Dear Ghanaians and citizens of the world, on behalf of the board, management and staff of IMANI, I have the pleasure of presenting the main highlights of IMANI’s work in 2013 and a few key issues in 2014 to you.
A cordial working relationship with Ghana’s Parliament continues for our work. In the last few months and years, IMANI has presented evidenced-based research on pharmaceutical, tobacco and alcohol regulation which has led to the setting up parliamentary and executive committees of enquiry for which IMANI was invited to testify. Parliamentary leadership has simply told us, they have the platform to be used to demand effective research-driven accountability but they lack the resources to generate the research in the first place. We have an opportunity to continue making significant contributions to the development of Ghana.
IMANI continued its task of monitoring and evaluating political pledges and promises. Accuracy in the transcription of political pledges into easily retrieval actual policies has been a challenge since these pledges tend to be scattered across several media appearances and are often contextualized in intense debates between politicians. The vigorous democratic culture compounds the problem with its high tolerance for ‘spin’ and public relations gimmicks. Furthermore, issues of interest are often lost in the high-octane furor over ‘controversies’ and ‘controversial topics’. The end result is a misalignment of policy concepts and targeted interventions that are monetized. The end result is a running hole in our budget deficits.
In light of the above we undertook a review of water, sanitation and hygiene projects in selected districts in Ghana, a financial evaluation of the current Government’s promise to deliver/construct 200 Senior High Schools by 2016 using evidence in policy making & impact evaluations to identify a needs assessment on Senior High School Education in Ghana and provide a detailed Cost Benefit Analysis on the feasibility of the Project.
We also undertook an expenditure and policy analysis of Education, Sanitation and Transport Sectors in Ghana with the aim of promoting fiscal responsibility in Ghana through appropriate expenditure analysis and assess the efficiency of budget to empower civil society to hold Government accountable.
IMANI intensified its campaign on pension reforms and consequently achieved very little and rare success. For the first time in decades, the state pension authority decided to double base rates for pensions. There are far more significant pension battles ahead and we need to stay focused.
As part of our outreach and engagement with the builders of Ghana’s economy, IMANI held two dialogues with industrialists. 35 top executives from manufacturing, retail, financial services, legal institutions, agriculture, telecoms and technology took part in the meeting. The objective was to hear honest and frank firsthand accounts of the true state of the industrial economy with the hope to force evidence-based reform through collaborative efforts by government and industry and ultimately save the economy from its aggravated worrying state.
IMANI also helped in setting up the Forum for Education Reform in Ghana (Chaired by: Sir Sam Jonah with three current and former Vice Chancellors of Universities and Leadership of Corporate Ghana and a growing number of other eminent Ghanaians). The objective of the forum is to propose decentralized management of education in Ghana whilst ensuring public and private pathways in delivering quality education.
In keeping with our global brand and brand associations, IMANI hosted many political and diplomatic heads within Africa and Asia, Europe and America. Similarly, we collaborated with top-rated policy think tanks in Africa, Europe and America.
The testimony of Mr. Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu, Programme Manager of STAR-Ghana sums up some of the highlights of our work in 2013. “IMANI has grown to be one of the leading civil society research and advocacy organizations in Ghana, at the forefront of innovative thinking to address the country’s developmental challenges. It is one of the very few think tanks unafraid to ask the difficult questions and to challenge conventional thinking by policy makers and citizens. IMANI has in the recent months taken on the issue of access to quality education for all children in Ghana and managed to put together a panel of eminent citizens and education experts. IMANI, through this panel, has been able to get the President of the Republic to publicly agree to reconsider on of the pillars of his campaign manifesto, a promise to build teacher training colleges across the country.”
Furthermore, as has become our custom, we authored and published several articles on various issues relating to key local, continental and International issues in our bid to educate the general public as well conscientize key stakeholders to act. A few of these articles are listed below and can be accessed on our website www.imanighana.com or through a search on www.google.com
- Ghana makes modest gains in economic freedom but trails in Global Economic Competitiveness : IMANI Desk Report
- Ghana Gas Project is 33% Complete – IMANI Report
- Talking about Budget 2014: Worrying Perspectives from IMANI
- State of Education in Ghana – By The Forum For Education Reform
- IMANI’s 17 first steps and gaps towards a successful Presidency in 2014
- The Bali Trade Package: What it means for developing countries in light of the Doha Round and other existing multilateral frameworks.
- 6 lessons from Mandela
- Regulatory Effectiveness: How Nigeria and other African countries can learn from the EU on Tobacco regulation
- Is the FDA efficient and responsive enough to protect Ghanaians?
- How much due diligence in the sale of International Commercial Bank.
- After Supreme Court verdict winner needs to deal with the threat of industrial decay and neglect to save money.
- Make more of Ghana’s Cocoa industry
- An idea for President Mahama in 2014
- HOW GhS 1.2bn ($500M) Tier 2 Pension Funds May be involved in the Controversial Fortiz-Merchant Bank Sale.
In addition to many of the themes covered in 2013, IMANI will in 2014 strive and focus on expanding its budget tracking and expenditure analysis to cover of all sectors of government.
Funding willing, IMANI will champion the Economic Reality Index (ERI). The ERI is the first welfare index for Ghana with technical support from seasoned economic analysts from prestigious banks such as Databank and with the support of leading Ghanaian businesses.
The Economic Realty Index (ERI) is an index that tracks the welfare of the Ghanaian based on the basic necessities of life. The index will seek to promote all-inclusive growth, and serves as a single comprehensive statistic that reflects the impact of macroeconomic policies and public spending on the welfare of the average Ghanaian.
On the Global stage, IMANI will strive to situate Ghana and Africa in Global Economics Affairs in particular on the following;
- Understand the nuances of Governance with respect the extraction and trading of natural resources among African Countries in the Atlantic space over the last few years.
- Track and Assess trends in Global Trade and its impact on the economies of African Countries in the Atlantic space. (BRICS, G20)
- Agricultural trends especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and draw lessons that inform reforms that will help shape policy and investments that will position the region as a major Agricultural hub in the global quest to promote food security.
- Provide vital information that will empower the media and civil society to hold governments accountable to formulate policies that will enhance trade and promote responsible agriculture.
IMPORTANT: Your support will help make all the above a reality. Please do not hesitate to give us feedback about our work. You can also suggest potential project ideas to us. With ten research assistants, IMANI’s needs are growing. Please make an investment today. Be part of the catalyst for changing consensus and influencing public debate. Find out how you can be a SUPPORTING MEMBER of IMANI by writing to me at franklin(-at-)imanighana.org and franklin.cudjoe(-at-)gmail.com or call me on +233 (0)266552255.
Happy New Year.