Mr. Fifi Kwetey, outspoken Minister of State for Financial Institutions is busily making the point that there cannot be much difference between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) when it comes to policy orientation.
Over the week-end, Fifi Kwetey was just too happy to repeat the NPP mantra of “the private sector is the engine of growth.”
He said on Radio Gold’s current affairs programme “Ahaji and Ahaji” that the private sector ought to be the main driver of Ghana’s development.
According to him, China only began making strides in her economic development when she privatized land ownership. China’s economic rise is powered mainly by the private sector, he proclaimed.
Fifi Kwetey’s views on the economy are essentially the same as those of the NPP but substantially different from the vision of the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills.
On the 2008 campaign trail, Professor Mills took issue with the NPP’s assertion that private capital is the engine of growth. He insisted that in a country like Ghana where private capital is relatively under developed, the state has a major role in the development of the productive sector.
Leading members of the NDC, including Dr. Tony Aidoo have stressed that the difference between their party and the NPP is that while the NDC is pro-masses, the NPP is based in favour of big business.
The role of private capital in the economy has been the ideological dividing line between the right and left-wing of Ghanaian politics since independence.
Over the last 30 years or more, the ideas of the right wing have been dominate in Ghanaian politics leading to the privatization of state enterprises.
At the last court, more than 400 state enterprises have been privatized with dire consequences. At least 300,000 workers have been retrenched from the civil and public service since 1983.
In spite of the shift to the right, Ghana’s economy has not seen any significant improvements.
The cedi has been devalued within the same period by as much as 26,000 per cent, unemployment is rising, the housing deficit is estimated at 1.8 million and the real value of wages and salaries are less than 30 percent of what they were in the 1960s.