The voting season is here once again. Between 2010 and 2012, voters in 10 out of the 11 Great Horn of East Africa (GHEA) countries will go to the polls. The only place where the election train will not stop is Eritrea where elections have been postponed indefinitely since 2001.
Who is riding the election train? Will it arrive at a place of increased citizen engagement in the development process? Will it lead to political and economic maturity? Or will the region end up with heightened conflict and polarized polities?
The clamor for democracy all over the globe is not accidental. Those who go about such business of agitating for democratization are convinced that no society truly desirous of development can ignore democracy. The democratic experiences of the developed countries of the world lend credence to the truth of this claim. However, the reverse seems to be the case in many of the third world countries where there has been a huge golf between the anticipated gains of democracy and the reality on ground.
The paper problematises the issues of democracy and good governance in Africa and analyses their future prospects especially in the 21st century. Liberal democracy and good governance, beside market reforms are the new puzzle words on the global agenda. Indeed, the three issues appear to be organically linked in the present context, with the hegemony of the liberal capitalist ideology in the international arena.
The Republic of Ghana benefits from strong GDP growth, strengthening oil production volumes, and a track record of political stability. However, it continues to suffer from weak fiscal management highlighted by a widening of the fiscal deficit in 2010 and increased supplier arrears.
We are therefore affirming our 'B/B' foreign- and local-currency sovereign credit ratings on the Republic of Ghana. The stable outlook balances our view of the country's strong growth prospects and track record of political stability against its weak payment culture and fiscal challenges.