Thursday, 29 June 2017

Ghanaians Expect Creative Thinking And Imaginative Leadership From Their New Leaders - Not Fuzzy Thinking

Apparently, a Dr. Gideon Boako, who is said to be an aide to the vice-president, Dr. Bawumia, says that Ghana has not gone for a loan from China - but is rather  in a U.S.$19 billion joint-venture bauxite mining  partnership with that nation.

Fair enough - but is that not a classic case of fuzzy thinking, one wonders?

The question there is: If the U.S.$19 billion is going to fund election campaign promises such as the 1-district-1-factory and  northern 1-village-1-dam initiatives, and the joint-venture partnership's  bauxite mining isn't going  to start tomorrow, is China not going to have to advance that   U.S. $19 billion on the strength of profits accruing to it from  its 'gifted' stake in our bauxite deposits (whenever that particular project gets underway at some indeterminate future date)?

And, for as long as that U.S$19 billion for the implemenation of some of the 2016 election campaign promises made by the New Patriotic Party (NPP),  is not coming directly from the profits China expects to make from the exploitation of those bauxite deposits, is the plain truth not simply that no matter  how it is dressed up that money  is a loan in all but name?

The Gideon Boakos of our country must be very careful when addressing such issues. The NPP was elected to govern Ghana because a majority of voters wanted better leadership for their nation. Full stop. No one in the NPP should overlook that vital factor in enabling them win the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections and  returning to power again on 7th January, 2017.

A far better deal would have been to persuade the Chinese authorities to agree to fund Chinese private-sector entities, and that nation's  best state-owned companies, to build infrastructure projects here - such as a network of tolled concrete motorways connecting all the regional capitals to Accra - which they will own, operate and maintain  for between 25-30 years without paying any taxes on their profits during that entire period.

In any case, for the information of the Gideon Boakos in our midst, last year (2016), Thailand made U.S.$71 billion from a total of 31 million visitors. Food for thought for our ruling elites - who sadly think only of GDP growth without ever examining what actually constitutes that growth on the ground in the real world.

Surely,  as a people, if we preserve the Atewa Range, we can use it to anchor an ecotourism industry centred on the proposed Atewa National Park, which will create wealth that stays in Ghana and jobs galore for Akyem Abuakwa's younger generations - making trillions of cedis in sustainable fashion from it over time?

As stated elsewhere above, a far better deal would have been to grant rights to Chinese investors to do joint-venture deals with Ghanaian entrepreneurs to self-finance (with concessionary long-term loans  from solid, state-owned Chinese banks) the building of infrastructure, such as railway lines from Accra to all the regional capitals, which they will own, operate and maintain for 25-30 years - in exchange for not paying any taxes on their profits during that period.

Will that not create a modern railway network for the nation, for example, without government lumbering hapless Ghanaian taxpayers with yet more debt (and it is debt no matter how it is dressed up as) that will destroy the future of our younger generations?

Ditto provide other modern infrastructure for Mother Ghana - without mortgaging our future in such crass fashion: which the nonsensical notion of tearing down the Atewa Range just to mine poor quality bauxite represents: particularly at a time when  global climate change is impacting all of Akyem Abuakwa so negatively? Ebeeii.

With the greatest respect, we expect creative thinking, not fuzzy thinking, from our nation's new leaders - whom we want to provide our nation with imaginative leadership:  and  implement policy  initiatives that will impact the lives of our people more positively. They must never forget that. Ever.
Okyenman, yen enma, ensei da!


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