Broaden consultation on critical matters - Prof Kwesi Botchwey

BY: Timothy Gobah & Deborah Oluwamuyiwa

The Founder and Executive Chairman of the African Development Policy Initiative (ADPOI), Professor Kwesi Botchwey, has called on the government to broaden the process of consultation over critical matters that affect the public good.

He said there was a need for the government to make the right decisions rather than hasty and expedient ones by creating an atmosphere of inclusiveness, respect and courtesy in national discourse and debates and be tolerant of other people’s views rather than angrily dismissing them.

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Prof. Botchwey made the call at the Sixth John Evans Atta Mills Commemorative Lecture at the University of Cape Coast on Monday, July 30, 2018.

The lecture, which was on the theme: “Ethicality, Democracy and National Development: Legacy of President Atta Mills” was organised by the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and the Government of Ghana (GoG) in conjunction with the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).

Prof. Botchwey stressed the need for politicians to have virtues as it helped to sustain the legitimacy of democratic governance and take honest criticisms in good fate.


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“Ethicality travels the terrains of humility, honesty and decency and concern for any cause of action we come by as leaders or politicians,” he said.

“We need to step back from the brink and begin to ethicise our politics by curbing the spate of resentfulness and fighting corruption that has taken over our land,” he added.

National development

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Prof. Botchwey stated that putting an end to the cycle of vengefulness in political transitions in the country would help in economic and national development.

He said there were many policy issues of national development, which included challenges of fiscal consolidation, taxation and public investment strategies that needed cross partisan support even when the incumbent party had the requisite parliamentary majority.

“Investors, especially the foreign ones, look at the buy-in of opposition parties to critique government policies in assessing certain risk to a long-term investment,” he added.

Prof. Botchwey said ethicality travelled all terrains, saying “ethicality in policy making, in campaign strategies and messages, in religion and the media is equally important for national development.”

He, therefore, underscored the need for training in social training and the rules of social democracy to promote unity and development in the country.

Attributes

Giving the attributes of President Atta Mills, Prof. Botchwey said: “He was an ethical man who always strived to do what was right, he pledged to be guided always by the principle which he had always cherished, which was to take the right decision rather than a hasty one”.

He added that President Mills had certain desirable components of integrity that readily came to mind which included integrity, honesty, transparency and open mindedness; commitment to responsibility and accountability of public officials and his impartiality in the management of conflicts, disputes and allegations among appointees and institutions.

He, therefore, urged Ghanaians to emulate some of those qualities to promote the development of the country.

Admonitions

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Prof. Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, urged Ghanaians to imbibe ethical qualities so as to become better citizens for the development of the nation.

“I believe that everyone of us has something to take home from this lecture and I hope we will put it to good use”, he said

The Omanhene of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, called for unity among Ghanaians, saying, “despite our political affiliations, we must work together as one for the progress of our nation.”

In attendance were the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Asiedu Nketsia, the NDC Deputy General Secretary, Mr Koku Anyidoho, family members of President Atta Mills, the Central Regional Minister, Mr Kwamena Duncan, and other dignitaries from the NDC.