Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dear Africa, Please Look Beyond Stupid Political Manifestos

Africa! What does that name evoke? War? Savagery? Barbarism? Backwardness? Well I can forgive you if you said yes to any of the above. For an average of 50 years, we've just been wallowing in a state of drunken stupor, believing it shall be well...someday!

Personally, I pin our massive dev problems on one thing- a lack of strategic vision on the part of individual countries that make up this continent. As a model for my arrgument, let me use Ghana as a microcosm of the continent.

We've been practising what America has taught us to call multi-party democracy for close to two decades now, with two main political parties being the dominant forces. However, our plight as a nation has gone from bad to worst. Why? Because we've made the means an end in itself. Confused? Stick with me.

The order of the day is that political parties prepare some gibberish they call a manifesto, present it to the electorate and the one who manages to present the most unrealistic one wins. On the surface this seems natural. But the problem with this approach is that it's taken us no where.

Using this approach has resulted in pulling the country in opposite directions by the political parties. One party comes to power and promises to achieve what it's outlined in its manisfesto, when it gets voted out, the next party comes and will also like to work on its manisfesto. To hell with that of the predecessor party. What does this create? Retardation of development.

We don't need stupid political party crap called manisfestos. That takes power from us and puts it in their hands. What we need, is a grand strategic plan of where we'll want to see the country in say 50 or 100 years' time. The plan should encompass all spheres of the economy and country broken down into manageable time frames of say 4 years.

This way, any party that comes to office will not be judged on how much of their agenda they achieve, but by how much of the national strategic plan they've achieved in the given time frame. This will help steer the country in a unified direction irrespective of which political party is in power. Doing this, we can be rest assured that no matter which party is in power, the nation will be advancing with speed towards a better future for all.

As it stands now, we are trapped in a rut...and we keep digging every four years foolsihly hoping it shall be well. No it won't unless we avoid this game of political manifestos like a plague...my two cents :-).

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