficits......these will be sent to schools especially tertiary ones to ensure that students are acquiring relevant skills for positions that will be hiring when they graduate
    · Provide funding plus monitoring plus political will in decision making to these priority sectors -- education, health and agric --- leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that these sectors are actually functioning at their optimum effectiveness and are producing the desired nation building results.
    · Ensure that the transportation issue is addressed....roads, public transportation, railway system
    · Introduce some national recreational activity.....all work and no play makes jack a dull is good for the human psyche to belong :)
  10. If you had to consider moving back again will you do it?
    An absolutely second thoughts here...thank God for grace :)