Cry, The Beloved Country As Ghana Shrinks Into Accra

Why am I crying for the beloved country? 

Four weeks ago, my sister Audrey sent me data on domestic revenue collection in Ghana. My worst fears were confirmed – Ghana has completely shrunken into Accra. The beloved country has collapsed. 


Region 2018` 2019 2020 June 2021 Average
Gt. Accra 87.13 89.3 89.52 89.35 88.83
Ashanti 1.29 1.16 1.22 1.29 1.24
Western 1.95 1.61 1.14 0.97 1.42
Eastern 0.46 0.39 0.41 0.41 0.42
Central 0.26 0.25 0.24 0.25 0.25
BA 0.21 0.20 0.20 0.20 0.20
Volta 0.13 0.13 0.12 0.11 0.12
Northern 0.32 0.29 0.27 0.25 0.28
UE 0.06 0.05 0.05 0.06 0.06
UW 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04
DTRD without  below91.86 93.42 93.21 92.93 92.86
1%  withholding0.72 0.53 0.54 0.57 0.59
Stamp duty 0.00 0.00 0.24 0.20 0.11
SPT 7.42 6.05 6.01 6.30 6.45
DTRD 100 100 100 100 100

Over the 4year period, the average contribution by regions to domestic tax was 92.86% of the total.  GAR alone contributed 88.83%, and rest of the country only 4.03%. 95.7% of domestic tax revenue by  regions was collected in GAR alone. Ghana has shrunken into Accra. Ghana does not exist anymore. 

No country in the world, (not Somalia or Afghanistan) gets 96% of its domestic revenue from its capital.  It is an absolute disgrace. Unfortunately, neither the President nor the ex-President (still collecting his  retirement benefits) but wants to be President again understands this data. Cry, the beloved country. 

How can it escape any government that when 96% of domestic revenue comes from Accra, 66.4% of  all internal migration ends up In Accra, 61% of all microfinance is in Accra, 4 (the 3 regions in the North  & Volta) out of 10 regions in a period of 6years (2012-2018) experience ZERO consumption growth,  then there is something fundamentally wrong with the political and economic structure of the nation?  

How can a government divide regions (whose combined revenue is less than 1%) into more regions  and bureaucracies that even their tax cannot pay for? What was the position of the alternative  government? None. They were scared of electoral backlash. That is why I say, Cry, the beloved country. 

I know people have joined my ‘’New Constitution” brigade. That is good but I must let them know that  the Ghana=Accra was not started by the 1992 Constitution. Independent Ghana was baptized by it.  Read below an interaction between Nkrumah and his Chief Economic Advisor, Sir Arthur Lewis. 

‘’However, Lewis’s advisory work there was far from smooth sailing. He recalled an interesting  dialogue with Nkrumah that took place in his sojourn at the government office of Ghana. When a draft  of Ghana’s Development Plan was completed, Nkrumah told Lewis that he was planning to allocate  50% of the budget to the capital, Accra, which had only 5% of the total population of Ghana. According  to Lewis’s account, Nkrumah said, “Why not? When you think of England, you think of London; when  you think of France you think of Paris; when you think of Russia, you think of Moscow.” Lewis replied,  “No, sir. When I think of England, I do not think of London because I live in Manchester, and this is  also why I know that capital cities exploit the rest of the country” (Lewis 1967, p. 16). Given the fact  that Manchester was the place where the 1945 Pan-African Congress that strongly featured the  presence of Nkrumah was held, it is evident that the above remark of Lewis was downright sarcastic.’’ 

Read Also: A New Political Fruit I Bring: Let’s Multiply & Fill Ghana With It – Nii Amu Darko

In the beginning, Nkrumah created a Ghana in which Accra was equal to the rest of the country; a 5%  of the population in a small part was equal to 95% of the population all around. The economics giant at the time, Arthur advised against it, he was rebuffed. Sir Frederick Bourne, a big constitutional expert  then, recommended constitutional regionalism to allow for growth of the regions, it was repealed by  Parliamentary majority. This country was dead on arrival. This is why I say rescue, resuscitate and  restore Ghana. Seek ye first the new state of Ghana, and everything else shall be added unto you. 

My call for a new constitution for the past two decades is not based on the corruption, incompetence  & arrogance of the Siamese twins but rather on the dysfunctionality of the enabling 1992 constitution. The fatally flawed structure of the state that Nkrumah tried to create in his image still lingers on in  this Santa constitution. It must be uprooted, utterly destroyed, and cremated. 

The problem is diagnosed, and it is the one-party government in unitary Ghana as enshrined in the  1992 Constitution, the lite version of the one-party state constitution of 1964. The solution is multi party government in ecofed Ghana as espoused in Afremocracy–democracy brewed in the African pot. 

Cometh the 5th Reublic, Cometh the New State of Ghana. Cry not, Ghana, your redemption is near. Tswa omanye aba 

Source: Nii Amu Darko | President, ARM | September 2021

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