Yesterday, 25th May 2023 marked exactly 60 years after the formation of African Union, a similar move to the European Union.
Almost all the 55 Member States of Africa have been to the IMF for several times for economic bailouts and fiscal stability. My own Ghana has been to the IMF 17 times and still counting. NDC has been attacking NPP for taking Ghana to the IMF, however, interestingly, the NDC has taken Ghana to the IMF 10 times.
If African political leaders cannot manage our economies prudently well without always running to the IMF for bailouts then what is the sense in wasting our precious time every four or five years to elect them to lead us in the first place.
Without borrowing from IMF, World Bank and other Sovereign countries mostly USA, Europe, China etc., it is increasingly becoming difficult for any African Countries to survive on their own in terms of the management of the economy regardless of the vast resources that we have on the continent.
We celebrate and awards mediocrity to the extent of rejoicing and hyping people after contracting loans with high interest rates at the detriment of the next generation.
The argument is not about debt to GDP ratios but rather the ABILITY to service your debts without defaults. USA, China, Russia, UK, France, Japan and others always have high debt to GDP Ratios but what make the difference between them and African countries is that they have the CAPACITY to pay and service their debts without any issues of defaults.
In most African countries including Ghana, if you want development in your constituency, you only just have to pray for your Member of Parliament to die. A constituency only received the needed attention and development from Government after the death of a Member of Parliament or by-election and this has been the practice from the days of independence till date.
This is not a proper democracy anchored on the priority of the citizens.
We have taken into Government the traditional mindset of, “we only renovate and paint family houses after the death of a family member.”
Our African leadership promise more than delivering on their promises and we are always quick to put the blame on external forces or issues for our economic woes without accepting any responsibility for our own homegrown mistakes, recklessness and wastefulness.
In opposition, we have the best brains and top-notch solutions to the economic challenges of the country but only end up messing things and worsening the economic conditions when voted into Government.
In our part of the world, praise singers, sycophants and loyalty to the tin gods at the detriment of the State are mostly elevated and those who stick to speaking Truth to Power sometimes in the interest of the State are hated and sidelined.
The timidity, paranoid delusions and sycophancy of the youth have also given fair grounds to those in leadership to misbehave towards the entire citizenry.
Yes, of course, we need to respect those in Authority but constructive criticism, demanding probity, transparency and accountability cannot be termed as a sign of disrespect to authority.
After 60 years of African Union, we are still crawling instead of walking and running.
Even with the crawling, without IMF Bailouts it will be difficult to do so consistently and smoothly.
We talk more than taking action. African Countries deserve right and quality leadership far better than what the citizens are experiencing.
However, there is still hope for the next generation to turn things around and reposition the 55 Member States of African Union to be more competitive on the global market.
——— Razak Kojo Opoku