Onetime presidential aspirant of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has bemoaned the state of leadership in the country and how it has contributed to under-development despite decades of stability after independence.
In the view of the celebrated heart surgeon and founder of the National Cardiothoracic Center, the country has not experienced another transformational leader after the first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Speaking in an interview on Citi TV on Monday, the immediate past Minister for Environment, Science and Technology who fell out with the Akufo-Addo administration after the controversies that marred his role as Chairman of the government’s anti-illegal mining task-force, said after enjoying stability for decades, Ghana has no excuse for its current challenges.
“If after twenty or forty years, we are not making any headway though we haven’t had any civil war, drought, or any natural catastrophe and we are in this state, there must be something wrong and it can only be a lack of transformational leadership.”
“We haven’t had any transformational leadership since Kwame Nkrumah,” Prof. Frimpong-Boateng stated.
He said no matter how political leaders attempt to conceal the consequences of bad leadership, they will always be exposed.
“We cannot hide the consequences of corruption, incompetence, and mismanagement, you can hide them but they will appear” he noted.
Data from the Bank of Ghana in July 2023, indicated that Ghana’s public debt stock shot up by ¢96.1 billion in the first four months of 2023 to ¢569.3 billion in April 2023, approximately 71.1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
This is equivalent to $52 billion.
The increase in the debt stock was largely due to the depreciation of the cedi within the period and to some extent an increase in domestic debt by ¢15.6 billion in the first four months of this year.
The debt stock stood at ¢473.2 billion in December 2022, approximately 77.5% of GDP.
According to the July 2023 Summary of Economic and Financial Data, Ghana’s debt in cedi terms rose to ¢547.8 billion ($50.7 billion) at the end of January 2023 and subsequently to ¢564.1 billion ($51.2 billion) and ¢569.5 billion ($51.7 billion) in February 2023 and March 2023 respectively.
The celebrated heart surgeon believes it is high time the country looks for solutions internally in order not to make borrowing from external sources a permanent feature of the Ghanaian system.
“We should be able to organise ourselves in such a way that we are able to take care of ourselves. We sometimes need external help but it should not be a permanent feature of our lives.”
“We can overthrow him [Dr. Kwame Nkrumah] but don’t destroy some of the things that he did. Nkrumah set up the Academy of Sciences which became the CSIR and other scientific institutions. These institutions Nkrumah set up were going to do things and the NLC came and destroyed everything and cancelled everything.”