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Seven Key Contributions of Rawlings to the Republic of Ghana



Jerry John Rawlings born on  22 June 1947 was a former Ghanaian military leader and subsequent politician.

He ruled the country from 1981 to 2001 and also for a brief period in 1979.

He led a military junta until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected President  of Ghana.

READ ALSO: President Akufo-Addo Sympathies With Rawlings And His family[Photos]

After his demise on 12th November 2020 we brings you the key contribution of Jerry John Rawlings to the development of Ghana.

  1. Political stability

Non-Ghanaians readily associate Ghana with political stability. Without doubt, in my mind, Ghana has been the most stable country in Africa in the past 20 years.

This is no doubt due to the essential military characteristics of the Rawlings Government since 1981, characteristics which became less obvious as the government became more self-confident in security management and with the ushering in of the managed Democracy in 1992.

The political stability cannot be divorced from the personality of Rawlings. He is by far the strongest, most pragmatic and most politically astute leader we have had.

The only politician who comes anywhere close is Victor Owusu. All others – Nkrumah, Afrifa, Busia, Acheampong and Limann fall in the category of visionaries, idealists, philosopher kings.

There is something in the Ghanaian that produce the latter type of leaders. Strong leadership however has its down side. Strong leaders do not develop successors.

Rawlings by his strong leadership is therefore going to leave a vacuum in NDC leadership.

In addition, strong leaders often have their way, when their way is good the country benefits, if not the country suffers.

The task for a future non-NDC government or a post Rawlings NDC Government is how to provide strong leadership for the country, and not necessarily in the Rawlings mode. Rawlings leadership is one worth emulating.

2. Agricultural production It is in this area that I think Ghanaians have short memories.

It was only in 1983 during the bushfires and poor rains that we were rudely awakened from our slumber regarding our backward food production and distribution systems.

Dr Isaac Adjei Marfo as Agric Minister turned this around and the ensuing Agricultural policies have ensured food sufficiency up to now during which our population has increased significantly.

In addition, we have restored the cocoa sector which however never enjoyed the high prices in the Acheampong era.

When Adjei Marfo became Presidential advisor on cocoa affairs he worked hard on means to add value to cocoa. I know how successful he was.

The task for a future non-NDC government or a post Rawlings NDC Government is how build on this and create export markets to neighbouring African countries.

3. Educational reforms

As a person who went to school and never left it, it is probably in this area that I could say much.

For brevity let me say that the JSS/SSS concept is the greatest single educational reform of the Rawlings Government.

I note that the major criticism is on implementation and finance, deficiencies that should be corrected rather than abolishing the concept.

Despite this criticism the VC of the University of Ghana was recently reported as saying that the JSS/SSS concept has produced more science students eligible for enrolment at the University than previously.

I welcome this trend toward restoring some balance in Science and Arts graduands and would argue forcefully that this is why Kumasi Legon should receive more funding than Accra or Cape Coast Legons.

Prof Addae Mensah also flagged the possibility of establishing a college of Health Sciences and mentioned among its components, the study of Dentistry, Medicine, Medical and Biological sciences technologists, nursing and Allied Health.

Such college should be privatized with a certain percentage reserved for overseas students. I will find time to develop this argument.

Tertiary education reforms in any country originate from academics themselves.

The Rawlings Government has done the right thing by not imposing reforms on the tertiary sector as it has done on first and second cycle education.

The government has not however projected sufficient vision for the tertiary sector nor provide incentives and encouragement to reforms that will save it endless financing of the sector.

The task for a future non-NDC government or a post Rawlings NDC is how to make the JSS/SSS concept realize its full potential and how to realize long overdue reforms in the tertiary sector.

The other task is how to articulate formal education with requirements in the workplace. There are several ways to go about this but I will skip it for the moment.

Finally, I see the wisdom of efforts at distant education as much needed to supplement rather than supplant or overwhelm the formal face to face education in Ghana.

4. Financial sector reforms

It was not long ago that transferring money outside the country was a herculean task.

There was this insecurity that if people could readily do so there would be capital flight and the economy will collapse.

Well the Cedi became freely exchangeable with other currencies and civilization did not come to an end.

Financial sector reforms under Rawlings are too numerous to list here and it’s a measure of our timidity that we had to be guided into those financial sector reforms by the IMF.

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I suspect there is scope for further financial sector reforms although I must add that a country self-confident in its economic intelligence would be more relaxed and prepared for such reforms.

5. Tourism development

There is a saying that tourists know more about other countries than their own.

Hence most Ghanaians in Ghana, and to a lesser extent expatriate Ghanaians, may be not aware of our tourist potential.

Tourism is built mainly on historical sites of interest, entertainment and leisure including wildlife, beaches, exotic foods, shopping etc.

