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Think tank lists 5 sectors government must address to avoid social upheaval in election 2024

Think tank lists 5 sectors government must address to avoid social upheaval in election 2024

A not-for-profit social progressive public policy think tank, Think Progress Ghana, has outlined five pressing areas that could pose a hindrance to the nation’s development and national cohesion ahead of the 2024 general elections.

In their New Year message, the think tank noted that they are hoping that by highlighting these areas of social strife, government will be driven to make prudent and pragmatic choices to address them.

The areas of social strife listed include the state of energy supply, state of economy, quality of education, health care delivery, and ethical behavior in government.

Speaking on the state of energy supply in the country, Think Progress Ghana stated that to ensure high economic growth, government will have to keep the lights on.

They noted that recent intermittent power supply do not bode well for the economy as they pose significant threat to the health of the nation’s industries and disrupt everyday activities in the country.

They have thus urged government to right their energy policy to fully address the country’s energy challenges and find permanent solutions.

“We urge the Government to begin a fruitful dialogue with the Independent Power Generators- Ghana, and start paying the US$2.4 billion it owes them,” the think tank stated.

Addressing the state of the economy, Think Progress Ghana stated that the nation was in a miserable economic mess.

They noted that issues such as “excessive borrowing, over employment in the public sector, wastage of public funds, profligate spending by the executive, massive corruption; imported inflation around 54% as Cedi continues to fall against international currencies; increase in fuel prices and the multiplier effect on prices of goods rising over 350% since 2022,” have exacerbated an already dire situation and worsened the plight of Ghanaians.

They are thus urging government to show practical and verifiable signs of dealing with the economic problems soon to avoid a social implosion, and have warned against “excessive and carelessly pursued” campaign activities in this election year.

Also, the think tank called for a review of the free Senior High School policy and the entire educational system.

“The Government’s flagship Free SHS program is in disarray. In 2022, a KNUST lecturer could not reconcile how students who scored ‘A’ grades in science could not do basic calculus. In 2023, the University of Ghana reported that 3rd year students in the 4-year undergraduate degrees who scored a GPA of less than 2.0 would be dismissed.

“And reports of massive failures in the teacher trainee licensure examinations, low remuneration of teachers, poorly trained teachers, inadequate feeding of boarding school students which is also affecting their academic performance – all point to the need for a review of the educational system. Think Progress Ghana believes in free SHS but not the way it is being implemented.

“We add to widespread calls for a review that needs not be dishonestly dismissed by the Government in an election year as a call for cancellation of the free SHS,” it stated.

Furthermore, Think Progress Ghana has called on government to expedite operability of neglected health care infrastructure to augment the significant deficit in Ghana’s healthcare system.

“Think Progress Ghana also repeats our call on government to embark on a comprehensive review of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to ensure effective management of chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiac, kidney and pulmonary diseases.

“In view of the unrealistic tariffs for health services and drugs (e.g. prescription drugs GHS500 in 2022 to GHS4,000 now and monthly Blood Pressure Tabs from GHS375 to GHS1,500), patients choose between food and medication, between delivering babies at home or in a hospital, or deferring health care if they cannot afford to go to the hospital,” the group said.

Among others, Think Progress Ghana has called on the government to curb the self-serving, corrupt, and ostensibly neo liberal policies that have led us into the current harsh economic situation in Ghana.

“We call on Ghanaians to remain law abiding and peaceful citizens and vote their conscience come December 7, 2024,” it added.

According to Think Progress Ghana, the government must seriously pay special attention to the forgoing pointers in the current climate of helplessness that may otherwise result in social upheaval in an election year.

Source: Ghana News

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