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Embrace Rawlings’ ideals of June 4 to develop Ghana—Prof Newman

BY: Zadok K. Gyesi
Professor Newman Kwadwo Kusi
Professor Newman Kwadwo Kusi

The Executive Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Ghana, Professor Newman Kwadwo Kusi is calling on Ghanaians to revisit the core values of the revolution led by former President Jerry John Rawlings to help put Ghana on the path of development.

According to the former advisor to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, rethinking of Ghana’s future development requires Ghanaians to embrace cardinal values such as hard work, transparency, accountability and good governance.

He said the leadership qualities of the former president ought to be emulated, hence the need to embrace his ideals and philosophy to propel Ghana to develop.

Prof Kusi was speaking at the Second Revolutionary Lecture Series held in honour of the former President at the National Theatre in Accra on Thursday, May 31, this year.

He was delivering a lecture on the topic: “Ghana’s economic development: past, present and the future”.

The general theme for the lecture series was: “Revolutionary economic trends, Ghana in focus: past, present and future”.


Revolutionary Lecture Series

The Revolutionary Lecture Series is borne out of the experiences and philosophy of the former President Jerry John Rawlings and the revolutionary transition Ghana went through.

The lecture series draws revolutionary ideas and experiences from politics, trade and industry, academia, gender, foreign and the global environment with the hope to create consciousness that will transform and shape the national psyche, attitudes and behaviours.

The lecture series also hope to produce knowledgeable, modest and truthful leaders in every aspect of national governance.

Winner-takes-all

According to Prof Kusi, “Rethinking of Ghana’s future development requires Ghanaians to develop an optimistic, and self-confidence strategies that will lead to a prosperous nation”, noting that it requires the country to be devoid of politics of clientelism, nepotism and greed.

He said in recent times, the politics of “winner-takes-all” syndrome is plunging the country into the abyss of underdevelopment, hence the need for the country to look at its governance systems and structures critically.

“It is very important therefore that any political party in power or seeking to be voted into power should not only demonstrate its commitment to good governance but must outline the policies and strategies it will pursue to maintain good governance,” he said.

Corruption

Prof Kusi said “corruption, greed and wanton display of affluence have also become serious problems currently confronting the country”, noting that “public confidence and trust in public institutions and state-appointed officials have been eroded with the repeated blatant scandals involving massive impropriety and wanton dissipation of public resources”.

According to him, a large majority of Ghanaians are of the view that corruption has increased in the multi-party democratic environment, pointing out that the pre-1992 revolutionary strategies to curb “this destructive canker have been thrown out of the window”.

He added that the perception of deepening corruption in the public sector is perhaps driven by the numerous scandals that have recently hit public institutions, public servants and political office-bearers.

Prof Kusi said political parties wanting to be voted into office should demonstrate their wiliness, capacity and strategies to clamp down on corruption in the public sector, noting that there is the need to seriously and swiftly deal with the issue of corruption in the public life.

Institution/ Constitution

Touching on the state of public institutions said despite Ghana’s demonstrated capacity to advance democracy, weak institutions, a concentration of power in the executive, over-centratlisation of authority, and politics of exclusiveness continue to pose serious challenges to the country’s efforts to provide its citizens with the services they require to improve their livelihoods in a sustainable manner.

Prof Kusi also called for a review of the country’s present constitution, noting that under the present constitution, it would be difficult for any political leader to place the country and the general well-being of all citizens above all other considerations.

“A leader of any political party will find it difficult to make appointments based on competence, integrity and patriotism rather than party loyalty because of the resentment it would engender among members of his or her own party,” he explained.

He also called for the strengthening of the separation of powers between the three arms of government to provide the needed checks and balances, prescribe the qualifications and or requirements for the position of Electoral Commissioner, Chief Justice, and Chairman of the council of State.

Dignitaries

The event, chaired by the former Vice President, Mr Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur was attended by members from the academia, clergy, ruling class, and some former government officials as well as leading members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), including Mr Koku Anyidoho, Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Mr Sylvester Mensah, Prof. Joshua Alabi and Mr Kofi Adams.