Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If Broke Fix It

I am finding it pretty difficult to get over the shenanigans of the present political dispensation in Ghana.
According to the transition team of the Atta Mills' administration, Ghana is broke.
Big deal!
As far as the macro-economic outlook and prospects for the economy to absorb further investments are concerned, Ghana's economic situation has never been better since the days of Kwame Nkrumah. I believe that the economy is in a good shape.
Even though Atta Mills and the NDC have won the elections and are therefore supposed to be governing, they are acting and behaving as if they are still the party in opposition.
The standard democratic principle is that the ruling party must be concerned with solution-finding, whereas the political opposition does its best to fault the policies and plans of the government! Heck no. They are still doing what they have been doing for the past 8 years.
More time is being wasted on spin, fault-finding and criticising the government that is no longer in power every day. If indeed Ghana is broke, where are the innovative responses to get the country back on track? Where is the urgency?
What people expect of the new administration is that leadership is provided and the cause of Ghana advanced. Instead we have paralysis of leadership and a total lack of urgency.
When is John Atta Mills ever going to really begin his responsibilities as the President of the Republic? He is behaving like a President in the last days of Office rather than one who has is just beginning.
The utter lack of dynamism, rigor and passion on the part of our new President is becoming a pain in the groin!

16 comments:

Esi W. Cleland said...

word!

posekyere said...

Hi Esi,
Thanks for the shortest comment ever.
The problem is: I don't know what you mean.
For some of us... a word is not enough.Hehehe.

Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

Your view is clear; mine is forming!

Maya said...

Oh Posekyere, how lovely to see in writing what I've been thinking but restricted myself from saying! I am sure Esi is agreeing with me. At least my understanding of "word!" is basically, you captured it all.

It seems the newly selected finance minister, Duffour has just realised the stupidity of the statements the NDC has been making, so now they are withdrawing all 'Ghana is broke' statements. Why? Who in the world would want to invest in a country that is broke?! If you were here, (maybe you know any way) you'd witness the worrying pace at which the value of the cedi is decreasing. From 7th jan to 10th jan: GHc1.18 to GHc1.28! The rate given at Forex now is GHc1.40 to the dollar.

Just as you mentioned, I can only hope they stop their opposition behavious and start "fixing" the country.

novisi said...

posekyere,

i guess Esi means that 'WORD' as a one word rap rendition! very poetic...nice one Esi.

i'm with you man on the lack of sense of urgency... and on that score i think somehow - even though there are one or two signs here and there like little insignificant drops in a biggggggggggggg ocean - "our new president (i don't know why i don't like this word...sounds like one who i must agree to lord over me) is becoming a pain in the groin, if not the a88 indeed!!!

...and that's just one reason why i don't see why pple think jj the RAW one must shut up... one may not like what he says but for the sake of pain, i'd rather the most notorious of thieves screams that 'thievery is bad' rather than see a police man sit on his a88 unconcerned!!! and dare i stray into whatever illustration!

BUT TWO CONCERNS:
1. i don't think our economy is in any shape that can be described as good as you believe... loads of contractors have not been paid for so long, and same for others... as for all the talk of macro-economic mountains, i wonder what it means really cos there are other serious reasons why we are having some few investors coming in (in service provision areas) such as all the political instability around us in the west africa sub-region...

2. in as much as i believe and agree with you that the solutions must start and start quickly no matter the limitations our BOGUS constitution provides... i believe also that the problems must be identified clearly and folks found guilty must be made to pay!(it's surely part of the solutions we need) it's our money above all... which money could have saved lives... and this fact finding must be done right by government and opposition must not cry 'maamaaamaaa' that it is just witch-hunting because the witches must be hunted and hunted correctly with all fairness!

IN ANY CASE had the Kufuor admin plan their hand-over properly (like Bush did in consultation with Obama and McCain) or even long before then been transparent enough, i guess a lot of these should have long been done with... why has it taken so long for us to know how much was spent on Ghana@50 for eg after all the calls and noise for accountability...

and i hope that next time we have a new admin we would have learnt well from these...meaning that the ndc must start keeping their records properly from now... is anybody asking about that yet??? i am... i hope someone is keeping an eye on how public funds are being spent by the ndc so far and into the future...

