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After Storming And Norming, Akufo-Addo Must Perform
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Form–storm–norm–perform: These are the four stages in the development equation, as identified by Bruce Tuckman in 1965. Things do not just happen; we cause things to be. The routines may be sickening but every step must count towards the success of the grand objective. There are no small roles or small parts in the process.

The Tuckman model observes that we should give ourselves time to grow, deal with challenges, find solutions to problems before we can plan and work to deliver results. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is at the forming stage of his administration. He is yet to storm and norm before he would get things together to deliver on big manifesto promises.

Style vs. convention

The forming stage in Akufo-Addo’s government may have started with the naming of his cabinet and other ministers. Some say the administration has already stormed and normed and ready to perform, because the NPP had identified all the missing pieces in our governance system and mapped out the areas that needed special attention. The result is the ‘one dam one village,’ ‘one district one factory’, $1Million one constituency policy. They are fired up, ready to roll.

Even at the forming stage, style is as important as the conventions we are used to. The new president comes from a tradition that prides itself on having the men. In naming his ministers, he departs from the traditional format by summoning the nominees and justifying why he has chosen them. You feel like a vicarious participant in the nomination process, even if you were not present during the profiling of the nominees.

The new style excited many but it also intrigued others. The cause of leadership (leadership is cause, everything else is effect) is the point where the substance of things are formed. The effect is the receiving point. The mark of a wise leader, as Brain Culkin observes, “is his or her ability to extend an intention into space and become cause.” By his style, the president has effectively made himself the cause point over public accountability and social morality. He may reap large on this.

Decision Points

Good leaders do not wait to form and storm before they perform; they come prepared with a bold vision. President Akufo-Addo is touted as a consummate and visionary politician who had prepared himself for the top job through years of selfless public service. His composure justifies him. His style dignifies him. We didn’t have much trouble settling in with President Akufo-Addo when the politics of the elections ended. His brand of executive presidency is forming well. A new dawn is upon us.

The decision points in the bigger vision of social transformation and economic prosperity are not unclear, even at this norming stage. In the new administration, there are six new portfolios targeting specific sectors of the development programme. We may not have a lot of inner cities, but there are more than 70 zongos in the country. This time, a minister of state will work out the tiny details in dealing with the unique challenges of a neglected population. Targeting yields good results.

What is the job of a Minister for Business Development? What will he be doing differently from the investment and promotion centre? The economy is the primary focus of the Senior Minister. The Minister of Finance answers to questions on the economy while the Vice President is head of the economic management team. But then, there is a Minister of Planning at the Presidency. At the end of it all, a Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation follows up to check how things shake down.

We have the men

Every member of the 36-member team (without Deputies and Regional ministers), comes with solid accomplishments in politics, business and academia. Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, for instance, is pure gold; a retail politician encased in a gleaming carapace of cosmopolitan elitism. Finance Minister-nominee, Ken Ofori-Attah, is capacity made flesh and ability made real. They have the men.

The appointments appear effortful, deliberate and strategic. There would be a tantalising mix of coordination, supervision, monitoring and continuous assessment. There is also a pervading sense that the ministers will have a free hand and some autonomy to work towards a grand vision. There will be strict checks and balances to tighten the process of coordination and cooperation.

The Akufo-Addo government has a lot to do to meet the expectations of the ordinary Ghanaian. Perhaps, the President spoke into time when he defined ‘who is a Ghanaian?’ in his inaugural address. More than winning the 2016 election, Nana Akufo-Addo earned the faith of the ordinary Ghanaian who voted for change–not only because change was more promising than the present, but because the present simply demanded change.

In other words, as a professor recently stated during a news analysis programme, Nana Akufo-Addo did not win the 2016 elections; it was Mahama who lost. This is profound as it is frightening. The same cannot be said for American President, Donald J. Trump, and Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. In the American case, Trump was to be prevented from winning. President Akufo-Addo would be working to justify the colossal faith of the citizenry reposed in him, but he must also meet the individual needs of everyone.

The challenge

The economy is not sitting pretty. As at November 2016, Ghana’s public debt, as reported by the Bank of Ghana, stood at GH 119.9 billion, representing 71.9% of our GDP. The public debt in October 2016 was GH114.9 billion, which represented 68.9% of the GDP. This means that in a month our debt grew by GH5 billion. Within the period, external debt was GH66 billion, representing 39% of our GDP while domestic debt accounted for GH53.9 billion (32.3% of GDP). Economists find these figures troubling.

Foreign Direct Investment also decreased by 83.33% at the end of 2016. The coffers may be drying up quickly. Where will the new government find the money to pay $1 million to 275 constituencies this year? How much goes into the Zongo Development Fund? Where will the jobs come from?

In the first 100 days of the Akufo-Addo administration, we expect to see a government that has already formed, stormed and normed, all fired up to perform.

Source: Today

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