Ghana: The 2nd Lady's Saga - Why Government Policies Don't Impact

Since the days of Ghana's first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, governments have formulated and implemented a lot of social interventions with the view to better the lives of its citizens. However, most of these interventions either do not impact on the lives of the beneficiaries, or become white elephants only housing dusts.

Interventions like the Free Education for natives of Northern Ghana introduced by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, even though a laudable idea, has not really made the intended impact as the three Northern regions continue to be marginalized when it comes to access to education and employment.

Beneficiary participation is very crucial when it comes to Strategic Planning. Again for a viable social or educational intervention to make impact, there is the need to conduct a Needs Assessment. This activity allows the beneficiary(ies) an opportunity to state exactly what they need, and it also enables the sponsor to know exactly what impact his/her funds are intended for.

However, governments and institutions implement various policies, programmes and projects which yield little or no results. Most villages and communities are provided with social amenities which end up as white elephants because they have no need of them. Market stalls in some villages have beocme the resting place of lunatics or stray animals, bore holes and wells have become homes to rodents and other reptiles, just to mention but a few. The interesting thing is that all over Africa, governments pride themselves in the output of their policies and programmes without considering if such interventions really made any impact or produce any outcomes at all.

One of such case is what ensued when the 2nd Lady, Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur went to donate five computers to a school at Kukurantumi in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Apparently, after her donation, the Headmistress further requested for the supply of chalk and Log book, since the school was in short supply of those materials.  Not happy about the Headmistress' request, the 2nd Lady is reported to have chastised her.  Her action was received with condemnation all over the country with some quarters calling on her to apologize for the comments.

After carefully looking into the whole episode, I'm of the view that the 2nd Lady could have done herself a lot of good if she had inquired about what exactly the school needed - the cost of the five computers could have bought hundreds of boxes of chalk and log book for more than two schools in the community. A visit to the school by some media houses in Accra revealed that the said school does not even have electricity supply, in other words, the school does not have electric power to enable it use the computers. Even though access to computer is the dream of every school in our villages, the Headmistress felt their need wasn't met.

Its not just about the provision of these materials that show that government is really up to the task of providing quality education for its citizens, but the outcomes or impact such provisions make is what really counts and matters.



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