3. the word BROKE... and in part a repetition of point #1. that word 'broke' can't be too far from the truth... with an economy that is about sixty % or more dependent on donors i wonder if 'broke' doesn't fit... even Obama's America would collapse should they pay all the money they owe China, the UN etc... so i wished the Kufuor admin had never told us lies of quadrupling the gdp and so on! that was just cheap talk. they should have just told us the plain painful truth which is that our economy has never been good and it is not good now!
and i hope ndc won't come telling us also in 4 yrs time that they have multiplied the gdp by 100 when we can all see feeeli feeeli...

ok man, you have more than just a word there! i hope i fill in the gap for Esi!

cheers!

posekyere said...

Nana Yaw,
I would love to hear you arguing a case in the courtroom!
Your poetic rhythm must be such a sight to behold.
Love your capacity to incite, challenge and enthrall.
Bless you.

posekyere said...

I really believe a delegation has to be sent to the NDC headquarters to officially imform them that the NPP is no longer in power; that they, the NDC, have won the elections and that Ghanaians are waiting for them to start governing.
I bet you they will be shock to hear that. They are not aware of what they have brought upon themselves!

posekyere said...

Shalom Novisi!
You see, a party in government should be able to articulate issues very cleverly without making such crude statements because your audiance is not just Ghanaians. The whole world of investors is carefully analysing all the statements we make. Like Maya said no investor will come to our shores when those who have been charged with the management of our economy are so fatalistic in their assessment of the economy.
They are not aware of the capacity to chase away investors and investments by their reckless talk.
Kwabena Duffour is clearly aware of the potential damage that is why he is speaking the proper 'economics language'.
No economy is perfect, especially, in this difficult season we are in. Ghana's economy is certainly not where we can be jubilant but we are surely not broke.

Sijui said...

Let us wait and see, and wish the new team well, however I am not encouraged by the past 30 days.
1) For me, the proof in the pudding was who is appointed to BOG, Finance, Trade and Industry, Energy, Agriculture and Communications......I believe the investor class both foreign and domestic are also betting on the same.
2) Duffour is completely uninspiring, he was BOG head when inflation was 40%, depreciation of the cedi was 40%, interest rates were 40% and current account deficit was close to 100%. Bottom line NDC has no leg to stand on when it comes to fiscal and macroeconomic management. So let Duffour PROVE that he has left his days of incompetence and mediocrity behind. The precipitous decline of the cedi IS INDEED WORRYING and a flashback to the very bad days we thought we had left behind.
3) I fervently pray that Togbe Afede gets the nod as BOG Governor and not the unimpressive Andani. Here is a man who is a DOER not a talker and the only flash of brilliance so far in the NDC stables.

posekyere said...

I don't in any way fault Ghanaians for voting in the NDC as the party of choice.
I believe that most of the voters decided to change government with some expectation that some of the wealth they see around them daily in Ghana under a new political management will find a way to reach them also. In a way the NPP became a victim of what I call 'the first fruit syndrome'. Everybody wanted to partake in the very first fruits of economic recovery without realising that the first fruit is simply the seed(source) for a much bigger harvest in the future.
1. Now we see the foundations of macro-economic stability, built by the previous government, unravelling right before our eyes and the new people in charge are woefully incapable of dealing with the challenges.
The NDC has never been particularly savvy with fiscal and macro strategies. The fact is that the management of inflation and monetary stability will not feature very strongly in their set of priorities.
Having made a hell lot of noise about change for the better, the NDC will find it very difficult to deliver on their promises.
The people tipped for the ministries you listed are at best mediocre. I don't expect A-rated performance from any of them.
2.Despite all the expertise in the BoG and the Ministry of Finance, business will be dull under Duffour. If they don't introduce a disastrous forward sale of Ghana's oil& gas assets, we will surely clap for them in 2012.
3. Togbe Afede is a brilliant stratigist by me. The problem is: is he prepared to give up all the numerous business interests in Ghana for public office? I would rather he stayed in the private sector and build up the much-needed energy and financial services businesses. He will definitely be much more fruitful in the private sector than under the yoke of an indisciplined government. For continuity sake, let them keep the present governor for a year or two.

Sijui said...

