Professor Stephen Adei, former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), has called for the creation of a patriotic and committed national think-tank to be used by political leaders for the management of the country.
He cited the Korean Development Institute and National Economic Bureau operating in other countries as examples, and said such bodies could become ‘the national brain’.
Prof Adei made the call at the inaugural Ghanaman Lecture in Accra last Wednesday, organised by the African Centre for Development and Integrity, an independent, non-profit, public policy research and advocacy organisation based in Ghana, on the theme: “56 years on: Is the Ghanaian really capable of managing his/her own affairs?”
He explained that any such national think-tank could give advice to political leaders, instead of them relying on the Bretton Wood Institutions for directives.
He said the President could rely on the National Development Planning Commission, the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, and other private think-tanks, and “put together the necessary intellectual resources to guide Ghana’s development.”
Prof. Adei lamented that the focus of some political leaders was on the winning or retention of power and not national development.
He said: “the Ghanaian is capable of managing his or her own affairs, but has so far done a poor job, and we must do things differently in the future.”
Prof. Adei said Ghana needed a motivated, clean, efficient and less corrupt bureaucracy to be able to progress.
He appealed to Ghanaians to collectively fight corruption, which, according to Prof. Adei, “cost the country several billions of dollars each year, in addition to it resulting in misallocation of resources and stiffing of private initiative.”
“We must systematically address the infrastructural deficits such as roads, energy, and must supply and improve educational outcomes to enhance national competitiveness, and reduce the cost of doing business.”
Prof Adei called for the strengthening of institutions doing businesses, and the improvement of industrial relations.
Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin, Director of Abantu for Development, a non-governmental organisation, expressed worry that after 56 years of independence, Ghana was facing problems of employment and under-employment.
She said: “We have increased the number of persons with education and training, but we have not matched that with easily available and decent jobs.”
Dr. Mensah-Kutin noted that the nation had made slow progress on issues concerning the rights of women.