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Mr. President—where lies the change?

Hello Mr. President, there is something; I cannot quite pinpoint that endears you Mr. President to a segment of the population because while they struggle to make ends meet, they agree with you that change is happening. I cannot quite understand what informs their agreement, but without a doubt, the state of the economy—measured in terms of national income or GDP, price stability or inflation and unemployment, is representative of positive change and transformation.

So, like other objective observers, I disagree with your view that change is happening. Mr. President, if the changes you purport means Ghana is doing well, and peoples’ lives are changing economically then, I am sorry to inform you that, the vast majority of Ghanaians do not yet feel the change. For, it is impossible for a shrinking economy to change and transform lives.

Mr. President, I wonder if the NDC members of Parliament and the segment of the population that defend your change and transformation claim knows the real state or the output of the economy. I suspect if they know just how crushed the economy has become since you took charge officially in 2013, they might reconsider their support.

According to the World Bank and IMF, the 9.3 percent growing economy you inherited from President Mills has shrunk by 63.4 percent in three short years. These independent accounts of the Ghanaian economy mean Mr. President that, your administration has impoverished Ghana. Or shall I say, your government brought about a negative change.

I am sure your supporters will find it difficult to reconcile the World Bank and IMF’s view that your administration has impoverished Ghana. Especially, when you announce—road, hospital, school, and electricity and water projects are being undertaken. Well, that difficulty can be solved by stating the fact that, the money spent on these projects come from high non-concessionary loans, settled against the future labor of our children and grandchildren. I am sorry to say, Mr. President, governing a nation by way of borrowed dollars is not a wonder, as the NDC members of Parliament sought to portray.

Insofar as the autonomous World Bank and IMF economic data are concerned, the change and transformation you described in your State of the Nation address do not exist. Ghanaians would know if a change is indeed happening; you wouldn’t have to announce it. Workers know change is not happening because their stagnant salaries barely provide for their needs owing to high inflation. Also, the unemployed youths know change is not happening because they cannot find employment. Finally, business people certainly know that change is not taking place because of unstable prices and the prohibitive cost of money or interest rate. The list is endless.

Mr. President, how can change be happening, when inflation rests high at 19 percent according to the Bank of Ghana? At this rate, of every GH¢1, Ghanaians are losing approximately 20Gp to inflation as we speak. For instance, a worker whose take home salary is GH¢8,00 a month, only has a purchasing power of GH¢648. Exactly GH¢152 of income is lost to inflation, caused by your government’s mismanagement of the economy.

Mr. President, the picture painted so far about your stewardship does not resemble change and transformation.  In a sense, the change you proclaimed in this year’s State of the Nation address is something of a negative change because the economy has not created any wealth since you became president, with which to change and transform lives. This is not my conclusion, but that of the World Bank and the IMF.

As I promised earlier, my views remain apolitical. I am motivated only to share my thought on the important issues of the day. So, while this letter may appear harsh and overly critical, it, however, reflects the actual state of the economy. Mr. President, Change is not taking place in the positive sense of the word. What obtains today, is an extreme economic hardship, certainly nothing one can write home about let alone, declare in the State of the Nation address.

Thank you and God Bless Ghana.

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