Senior Research Fellow at the Legon Center for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso has stressed that the best social intervention programmes introduced in Ghana since Kwame Nkrumah’s overthrow has been under the presidency of John Agyekum Kufuor.
“One of the best interventions we have as a country is pregnant women going to hospital for free, the poor also getting medical care for free,” Dr Antwi-Danso said on TV3’s weekend news analysis programme Headlines.
He, however, condemned the activities of the two major political parties – the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party – in embarking upon projects when in government to outwit each other.
He described such act as “a kind of cat and mouse game”, saying it is the people that suffer.
“It is not working,” he stressed.
According to him, there should be a clear-cut development policy for the country, whose people would ensure that any political party that assumes government follows the laid-down policy.
“I would always advocate that the NDPC [National Development Planning Council] should be turned into an autonomous body to plan for the country,” he suggested.
While he lauded the great initiatives by Dr Kwame Nkrumah in the First Republic, the academician implied Ex-President Kufuor’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is a pro-poor programme that is laudable.
Dr Antwi-Danso also welcomed plaudits given Ghana across the globe as a beacon of democracy on the African continent.
“If Ghana has been touted as a beacon of democracy, I accept it,” he indicated.
He, however, cautioned there is room for improvement since “democracy is not perfect anywhere”.
Dr Antwi-Danso cited the transfer of power in 2008 and the 2012 election challenge in court as testimony to Ghana’s democratic credentials but said: “As soon as we bring in indiscipline and lose our institutionalism and constitutionalism, we are doomed.”