Thursday, April 23, 2009

GHANA DOES NOT NEED STIMULUS PLAN ...Development planner (PAGE 38)

A development planner in Kumasi, Mr Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, has argued that there is no need for a stimulus plan for the country on account of the so-called global financial crisis.
Rather, he said, the economic difficulties that had confronted the country since independence in the midst of plenty should be enough to challenge Ghanaians to fashion out development plans to solve those problems.
In an interview in Kumasi, Mr Azongo said it was a misnomer to tag the current credit crunch confronting Western economies as a global financial crisis.
According to him, Western countries over the years had adopted a penchant for giving ‘global’ labelling, outlook and urgency to their economic crises.
“It remains purely a Western economic crisis even though we admit varying degrees of impact for other economies depending on the nature, degree and scope of economic integration with the West,” he stated.
Reacting to the current debate provoked by Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom’s proposal for a stimulus plan for the country in the wake of the global financial crisis, Mr Azongo asked, “Why a crisis in the West should signal to us the need for a stimulus plan whilst the embarrassing economic crisis we have lived with in the midst of plenty couldn’t wake us up to the need for a stimulus plan?”
He noted that Ghana and Africa were the worst dropouts in the existing global economic order and had come full circle not to be occasioned by responses from the West to determine their actions or inaction.
Mr Azongo contended that the ‘global’ labelling of Western economic crisis smacked not only of contempt for the rest of the global economic regions but a subtle escape route for the massive failure of the existing economic order of which they were the leading protagonists.
“The fact of our common economic inter-independencies and the international division of labour is not enough to give a global labelling to the current Western economic downtown,” he stressed.
He said the Western economic meltdown should rather present an opportunity to Ghana to evaluate the efficacy of its Principal Economic Agency Integration with the West and the corresponding economic prescriptions from their leading institutions such as World Bank, IMF and to some extent UN agencies in the global economic and development industry.
He noted that Western economies had been going through cyclical generational economic crises since the 1920’s but the sad thing was that any time they were hit by any crisis they tended to give it a global outlook and urgency in the process of creating panic situations and panic measures for the rest of the world especially the developing countries.
“This attitude of the West in considering their opportunities and interests as Western and their economic crisis as global is contemptuous.
“What is happening to the Western economies is not different from the Asian Economic crisis in the 1990’s but this was not given a global tagging,” he said.
Africa, Mr Azongo noted, had been trapped in an endemic economic crisis and even though it had some degree of linkages to the rest of the world, it remained basically an African phenomenon and must be considered as such.
The development planner posed the question, “Was Ghana and for that matter Africa waiting for the global financial crisis to wake up to the reality of being in an economic crisis?”
Mr Azongo noted that the so-called global financial crisis had virtually become the centrepiece of economic discourse and a constant reference point for all development challenges irrespective of the degree and scope of linkages in Africa.
“Against the background of our penchant for seeking excuses for development failures, the ‘global’ tag to the Western financial crisis is likely to become an escape route for welcoming avoidable failures in Ghana and Africa,” he said.
He pointed out that the Western economic crisis was even an opportunity for Africa to realise that spoon-feeding economic relationship in the principal-agency type was the worst form of development integration.
The form of development in Ghana, which had become the measuring rod as to which leader had been able to bag enough money and projects from the West only exposed the nation to the least of Western economic shocks and was unacceptable in the realm of sustainable development, he added.

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