Tourism may be associated with education as with overseas students and scholars, attendance of conferences, with regional and international events.

Good weather, especially if over much of the year is desirable. A hospitable people is always helpful.

No one will doubt that given the foregoing ingredients of successful tourism, the tourist potential of Ghana is enormous.

There has been significant development and interest in tourism in Ghana under Rawlings.

The emphasis appears to be on Ghana as a major origin of the Slave trade and our tourism promotion has been pitched at our historical and cultural heritage.

A major part to this tourism promotion, under Rawlings is the strengthening of relations and solidarity with Africans in the Diaspora in particular the African Americans.

But this relationship goes beyond tourism – we give each other strength in believing in ourselves as Africans – that nebulous condition that powers growth.

The initiatives the Rawlings Government has made in Diasporan relations – in the Panafest festivals, business relations, in citizenship laws are laudable.

The task for a future non-NDC government or a post Rawlings NDC Government should be to diversify out tourist development, improve infrastructure and physical development and to continue to attract visitors to Ghana through staging international events of all sorts.

Our wildlife should receive extra attention.

6. Industrial stability

It is in industrial relations that success of the Rawlings government is most baffling to me.

How does a government that oppresses the working class with harsh economic policies get away with it.

I suspect the Government has been largely successful in persuading the Unions that the economic policies are good for them, at least in the long term.

But there must be more to it. And here we must go back to the ideological relations Rawlings forged with the Unions in 79 and 81 which persists today.

Along the way there has been sweeteners and some economic gains, the most obvious being the bribe the Government gave the civil servants prior to the last elections, against IMF advice and which the IMF singled out as the one most important factor that somewhat derailed or slowed economic growth up to date.

It can also be validly asserted that Rawlings has thoroughly infiltrated the Union and has good industrial intelligence.

This is probably why Strikes fizzle out so quickly in Ghana and never really trouble the Government.

I will propose a provocative explanation for the relative industrial stability under Rawlings.

There is something in the condition of the proletariat and lupen proletariat that makes them more readily accept oppression by ideological soulmates.

Till they cannot take it anymore and, if the means exist, exercise their voting power.

But it takes a while to reach this point because to perpetuate the deception the Government does a lot of good political and solidarity work on the ground.

Whatever the reasons for the ineffectiveness of Unions, future Governments should study carefully the levers, the machinations, the courtships and various means that Rawlings has used to keep the Unions at bay.

Not so much as repeating the more deceptive aspects but to evolve an industrial policy that will not sabotage future government economic policy.

7. Foreign policy

Ghana presently enjoys diplomatic clout out of proportion to its geopolitical significance. This is largely due to historical reasons and our over representation in the UN Bureaucracy.

But it is also due to what I may call the Rawlings posture. The in-your-face approach of Rawlings may cause domestic problems, in the brinkmanship of international relations that approach is probably what gets others to take you seriously.

I suggest the Rawlings posture is what sets the context in which cooler heads could skilfully and successfully negotiate with international bodies and press Ghana’s interests.

But perhaps it is in the area of regional and African diplomacy that I believe Rawlings deserves credit.

I will summarise the overall approach as one in which Ghana sought to be influential rather that aiming to upstage others.

Rawlings cautious retreat from the close relations with Ghadafi which attracted problems was, on a governmental level, in our best interests. Ceding leadership to Nigeria in regional affairs made both diplomatic and economic sense.

Ghana role in regional peace initiatives and providing shelter for people displaced by war was admirable. Ghana courting of Francophone countries and in particular Miterrand went a long way to ensure good neighborliness.

The recent signing of the West African Gas project must be seen a a product of the climate of goodwill among West African nations.

Future governments must maintain the momentum set by this project and devote our most energetic efforts to West African economic integration.



Ghana News Articles

‘There Is No Space For Them’ – Prez Akuffo-Addo To 499 Law Students



'There Is No Space For Them' - Prez Akuffo-Addo To 499 Law Students

This is because there’s no space at the Ghana School of Law to contain them, President Akufo-Addo said.

He noted that the situation is rather unfortunate as the problem has been a persisting one.

“For the time being, there’s no space in the Law School for them, and this is a problem. There are several others before them who unfortunately fell into the same pit. It may be that this group has decided to be more vocal than their predecessors,” he said.

The President explained that it is not in the country’s best interest to keep the gates of the Ghana School of Law closed.

He stated that more lawyers were needed to ensure that the rule of law was maintained for the country’s development.

“I myself, I think that idea of more and more lawyers in the system is good for the health of the nation. If we want a country that is governed by the rule of law, it means that we need to have lawyers in virtually all aspects of our national life guiding the development of our country so that the rule of law really makes sense,” he said.

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He is, however, hopeful that a solution to the problem would be realised by next year.

