General News of Thursday, 11 July 2019
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has stated that he had an agenda, although purposeful, before venturing into politics.
According to him, his decision was based on the urge to ensure that research work on policies will effectively be implemented by the government.
The Veep made the disclosure at the Evidence to Action 2019 Conference held at the University of Ghana, Accra, today.
The conference was themed “Responsibility and Accountability: Strengthening Evidence Generation and Use in Support of Policy Reform and Development Agenda.”
The avid Economist, lauding the theme for the event, stated that after working as a researcher at the University and the Central Bank, he noticed a pattern which showed that political figures overlooked most studies which explored evidence to action maps to address developmental needs.
“As researchers, and I also used to be primarily a researcher teaching at the University and researching at the Central Bank. You do all these nice research and make your recommendations and the policy makers pretend that they haven’t seen it or they even don’t bother to read the research and all these valuable recommendations that have been made and there are so many of them.” Bawumia averred.
Addressing the audience from over 14 African countries, Dr. Bawumia explained that he sensed the urgent need to enhance the value of monitoring and evaluation to support evidence-based decision-making.
Hence, “that was part of my secret agenda to get into politics so that we could take all of these good recommendations, look into all data and try to make a change.”
However, Dr. Bawumia maintained that the thought of politics did not cross his mind but was persuaded by his former boss at the Bank of Ghana to consider politics.
“I remember at the Central Bank when I was being asked to come into politics. I was very hesitant. My initial answer was no, I wouldn’t get into politics. My boss and I got talking. We at the Central Bank could do a lot of monitoring policy and we could look at data on monetary policy and take interest rate decisions. But we knew in a wider economy, the politicians had a bigger impact on policy.”
He added, “Because we could do a lot of research on policy and then it will not be done. So Paul Acquah, my boss, said our problems really are the politicians so I think you should get in there so that if you are able to get there you will help us change things; implement some all of these policies that we have been recommending.”
While stressing on the need for policy makers to improve the livelihood of citizens, he indicated that the evidence to action mappings will enable government move from “research findings to action oriented which will really impacts on lives.”
He stressed that good leadership, guarded by research, is what is needed to transform livelihood of Africans.