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REVERSING INEQUALITY AND DECLINE: THE SOLIDIARE-GHANA CHALLENGE

“THE TIME FOR A PARADIGM SHIFT IS NOW!”

I was honored to be named Honorary President of Solidaire Governance Forum (Ghana)–a think tank and advocacy group formed by some of Ghana’s leading academics and opinion leaders.  The Forum was officially launched on September 21, 2021.

Below, I reproduce my maiden communication to this illustrious group of Honorary Fellows of Solidaire Governance Forum (SGF) as well as reproduce their responses while redacting the messages to protect the privacy of the Honorary Fellows.  As the reader can verify, the responses confirmed our assessment that Ghana is in sore need of deep-seated social, economic, political, and constitutional reforms, as conditions sine qua non for eradicating corruption, inequality, and economic decline.   

Moreover, we believe that the Agenda for Reform cannot wait for the political alternation of power.  Indeed, we elect our leaders and law makers to enact laws and champion reforms that enhance efficiency in the provision of government services and the use of public resources, as well as level the playing field for all to realize their full potential as productive citizens of Ghana.  Our leaders must be judged on how they wielded their political power and used the apparatus of the state to the benefit of the population and not on what monuments or edifices they left behind.  Above all, we do not elect our leaders to award contracts, be adjudicators of contract awards, or to execute projects and contracts.  

We are of the view that current and future leaders cannot evade political party and political campaign financing, procurement, and emoluments reforms, as well as constitutional amendments that ensure accountability.  As an Honorary Fellow put it so succinctly “The Time for a Paradigm Shift is Now”!

We believe that while the call to the country’s leaders to “Fix the Country” reflects the frustrations of Ghanaians (and especially the youth) with growing unemployment, income inequalities, and generalized economic hardships, the #FixtheCountry movement provides little guidance on how to proceed.  There is also a risk that the political leadership may attempt to “Fix the Country” to their liking and/or resort to voluntarist policies and programs that would be dead in the water in the absence of profound systemic reforms.

In the weeks and months to follow, we intend to use our collective experience and analytical skills to (a) identify the dysfunctions and the adverse effects of existing campaign financing, procurement and emolument laws, (b) study the best practices and advocate and propose legislation and constitutional amendments to effect systemic reforms in Ghana, and (c) prod and urge our fellow citizens to engage our leaders in an agenda for reform.

Cadman Atta Mills

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