According to him, it is reasonable that Ghanaians expect him to find a solution to the problem because he’s a celebrated Ghanaian lawyer.

“I think it’s a decent, reasonable expectation; I will not run away from it. I think it’s a reasonable expectation to see that this is a good moment for these matters to be resolved, and all I can say is that God willing, by the time I come back here the next year, substantial progress will be made in trying to deal with this.

“It’s unfortunate, I can’t pretend that this is a happy coincidence for me at all, on the contrary, I’m very disturbed by it, and I’m hoping that soon the cooperation of the various stakeholders, the Ghana Legal Council, the Chief Justice himself, Attorney General and myself, we’ll all find a solution to this situation,” he said.




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World News

Doctors Successfully Transplant Pig Kidney To Human Patient



Doctors Successfully Transplant Pig Kidney To Human Patient

From people in comas waking up to diseases vanishing, medical miracles happen every day. But some doctors are advancing the methods we use to get needed organs. According to the New York Times, surgeons in New York City successfully attached a kidney grown inside a pig to a patient.

The unidentified patient apparently suffered from brain death. They were a registered organ donor. However, none of their organs were “suitable” for transplant. This patient’s body was used for research after the family gave their permission.

The Surgery 

While on a ventilator, the pig kidney was attached to blood vessels in the upper leg of the patient and covered with a shield. It functioned as it should. The kidney received the blood and processed urine and waste product creatinine  “almost immediately.” The surgery took place in September and the organ was studied for 54 hours.

The kidney was sourced from a pig genetically engineered to grow human organs that won’t be rejected by the human body. Xenotransplantation is the word for the medical procedure that took place. Per the Food & Drug Administration, this procedure “involves the transplantation, implantation or infusion”  of “live cells, tissues or organs from a nonhuman animal source.”

Transplants Needed

Scientists have been working overtime to find new ways to tackle the large demand for organ transplants. Estimates show that more than 100,000 Americans are waiting to receive organs from transplant lists. About 90,240 people on the list need kidneys.

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Robert Montgomery, who is the head of the Langone Health’s Transplant Institute at New York University, performed the recent kidney surgery.

“The field up to now has been stuck in the preclinical primate stage, because going from primate to living human is perceived as a big jump,” Dr. Montgomery said.

Why Pigs?

According to Vice, he received a $3.2 million grant from United Therapeutics to fund the medical project. The Maryland-based pharmaceutical company focuses on developing “novel pharmaceutical therapies” and “technologies that expand the availability of transplantable organs.”

Pigs are apparently a great match for organ procurement. NY Times reports that they’re “easier to raise, reach maturation faster, and achieve adult human size in six months.” Moreover, humans are not unfamiliar to using pig body parts. Medical procedures have previously used pig heart values, pig pancreas cells and pig skin.

Although the idea might be off-putting to some, United Therapeutics’ CEO  Martine Rothblatt doesn’t think so.

“Weird does not mean unethical. There’s a 45-degree line on a graph—as long as the utility exceeds the yuckiness, social acceptance wins,” Martine said. “Taking organs from dead people and putting them in living people once seemed weird, it’s not weird anymore. It would be stupid to abjure nature’s greatest invention since chemistry.”



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Ghana News Articles

Good News For Government Workers;‘No Ghana Card, No Salary’ Directive Suspended



Ghana Card Will Be Ready For 2024 Voting Exercise – National Identification Authority

The Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) has rescinded its decision not to pay public sector workers if they do not have a Ghana card.

Government workers risked forfeiting their December 2021 salaries per an initial directive from the CAGD.

The move was said to be part of the government of Ghana’s efforts to deliver a speedy, secured, and verified payroll service to government employees and pensioners while reducing the risk of undeserving payments or claims.

But the government through consultations with the Ministries of Employment and Labour Relations,  Finance, and the Account General have backtracked over concerns raised by labour unions.

In a communiqué issued after a joint meeting on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, the two Ministries have asked the CAGD to “port the names of public sector workers in their existing databases onto the NIA platform and thereafter inform the various institutions of any unregistered staff that may exist.”

With this latest intervention, the December ultimatum given to workers on the government payroll to acquire Ghana cards before receiving their pay is no longer going to take effect.

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However, state institutions have been advised to encourage their staff members to register with the National Identification Authority (NIA) to secure the Ghana card as soon as possible.

There have been agitations by a section of government workers and unions since the Department issued the directive on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, with some asking the Controller and Accountant-General to reconsider the directive and withdraw it completely or have the deadline extended.

According to organized labour, the NIA should bear the responsibility of capturing government workers on its database and not compel them to secure the cards.

They insisted that the decision is a lazy approach towards addressing lapses in the government’s payroll system.

The National Identification Authority however justified the directive, saying, it is a step in the right direction.

Earlier, the CAGD said it will not withdraw its directive.





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