The past eight years have been a disaster for the people of Ghana. Governance standards have slipped and the economy has struggled, making life more difficult for every Ghanaian. Our country, once held up as the gold standard, has fallen markedly behind our peers.

The government has mismanaged the economy and taken on loan after loan, increasing Ghana’s debt burden to an unsustainable level and mortgaging the country’s future. The result is slowed business growth, the loss of jobs, and higher prices of everything from bread to medicine.

A growing number of expert reports from African and European nonpartisan sources are showing with hard numbers what ordinary Ghanaians already know: that the NDC has done a terrible job governing this country, that their mismanagement, incompetence, and corruption has brought down a once rising economy.

Failure of Governance

According to the 2016 Mo Ibrahim Index report, “A Decade of African Governance,” Ghana has had the most significant decline in good governance over the past decade of any country that is not currently experiencing conflict and instability. Over the past ten years, Ghana’s overall score on the index has declined by 2.1 points, which i s the eighth largest deterioration on the continent.
With the exception of Mauritania, which is struggling to contain terrorism, all of the countries that have declined equally or more than Ghana – Libya, Madagascar, Eritrea, Central African Republic, Mali, the Gambia, and Burundi – are classified by the World Bank as Fragile and Conflict-Affected States. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation notes this trend as “concerning,” pointing to the “potential fragility” of Ghana’s previously strong democracy.
Multiple reports also indicate that Ghanaians are increasingly frustrated with government corruption. In a December 2015 Transparency International Report, Ghana had the second highest percentage citizens among African countries saying they felt corruption has increased, with 76% Ghanaians citing the troubling trend. The third highest was Nigeria, with 75%. According to Afrobarometer surveys conducted several times over the past ten years, Ghana saw one of the largest declines on the continent in public satisfaction with how the government is handling fighting corruption, dropping 51.1 points over the past ten years. The perception of the corruption of elected officials has also increased sharply: in 2014, 83% of Ghanaians perceived at least some presidential officials to be corrupt, compared to 56% in 2005.
According to a report by the nonpartisan IMANI Center for Policy and Education, between 2012 and 2014, a total of $1.6 billion (5.94 billion GHS) was officially reported missing or misused between 19 ministries, departments, and agencies. This is only one small part of the cost of corruption. Everything the government builds – whether a new road or a power plant – costs many times what it should, lining the pockets of the NDC government at the expense of the people.

A Mismanaged Economy

The NDC government has mismanaged and plundered the country’s economic resources, with the result that more and more Ghanaians are out of work and feeling the effects of higher prices for electricity, housing, food, and other necessities.

The Misery Index in the adjacent graph tracks Inflation, Debt to GDP ratio, the Exchange Rate (GHS to USD), the Consumer Price Index, and the Electricity Tariff. The trend is clear, every major development indicator has gone in the wrong direction in the last eight years.

The average price of consumer goods, including food, has more than doubled over the past eight years, according to a standard measure known as the Consumer Price Index. Increasing prices are largely due to inflation: the value of the Ghana cedi is four times less than it was when the NDC took power in 2009, a sign of how much the Ghanaian economy is struggling.
The NDC has increased Ghana’s debt ten-fold over the past eight years, according to data from the Bank of Ghana. An October report co-published by the Jubilee Debt Campaign, a UK-based charity campaigning against unjust debt around the world, declares that “Ghana is in a debt crisis.” Ghana spends around 30% of government revenue in external debt payments every year – this is money that could be spent on investments in new roads, schools, and hospitals. The report blames the debt crisis on an overreliance on commodities such as oil, and irresponsible borrowing and lending.

Ghanaians are paying significantly more for gasoline and electricity than at the end of the Kufour administration, despite the discovery of oil in the Jubilee Field. The NDC government’s mismanagement, incompetence, and corruption are responsible for the severe shortages in electricity supply that have left Ghanaians without lights in their homes and have made it impossible for businesses to operate.

The people of Ghana do not need experts to tell them what they already know: that the NDC government has failed them. Numbers don’t lie. The mismanagement, incompetence, and corruption of this government are too big to ignore and the NDC is about to pay the ultimate price for these failures, as the people of Ghana get ready to reject them at the polls on December 7.

