The Director of Communications for the presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2008 general elections, Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy, believes the country’s image has sunk to its lowest ebb in recent times.
Ghana’s economy is believed to be suffering a major setback, which is gradually affecting investor confidence in the country.
In an interview with The Chronicle last Tuesday, the party stalwart noted “even Africa, as a place to invest, Ghana has dropped from our position to fourteen,” stressing that during the Kufuor and NPP era, the country became the best place in Africa to invest and do business. Apart from that, he noted, that one of the most significant things was the spirit of the people, indicating that people were no longer optimistic and hopeful, when you talk to them about the economy of Ghana. If one should ask ordinary people whether they are more hopeful or less hopeful just before the elections, or when the NPP was in power, he emphasised that one would come to the realisation that people are less hopeful, “it is something that should worry us.”
He believes the free-fall of the value of the cedi against the United States Dollar, and most of the world’s major trading currencies, d contributed to the situation to a large extent. Meanwhile, Dr. Arthur Kennedy believes that a lot of the success of countries was due to psychology, stressing “when people are hopeful and optimistic, things go better, and I think probably the silver-lining is how well the Black Stars (the senior national football team) are doing.” Whilst he admits that it is not as though the government had done something bad, the NPP kingpin emphasised that people were not comfortable with the way and manner in which some things, including the harassment of members of the opposition NPP, the rejuvenation of the Dagbon and Bawku crises, were being handled. “It is just that people don’t feel about how some things are being done, because they have had serious omissions, things like the way the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has done its job, has been very bothersome to a lot of people,” he said.
Whatever the case may be, Dr. Arthur Kennedy believes there is always hope, indicating “if the President starts doing things differently, there is still hope, for example, you know, I think when you pick up from the BNI stuff, when people are supposed to operate within the law and ask for accountability, and people are corrupt, they should be prosecuted, but I do not think that it is the place of the BNI or the Security Coordinator to be announcing imminent prosecutions.”
Once he does that, he believes “it undermines the integrity of decision, because then what he is telegraphing is that prosecutorial decisions are being made by political operatives, so people can reasonably be said to be having an axe to grind with other people.” Asked whether he had any level of confidence in the President, Dr. Arthur Kennedy said “I don’t.” Though he sees President Mills as a ‘fine person’, he stressed: “we don’t look at people’s reputations and say that things are alright, we need to look at what is happening. “When we look at the celebration of June 4th, the things that the BNI is doing to people, you get the feeling, and I hope I’m wrong, that this is a very decent guy who does not appear to be in control often times.” That notwithstanding, he wished President Mills well in his endeavours, with the hope that he is able to change the perception people and investors are having about him and his government.
Source: The Chronicle
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