I remain cautiously optimistic. Togbe as BOG head will facilitate I think coherent and competent fiscal policy assuming he has the president's ear and considering he is well respected across the board, otherwise I am afraid without someone of his caliber the economy will go adrift. I am reading in the FY 09 forecasts that most investors are expecting the cedi to depreciate to the GHC 1.40-1.50 range against the dollar but they think there will be an appreciation starting in FY 10 once the dollar flows from oil come in and it will go back to 1:1,
let us hope they are right and things do not deteriorate faster.

novisi said...

i guess this debate will continue...sure...

i just believe that no one man or woman or party can crystallize or isolate any magic economic "pain-killer" or "bliss"...that's a baseline...

and that is more so because all the indicators like gdp, inflation and macro and even, if you want, nano fantasies that the 'prophets' of economic theories more than quickly scream into our hearing/death ears are not isolated but linked to every other aspect of our lives... both good (organic farming for eg.) and bad (cocaine sniffing)... THERE'S NO ISLAND HERE!!!

meanwhile just as it was difficult for McCain to come to terms with the economic woes of the american structure -so that he earned the identification as being 'out of touch' by Obama- so too do we have folks on our side finding it difficult to accept that Ghana is broke...

so we are told to rather believe that 'there are challenges...' which challenges according to the finance minister designate by Mills, Dr. Dufuor, means that we spend more than we earn!!!

AND NOW, ONE WONDERS if that is not the same as saying "we are broke"??? cos where from the extra money we spend that makes our expenditure more than we earn! or is it a 'little' massaging of the 'broke'??? or some more oil is needed for a more complete massage to produce a more 'fantacy' effect??? don't we all love to dance now?

and @Maya dear, I heard Haruna (the following day after the 'broke' announcement, minister designate for communication say long before Dufuor that Ghana was not broke... he was even more emphatic than Dufuor (Dufuor wasn't the first to come out with such from the NDC for sure)... but i disagree with whoever says we are not broke...

if even God comes to tell me such i would disagree with him unless he want's us to talk about philosophy and the totality of our natural resources! hehehehehe!

but if we are just talking about the 'fake' (fantasy fake me think) theories of economics of the present world order then and then, we must just face the facts as they are...

and then that issue about SCARING INVESTORS... i don't know but i think it's neither here nor there because even for almost 8yrs that Ghana was declared and labeled HIPC by Kufuor led npp, investors still found their way into the country... in fact i believe any investor who just takes a one source information without doing any CHECK independently at least is not a proper investor...

I know that even in war-torn countries some categories of investors still find their way there to invest into whatever only God knows... still plays on economics...

so i don't believe that conceding that we are broke will necessarily drive away investors because investors do fact finding and feasibility studies...

as for the party politics... i stay on the fence still...

so the debate continues...

cheers man!!

posekyere said...

Thanks again Sijui,
The way you are roping for Togbe Afede makes me believe that you have been charmed by his acumen in business.
Let's hope he agrees to get on board for the good of Ghana.
I very much doubt the GHC will ever get back to 1:1 in FY 10.
A GHC-dollar parity so soon after a change of government, in the midst of the global uncertainties is overly optimistic. First, I wonder if the dollar flow will commence before FY 11. It appears to me that most investment plans in resources are been scaled back because of the uncertainties about when the cycle will turn. Can Tullow and partners get the $3+ billions they require for drilling and processing the jubilee field and also complete the require infrastructure in FY 09?
Realistically, I don't expect the dollars to start flowing untill perhaps second half of FY 11.
In the mean time, the GHC will continue to depreciate because of the fact that our current account position is weak. The NDC government will have to demonstrate to Ghanaians that they are doing something so they will be forced to spend on some projects here and there, and that could send us in a free-fall. If there is a good harvest, the cocoa proceeds will cushion us somewhat but will not be able to reverse the negative momentum going forward.
I am bearish on the Ghanain economy in the short- to medium-terms.

posekyere said...

Gee whiz, Nov.
What can I say seeing even God can't change your mind?
If believing that the economy is broke is what keeps you happy so be it for you. Hehehe!
Chill my bra, it shall be fine after some tough bumps along the way. Fasten your seatbelt though!

novisi said...

Man, i'm happy... lol!
and don't i just love interacting with you!?

keep well more!

posekyere said...

Shalom Nov!
I am loving the ride with you.
I am happy, you are happy. What is better than that!