Signed
Nana Attorbah Quaicoe
Executive Director

Other Stories

The Monetary Policy Committee - November 2013
You are welcome to this Press briefing. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) held its 58th meeting on November 25 to 27, 2013 to review the latest economic developments and the monetary policy stance. I present to you the outcome of the deliberations. The latest projections by the IMF indicate a pickup in the pace of global activity from 2.9 percent in 2013 to 3.6 percent in 2014, driven largely by the advanced economies with the impulse to global growth expected to come mainly from the United States against weaker prospects in emerging market economies.
Petroleum price subsidy unavoidable but who pays for it?
The debate over petroleum subsidy often evokes emotions, accusations and counter accusations. The latest withdrawal of subsidies on petroleum products in Ghana is not different. Predictably, petroleum politics have always led to political tensions and in some cases political instability. But the reality is that international crude oil prices, a major determinant of petroleum product prices is out of the control of importing countries. The Governments of these countries must therefore formulate policies including sustainable subsidy schemes that address market objectives without compromising political and social stability.
DI Reschedules Symposium on Election Petition
The Danquah Institute has been compelled to reschedule its symposium on the Election Petition due to the refusal of the British Council to host the event because of what it describes as the “politically suggestive” nature of the event. It is recalled that the Danquah Institute had originally scheduled the event to take place on Monday, 16th September, a date the Institute had set because of the assurances it received from the British Council about the availability of its auditorium on the said date.
Chaotic polling problems lead to calls for e-voting
Voting electronically could prevent future problems at election polling stations, some experts claim. The US is planning to introduce e-voting and India has already had it in place for some time.
What about China?
But the U.S. is not alone in seeing Africa as a better bet to provide a secure source of energy. There is a new scramble for Africa’s raw materials, especially energy resources, brought on by China’s astonishing industrial growth and its deepening influence in the global economy. It is the second largest consumer of oil in the world behind the United States. Consistently high economic growth rates saw Asia’s formerly largest oil exporter switch to become a net importer of oil since 1993. The International Energy Agency projects China's net oil imports will jump from 3.5 million barrels per day in 2006 to 13.1 million barrels per day by 2030.
The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) wishes to express its grave concern over the arrest and formal charge yesterday of the Acting News Editor of JOY FM, Mr. Ato Kwamena Dadzie, for refusing to disclose the source of a story carried by his radio station on the STX Housing deal. Without going into the specific facts of the case, we wish to remind the State and all its agencies, including the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of the Interior, that they are enjoined by the Constitution to respect and promote respect for the rights and freedoms enshrined in Chapter 5 of the 1992 Constitution as well as the specific protections accorded the media in Chapter 12 of the Constitution.
12 Questions from DI to IMF
Mr John Lipsky, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), would visit Ghana on February 16-17 as part of a two-nation West African tour that begins in Monrovia, Liberia, on February 14-16. A press release issued by the IMF External Relations Department, said he would hold discussions with policy makers and key opinion leaders on the countries' economic prospects.
Defending a negative highlights a negative, but character is key
In the 2008 general elections Nana Akufo-Addo had to do four things, two positive and the other two negative. On the positive side, he had to campaign on President Kufuor’s record to justify why the NPP had to be allowed to continue ‘moving Ghana forward.’ Also, he had to tell Ghanaians what his message for the future was -- what he intended to do if given power. Here he had to be careful and avoid charges like why the NPP did not do what he is promising to do in the nearly eight years that it had been in power.
KEN OFORI-ATTA CHARGES GHANAINS OVER ASSAULT ON OUR DEMOCRACY, ‘STOP BEING QUIET, BE OUTRAGED!’
Ken Ofori-Atta, the Chairman of the Databank Group, has charged on Ghanaians, including the youth, teachers, NGOs, journalists and clerics to stop being quiet and neutral in the search for justice and show some courage and outrage in the face of attacks on integrity in our democracy and the way the nation’s finances are being mishandled. He said this when he delivered the second of the William Ofori-Atta (Paa Willie) Institute for Integrity Lectures at the British Council Hall, last Tuesday (March 12, 2013).
Africa Human Development Report 2012 - Towards a Food Secure Future
Africa has seen an extraordinary rebound in economic growth over the past decade. Some of the world’s fastest growing economies are in Africa, and they have expanded even during the ongoing uncertainty in the global economy. This has brought a much-needed reduction in poverty in the region and a renewed sense of optimism about its future. There is no doubt that economic growth is critical for human development, and it is imperative that growth be sustained. Click here for full report