Ghana’s National Economic Forum – A Missed Opportunity for NPP

by Kofi A. Boateng, Phd

There is a political party in Ghana that claims to be brimful of highly educated people. This party does not hesitate to scorn the appointees of the ruling party as clueless and not up to the task. You wake up any of their leaders at any time and they can list at least 15 things that the current administration is doing wrong to cause dear Ghana unheard of economic woes. Oh only if this wonderfully righteous party could be heard. Oh only if their brainy economists and financial gurus would be given the reins of power to implement their alternative plans for economic development. Turn on the radio, go on TV, and read the newspapers. The story is the same- this well-endowed party has all the solutions. Ghanaians are on their knees praying for their return to power to implement their ideas. Tuesday May 13, 2014 came. The president of the country opened the national economic forum at Senchi. The lights were on for one shining moment to deliberate and get the input of all concerned. When the searchlight was on, there was only one leading NPP member in attendance to contribute his thoughts. Scratch that- the particular NPP member has been deemed an outcast. Yes I am referring to Mr. Kwame Pianim. Thus in effect there was zero NPP leadership in attendance. Some have called it unfortunate, others wrong-headed. I call it a missed opportunity for NPP. The newly elected chairman of the party, Mr. Paul Afoko, described the government’s initiative as a “P.R. gimmick” and promptly called for a boycott by the NPP. The Minority Leader, Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, complained that yes they were invited; yes he would have liked to attend; but no they did not know the agenda; and no the time was too short to prepare. Time too short? We thought NPP was flowing over with brainiacs who have dissected and analyzed Ghana’s economic woes all the way from Rawlings, through Mills to Mahama (skip the golden years of Kufuor). Time to prepare? We thought all NPP needed was a platform to showcase their wonderful alternative solutions to demonstrate to praying Ghanaians that yes indeed God has an answer divined only through NPP. We thought that NPP are the ever-ready scouts of Ghana who need no preparation to take over and usher Ghana into an unheard of era of economic development. No agenda given? We thought economic development is the only agenda facing Ghana and justifying a change in government. PR gimmick? – oh what politician shies away from the lights, microphones, TV, newspapers, radio, and a waiting 10 million voters all glued to find out who would demonstrate concern for country, empathy with the common man, and readiness to lead and transform. Yes NPP and all their leaders, including all those vying to be presidents, vice presidents, and ministers missed a great opportunity to showcase themselves and win the hearts and minds of the electorate. In this, they failed politics 101. An early poll showed that a growing number of Ghanaians are positive about the national economic forum. If this were a chess game, we would hear a loud: “Checkmate NPP.” When will NPP drop the “New” in their name and replace it with “National”? Old tactics are not new. Perhaps NPP does not want to show its peals lest NDC steals them and deprive NPP of a sure win in 2016 on the flowing tears of Ghanaians’ economic cries. Can the sun ever be afraid of darkness? You shine when the opportunity presents itself. Ask NPP’s own Dr. Bawumia.

The writer was the immediate Past Chairman of NPP USA. He writes from New York

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Posted by on Jun 15 2014. Filed under Community News, Features. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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