A Political scientist and public policy expert, Prof. Joseph Atsu Ayee, has identified a five-pronged strategy which he says can help the country out of its present socio-economic crisis.
The strategy includes adopting a non-partisan approach in the implementation of policies and dealing with national issues, electing transformational leaders capable of changing a team when the going gets tough and building a national consensus in crisis situations.
There must also be the avoidance of selective application of rules and regulations due to political considerations, while the need to build a free and just society underpinned by the promotion of public and national interests.
The expert, who is a professor of Political Science at the University of Ghana, Legon, put forward the strategy in an interview on the sidelines of the launch of the Founders’ Day and Education Week celebration of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church and Schools in Accra last Tuesday.
Prof. Ayee said in view of the current economic crisis facing the country, it had become necessary to have effective and transformational leaders.
He mentioned some of the qualities of a transformational leader as being prepared to change his team, engage in broader consultations, be a good communicator, sympathetic and visionary.
He said although the current economic challenges facing the country could partly be blamed on global economic shocks, “this is the time the President needs to reshuffle his Cabinet and the Economic Management Team that has lost direction”.
“I think the President needs to reshuffle his Cabinet, with calls coming from his party people to do so. A leader must have the inclination to change his team and then re-group to deal with pressing issues,” he added.
According to him, calls by both the Majority and the Minority in Parliament for the President to change the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and his team were “good calls that are long overdue".
He said the minister did not even believe in going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and, therefore, allowing him to be part of the negotiations was wrong.
Prof. Ayee, who is also the Chairman of the Education Board of the AME Zion Church, Ghana Region, called for a national economic forum, saying: “We need to rise above partisanship and come together as a country to deal with the issues; it is this partisan approach to dealing with the crisis that has landed us where we are now.”
On the fight against illegal mining (galamsey), he said the selective application of rules and regulations due to political considerations was to blame for the inability of the country to effectively deal with the menace.
Prof. Ayee said generally, the poor implementation of policies was an African problem and not peculiar to the country.