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We Must ‘Run Things’ But Not ‘Make Things Run We’   
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Popular Ghanaian music has from time to time, called on us to "run, run something" and "run things" but not "make things run we". We will do very well to follow that advice. All of us, workers of all types; pastors, priests and preachers, students, journalists, politicians and professionals from all walks of life.

We are used to letting things "run we" in Ghana. Our agriculture is rain-fed mostly. Electricity supply depends on — you guess it — God-given rain. When gas supply was broken not too long ago, our leaders described it as an "Act of God". When the economy goes bad, we, put it on "external forces".

When we need to do something, we do not promise to get it done. We talk about doing it, "by the grace of God". We claim we do not decide who become leaders (even though we cast votes) because it is "God that makes presidents, MPs, District Chief Executives, Assembly Members..." Who are we to blame God when they perform badly?

Soon after the 2012 elections, I resolved not to offer a critique of President John D. Mahama and his administration until they had spent one year in office. So this is not a performance evaluation. I must confess that sometimes I am tempted to mind my own business because the people who need help don't seem ready or willing to accept help or even listen. Sometimes, those we try to help even turn around and insult us. But this is Ghana, the only country we have in good and in bad times.

Every Saturday, from 7.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m., this year, I have hosted a radio show called "Ghana, Great and Strong". It is produced on an Internet-based radio station, www.hedjorleonlineradio.com (to gain an international audience) and carried by 12 FM stations throughout the country. This is not a political show nor is it a platform to further a partisan agenda. The whole point of “Ghana, Great and Strong” has been to present and discuss topics that will promote the well-being of the county, strengthen its institutions and make its people prosperous.

So the purpose of this brief piece is to make recommendations to help push towards a Ghana that is great and strong.


• Complete existing projects, particularly infrastructure. Resist the temptation to start new ones. We need to start a new culture of completing projects started with our tax money without regard to which administration started it. It is the end of projects that matter in the life of a nation.

•Personally supervise energy projects to ensure value for money and the elimination of "dum so, dum so" while we aggressively develop the petrochemicals industry. Do not sign any more oil and gas exploration or processing deals if Ghanaians are not significant shareholders in them.

• Build a legacy around effective decentralisation. Join the crusade to change the constitution to enable the election of MMDCEs through universal adult suffrage without anyone selecting the contestants. We have multiple ethnic groups in many constituencies and yet they cast votes to elect one Member of Parliament and one person to become President. Most livable, well-performing cities in the world elect their mayors.

• Set the agenda to separate the Ministry of Justice from the Office of Attorney-General. An Independent Prosecutor's Office will do wonders for the fight against corruption.

• Reject the notion that it is the Single Spine Salary Scheme that is destroying the economy, I initiated that policy. It was not a standalone initiative. It was to go side by side with productivity, performance management, technology, service improvement, subvented agency reclassification and other initiatives. The latter requires a strong ministry of public service to manage a continuous improvement programme for at least one decade. There are no short cuts. The details are all there in the former Ministry of Public Sector Reform.

• Think Ghanaian, immediately. It is no coincidence that foreign interests own the profitable and significant businesses in Ghana - Oil and gas, banking, gold, bauxite, manganese, major retailers, manufacturers, hotels and so on.

• Take the corruption threat very seriously and punish some people now, not later. Your credibility as president hangs precariously on this.

• Work with a sense of urgency, as if you plan to be a one-term president on a mission to change the nation for the better. Presidents who look to second terms of office tend to lose steam and spend more time on the politics of re-election than delivering results the people need.

If we want to control our own destiny, we must stop measuring everything with politically tinted lenses. It is one thing to win an election, but it takes a higher level of leadership competence to deliver the change the people need.
Source: Daily Graphic

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