Book Review: Envision Ghana: Almost a blueprint by the Lee Quan Yew of Ghana

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Book Review: Envision Ghana: Almost a blueprint by the Lee Quan Yew of Ghana

By G. Asare Sackitey

Envision Ghana from third world to best, is almost the blueprint on how to transform Ghana from third world to, as the title suggests, best world. A high income country with GDP per capita of US$ 60.000 by 2057, when it attains and celebrates 100 years of independence.

For a country languishing at the lowest level of middle income status, by virtue of re-basing the economy two times, in two decades, the promise and projection at independence in 1957, of Ghana becoming a middle income country by 1975, was lost to the many military interventions and bad governance.

There is a plethora of books and articles analysing why the promise was lost but falls short of putting forward, the workable solutions to redeeming the vision of an economic super-power from where other sister nations of Africa, south of the Sahara could tap, find hope, the will and capability to to also achieve.

In architectural and building engineering parlance, the book reveals the faulty foundation on which the nation’s electoral democratic superstructure has been built for the past 27 years. It shows why and how the foundation needs to be retrofitted through a number of constitutional amendments, institutional reforms, change in individual and societal attitudes and recommends a new culture, values and mindset, anchored in a moral compass, good and accountable governance that would take Ghana from third world to best world country within one generation.

The book demands a lot from leadership, particularly from the current executive president of the Republic of Ghana. It calls on the President to immediately call for a national transformational development conference with all stakeholders to validate the 40-year national development framework drawn by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), find space in it for his Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, and together with all her citizens, begin the process of building Ghana into a high income nation by the year 2057.

The author warns of the inherent dangers in maintaining the “winner takes all, winner knows all” spoils system that has only succeeded in stifling the growth and development of the nation for majority of her citizens, while the political elite of the duopoly in the main, their friends and family extract the nation’s wealth and resources for their exclusive growth and development with impunity.

It is of utmost importance that the author, has been a vibrant participant observer in Ghana’s electoral democracy for the past decade, working with and for political parties and governance institutions such as the National African Peer Review Mechanism Governing Council (NAPRM-GC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) among others.

Again, it is important that author hasn’t been a parliamentary candidate in several elections and experienced at first hand, the bastardised electoral system, the high cost of elections, questionable campaign funds, how once power is won with money, it must be maintained with more money through handouts and discretionary welfare schemes that die with the next regime change, all to the detriment of the people of Ghana.

The book not only gains strength from Dowokpor’s perspective as a participant in the electoral governance space, but also from his experience as an evangelist and practitioner of good governance, assessing the impact of policies and programmes of successive governments ostensibly aimed at transforming the economy for the prosperity and overall welfare of the Ghanaian people but failing to deliver.

He arrives at the conclusion that after missing the mark for over 40 years, Ghana needs to change its approach to leadership and followership in politics and governance, insisting the factor endowments of the country, even though depleted in some areas, remain a vast potential for growth and development for which, value must be added and managed with strict openness and accountability, by capable leaders.

Dowokpor’s book is divided into five parts:
Part one looks at the purpose of our nation and how it can be attained within one generation, beginning with the strategic question “How do you want Ghana to be in the next 40 years, when we celebrate Ghana @ 100?.

Two, insists on the changes that must happen to get the nation back on track to attain the purpose. Three, shares ideas on bringing the Ghanaian economy back home, with Ghanaians at the heart of it. Four, identifies resources needed and how they can be mobilised. And five, considers Ghana’s role in the 21st century as host of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat in Accra.

This book is a must read for every Ghanaian and African. Leaders and followers, young and old!

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