Then, Ghana was newly minted as the first independent country on the continent and a vanguard of the anti-colonial struggle across Africa. Kwame Nkrumah's triumphalism atop the explosive mix of nationalistic optimism and the euphoria of independence morphed into a fetish cult of personality and hero worshiping. Ultimately, this paved the way for dictatorship, unquestioned wasteful expenditure, corruption, and... finally, when government expenditure could no longer be covered by government revenue, a catastrophic fiscal disequilibrium brought the party to an abrupt end.
Ghana is newly minted as an oil producer and the same cancerous atmosphere of leadership hubris, euphoria and unquestioned optimism of the masses (herd mentality) has resurfaced. In the current dispensation, the twin evil of ethnocentric political exigencies and severe administrative incompetence has skewed political governance along a path of least resistance toward a catastrophic feeding frenzy. The ongoing wasteful expenditure, wanton patronage and spiteful corruption, to an absolute certainty, have led to a very severe fiscal disequilibrium. Thus, instead of a strategic and judicious management of the temporary windfalls to establish a foundation for a long-term economic prosperity for the country, the inordinate serial blunders by the corrupt ruling class have squandered a unique opportunity for an economic quantum leap. Ghana, essentially, is once again a heavily indebted poor country (HIPC). By most conservative analyses of the current economic and political landscape, Ghana is bound for a very austere IMF-prescribed path of economic reforms.
The behavioural economics lessons at stake here border on causal ambiguity among Ghanaians in general. And that is: what a little bit of economic discipline on the part of the government could have accomplished with much less pain for everybody, will now be imposed on Ghanaians with amplified pain by a bunch of youthful number crunchers at the IMF; all because when it mattered the most our leaders made reckless decisions with our money. The sad truth is that while our sovereignty is tossed over to the IMF, the architects of the mess will have the time of their lives, counting their looted stash. Shame.