Ghana’s traditional position as the breadbasket of the sub-region is being relived under the presidency of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, now almost at the end of his first four-year tenure.
This is interesting, having assumed the reins of government saddled with an economy in doldrums, blamable on an inept administration presided over by a controversial politician, backed by equally controversial party chieftains.
Refuge for neighbours
Ghana, since independence, has been a veritable source of refuge in several respects for our neigbours in the sub-region. Particularly under Dr Kwame Nkrumah, there had been several people with political aspirations in Central and South Africa who picked important training in political rudiments, in equipping themselves to lead in independence struggles back home.
Most of our elderly population would recall non-Ghanaians in Niger, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, among other countries, coming down to access, without any hindrance, our free education and free health systems, as well as jobs in the security agencies, the sanitation sector and opportunities in the agro trade.
Particularly, we played host to these countries in providing market amenities from Tamale and Salaga in the northern regions, through Techiman and Kumasi-Kejetia and Asafo to Makola markets and the sprawling cross-border Agbogbloshie Market.
Unfortunately, with the last couple of decades, particularly under former President John Dramani Mahama, Ghana’s previous strategic position had not only been ordinary, but dimmed, owing to visionless, ineffectual governance foisted in the country.
Under him, our role as a food basket had become compromised, and we had turned net importers of crabs, plantain, rice and vegetables.
Scarcity to abundance
As the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, pointed out on Tuesday, it took a deliberate and calculated effort on the part of the Akufo-Addo administration to design relevant initiatives to turn the tables around and recover our position as the bread basket of the sub-region.
Such initiatives include both crop and livestock-boosting programmes like Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development, Rearing for Food and Jobs, among others.
The results, he disclosed, are evidenced in buyers from Kano in Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, sending haulage trucks down here today to buy cereals and vegetables for distribution and consumption in their respective countries.
Food security, as we all know, is a basic requirement for being recognized as a serious and healthy state. Having enough to eat and export means you have some savings that can go into development or strategic procurement of goods and services that, in turn, create jobs and improve livelihoods.
That politics is a serious business of state and not a game is reflected in the quality of service that we have seen in the two administrations, and why making a joke of our constitutional right to vote may cost us our comfort and convenience, hope and aspirations.
If that is the understanding, then there is no point risking a return of the incompetent John Mahama administration when all he could deliver was mediocrity.
In a global community, where we need global partnerships to achieve mutual benefits, what is the guarantee that incompetent Mahama would, overnight, develop those talismans to attract mutual interests and benefits for Ghanaians?
That is why Ghanaians must dump him and everything he represents and retain President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in power in order to sustain and enhance development and livelihoods.