Policy think tank IMANI Ghana has said that Ghanaians must offer President John Mahama’s administration practical suggestions to resolving the country’s problems rather than engaging in “endless prayers and fasting.”
A statement issued by the group’s President, Franklin Cudjoe, said: “Let us practically help President John Dramani Mahama today to surmount the hydra-headed problems- part self-inflicted, part a cyclical way of political and economic life in Ghana.”
Mr Cudjoe noted that: “High economic growth is a matter of choice, not destiny,” adding that: “It depends on the nature of the policies, laws, and institutions that are put in place by the people of a country to ensure that they have good governance and economic and social conditions that lead to peace, economic opportunity and prosperity.” For starters, he proposed that the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing should look for “serious money outside the government but from another government and encourage limited private involvement in expanding access to clean water in Ghana.”
“Better still, we must effectively let all districts manage and resource their water systems,” he suggested. He said the Canadian government’s “Export Development Canada” has several commercial vehicles with less than two per cent interest rates- in most cases- over a period which, he believed, Ghana could take advantage of.
“The catch here, though, is that the Canadians- like the Americans- won’t pay a bribe ahead and won’t probably pay in the end,” he added. The statement said such a facility is comparatively better than others which Ghana has already signed for.
He cited the Accra Metropolitan Assembly’s nearly 15 per cent interest on $600 million loan to rebuild part of Accra’s drainage system as an example to buttress his point.
He noted that $150 million out of the $250 million for the facility released by the government to the Community Water and Sanitation Department upon request, remained unutilised, adding that a Memorandum of Understanding covering the amount was signed just last week “after many months of feet dragging.”
IMANI Ghana says it will soon suggest practical steps to President Mahama about how high speed and spacious boats, each capable of catching a shoal of fish equivalent to the total catch of 200 canoes in a day, can help shore up the country’s fishing industry.
He said instead of building landing sites and a college of fisheries for small amounts of fish, fishermen must be encouraged to be competitive and “break the monopoly of thieving pre-mix fuel administrators.”