Our highly esteemed president, Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo was name African of the year by Forbes African Magazine, and just today, Forbes Africa Magazine presented the President of Ghana with the award for African of the Year and our question is did President Akufo-Addo deserve the African of the year award.
We are not here to make the decision for you, what we will do is we will provide you with the pros and cons so that you make up your mind on whether truly Akufo-Addo is deserving of the honour. Let us start with the pros
To begin with, one of the policies Akufo-Addo was commended for while being presented with the African of the year award is the free second cycle education (free SHS) he has implemented against all odds. Second cycle education students are currently enjoying free education at that level with parents or guardians not having to bother about paying school fees, that is worth mentioning and commending the president for.
Also in the fight against corruption, he promised prior to the 2016 general elections that if given the nod to oversee the country’s affairs, he was going to tackle corruption heads on by instituting a special prosecutor’s office which will be empowered to go after all corrupt Government officials caught in corrupt acts, he has been able to institute the office as promised but the conversation of it being empowered will be talked about in subsequent paragraphs
President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo again showed exceptional leadership qualities when the world was faced with the COVID-19 pandemic in its peak period where countries had to go into lockdown and what have you. Akufo-Addo gained international renown when he made a statement that saved up amongst some of the famous quotes the world has ever heard, he said “We (government) know how to bring the economy back to life. What we do not know is how to bring people back to life,” this was the president asking his people to follow all COVID-19 protocols and stay under lockdown.
Juxtapose these pros to the cons to be talked about subsequently and then you can finally come to decision as to whether Akufo-Addo is deserving of the African of the year award.
Some have said that the president’s decision to implement free SHS was not well though out and was just a desperate move to win votes. Win he did and he went on to implement a policy which many say the country is not ready for and has therefore kept a lot of pressure on the public purse, a purse which more than 50% of its content is used to pay public sector workers
Also on the pledge to fight corruption and the creation to a special prosecutor’s office to champion that fight, we are not really sure if the president is really wants to fight corruption, or he just wants to appear to be fighting it. The first special prosecutor appointed to the office was no other than the no nonsense and no respecter of man, Martin Amidu. His four years in the position was nothing to write home about as he continuously lamented about the lack of funding for his office and Government interference in the execution of his duties. Fast forward a new special prosecutor has been appointed, Kissi Agyebeng and he is crying the cry of his predecessor, Martin Amidu, as he recently came out to lament the poor resourcing of his office which is hindering the execution of their mandate
Again, for all what is being said about the President, the people who are under his rule are the best to tell if his leadership is so good that it deserves an award but matters on the ground shows that they think otherwise. Last week, the commercial drivers union embarked on a Nationwide strike to send their displeasure to the Government over the persistent increase in fuel. Not just that but there has been a persistent increase in the cost of living in the country and the people are showing the displeasure by continuously embarking on demonstration and strikes but things remain the same
Last but not least, a hot topic currently making rounds is the Governments inability to approve their own budget after the 2022 budget statement and economic policy document was presented on the floor of parliament by the Finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on behalf of the president. Key point in the budget is Government’s introduction of an e-levy in a bid to tax electronic transactions in the country
Ghanaians have voiced their disapproval of the e-levy, independent think-tank institutions in the country have cautioned the Government against such a regressive tax policy, but the Government persist with the implementation of the policy ignoring the voice of the people and that of credible institutions in the country.
I leave you here, the points are many, both the positive and the negatives but we do not have all day so we end here. Hope my submission is able to help you get an answer to the question, Does President Akufo-Addo deserve the African of the year award?