Alex Mould Writes: Being an economist is not a prerequisite for the Vice President’s role

Wow, the NPP must feel very threatened by JM’s choice of running mate Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, so much so that they are doing their utmost to discredit and undermine her.

The latest jab that she is incapable of heading the Economic Management Team (EMT) because she is not an Economist is fundamentally wrong, and stems from the falsehood that the Vice President must be an economist (or a candidate that has practiced Economics at some level).

The position requires someone whose strengths lie in managing people, and is fueled by genuine care for the welfare of all constituents – in this case, the People of Ghana.

Good management expertise at the helm of government is what is required – coupled with the intelligence to understand issues and solutions, quick decision making skills and a driven person who is an achiever.

An individual who has been at the helm of affairs in well managed institutions, has had the exposure and experience of managing people and crises, risen through the ranks and has the know-how to get a job done; precisely the sort of candidate Prof Naana Opoku-Agyemang is!

It must be said that Dr Bawumia is most certainly NOT the yard stick of a great VP! His pedigree and what he brought to the table are certainly no match for hers, and that’s a fact!

Personally, I think she is far more capable than Dr Bawumia is and even more prepared than he was when given the nod.

So, let’s put an end to this misdirected and ridiculous comparison to Dr Bawumia.

I agree that an “all-rounder” is needed for the job, but even “all-rounders” have a variety of strengths – just like Michael Essien in football. Were Akaah, Mills, Alui, Mahama, Amissah Arthur, Bawumia all-rounders? Of course not! Nowhere does it state that a VP must be responsible for the Economy.

That responsibility lies with the Finance Minister and their team, working with the rest of Cabinet headed by the President, and ably supported by the VP.

With regards to the economy, a strong Finance Minister who understands how to manage the economy is enough. One who takes the role seriously and is engrossed in its responsibilities, and not the political financial aspect of things.

The EMT was thus created mainly to engage the Finance Minister (FM) to ensure that the s/he executes the party’s main policies i.e. managing the party’s commitments as outlined in the Manifesto.

Unfortunately we don’t even have that currently in an FM. Rather, we have an investment banker in charge of our national finances and all he is doing is raising bonds – which is what he was trained to do.

Yep!

This upcoming election is, should be, and will be, about the management of the economy during 2016-2020, the situation we find ourselves in come December 2020, and a forward-looking approach for the next 4 years.

The focus will be on how to dig ourselves out of this hole, which can certainly not be said to be a well-managed economy!

And please, let no one kid themselves; 2021 is going to be the toughest takeover year ever for any government, given the abysmal position we find ourselves from the wanton mismanagement of our economy over the last 4 years.

By the way, I would advise Dr Bawumia not to tout his current record as it’s not something to boast about. We need a good person; someone with steady hands, great interpersonal skills and good people management to manage our delicate economy; not some text book Economist with the ability to do research work.

In due course, we will be discussing promises versus delivery, and I just can’t wait for the VP debate between Prof Naana Opoku-Agyemang and Dr Bawumia on the economy, the issues that this country faced during 2016-2020 and the NPP’s performance.

It’s going to be an all-round debate on the economy, not economics!

By: Alex Mould

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