Fix the country: Can the new basic-democratic movement bring a change for the neglected majority

Aktualisiert: Aug 22

In Ghana, people dissatisfied with the situation in the country are in the process of forming a grassroots movement organised directly by them. They call it "Fix the country". They do not oppose specific politicians, but demand good policies from politicians and make proposals to that effect. The government, which until now had always presented itself as the representative of "Western" human rights and criticised the opposition party for lacking respect for them, is now taking action against "Fix the country" and trying to prevent the demonstration: Power corrupts, is shown here once again. The could not prevent the first demonstration in the Ghanaian capital Accra. The judiciary defended the right to demonstrate, freedom of expression and freedom of organisation. Demonstrations in other cities in Ghana are to follow.


One of the most important inspirers of the movement was fiercely attacked: Radio journalist Captain Smart. He criticises the conditions in the country in his daily radio TV show, especially the rampant corruption: with the support of many listeners, he also calls on them to make suggestions for improvement and makes them known. He was suspended from the radiostation he worked for. He says the reason was, that the owner got political pressure. Now he has created his own radio- and tv-station and works also for another station.


He only supports the opposition party with his criticism. In this way, the government is trying to divert attention from the grievances it is accused of. It is trying to play the usual power game of the elites in Ghana: The two big parties always blame the other party for the grievances. After a change of power, however, they continue to pursue the same policies favouring the wealthy and neglect the large impoverished majority of society. This also discredits democracy as a forum of the state.


Captain Smart, however, himself belongs to the ruling party and declares that he is concerned with the cause and the country and not with party politics. He had criticised the grievances just as much when the present opposition party was the ruling party.


Will the people (be able to) unite in a non-partisan, nationwide and sustainable way and thus be able to differentiate the balance of power between the rich elite closely linked to the West and the mass of the population? Will they be able to achieve that the country is no longer organised only for the rich and wealthy, but for the interests of all Ghanaians?


To the extent possible, those who stand for human rights worldwide for all should support it, knowing that the decisive force for change must come from Ghanaians.


However, many of the blockages to Ghana's development come from the powerful in the developed world: Agricultural subsidies for European exports, imposition of market freedoms for goods from developed countries, climate injustice, support for tax evasion, and, and, and. This is where we could help and work to enforce fair relations between our countries and corporations and Ghana.


The direct grassroots democratic model of "Fix the country" could also be a political model for other countries, also for us in Germany, because inequality and injustice are growing here too.



The Oxfam report referred to in the video.

BUILDING A MORE EQUAL GHANA A five-point action plan to close the gap between the rich and the rest A report by Oxfam, SEND Ghana and Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition


Ghana: extreme inequality in numbers

Despite significant progress, large inequalities persist in Ghana. Oxfam estimates that just one of the richest men earns more in a month than one of the poorest women could earn in 1,000 years. Photo: Nana Kofi Acquah/Oxfam

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Despite significant progress, large inequalities persist in Ghana. Oxfam estimates that just one of the richest men earns more in a month than one of the poorest women could earn in 1,000 years. Photo: Nana Kofi Acquah/Oxfam


Ghana’s story is one of partial success. Economic growth in the past 20 years has been impressive and was matched by a significant reduction in poverty levels: these more than halved between 1992 and 2013. The country is now the second-largest economy of the West Africa region, after Nigeria. However, inequality is on the rise, undermining poverty reduction, holding back economic growth and threatening social stability. Recent trends suggest that the richest are capturing an ever-larger share of the benefits of growth. Poverty reduction has not been spread evenly, particularly between men and women, and the north and the south. Let’s look at the numbers 1,000 yearsOxfam estimates that just one of the richest men in Ghana earns more in a month than one of the poorest women could earn in 1,000 years. While 1,000 extra millionaires were created between 2006 and 2016, nearly 300,000 people could have been lifted out of poverty, had inequality not increased during this period. 2%The wealthiest 10% of Ghanaians now share 32% of Ghana’s total consumption – more than is consumed by the bottom 60% of the population combined, while the very poorest 10% of the population consumes only 2%. 6%Gender inequality remains a pervasive issue. Women are more likely to be poorer and to have fewer assets. For instance, they are half as likely as men to own land. They are also significantly less likely than men to be wealthy – only 6% of the richest people in Ghana are women. 5 yearsDespite significant progress, large inequalities in health persist. Less than 2% of the poor are covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme. A child born in Ghana to one of the wealthiest families is three times more likely to make it past their fifth birthday than a child born to a poorer family. 1 in 3Nearly a third of the poorest children in the Northern Region have never been to school, compared to just 5% of the wealthiest. Girls in particular are losing out on a chance of a better life, with the poorest girls from the most marginalized regions facing the greatest challenges. 1 in 5The labor market is dominated by low-earning employment in the informal sector. Seven out of 10 jobs are estimated to be ‘vulnerable’ and only one in five jobs could be considered to meet the standard of decent work. Consequently, at least one in every five working Ghanaians is poor. Building a more equal Ghana These disparities in income, consumption and wealth are not an accident. They are driven by fiscal and socio-economic policies pursued over the years that are not doing enough to tackle economic inequality. They have in fact often reinforced it. To tackle inequality, Ghana needs a human economy. It needs an economy that works equally for women as it does for men, and where the government guarantees everyone’s right to quality public healthcare and education. It needs an economy driven by the interests of the 99%, not just an elite at the top. This will ultimately ensure a more prosperous future for all of Ghana, where no one is left behind.

https://www.oxfam.org/en/ghana-extreme-inequality-numbers#:~:text=2%25%20The%20wealthiest%2010%25%20of,and%20to%20have%20fewer%20assets.



BUILDING A MORE EQUAL GHANA

A five-point action plan to close the gap between the rich and the rest A report by Oxfam, SEND Ghana and Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition


Overview

Oxfam estimates that just one of the richest men in Ghana earns from his wealth more in a month than one of the poorest women could earn in 1,000 years. Inequality is slowing down poverty reduction, hampering economic growth and threatening social cohesion. Nearly 300,000 more men, women and children in Ghana could have been lifted out of poverty between 2006 and 2013 had inequality not increased during this period. Inequality is not inevitable and can be addressed. In 2017, servicing public debt cost Ghana more than the annual amount the government would need to pay for free quality healthcare for all Ghanaians and to deliver on its globally agreed health goals by 2030.

In this report, Oxfam calls on the government of Ghana to use public spending to reduce inequality, and put women’s economic empowerment at the heart of policy making.

https://policy-practice.oxfam.org/resources/building-a-more-equal-ghana-a-5-point-action-plan-to-close-the-gap-between-the-620549/



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Fight inequality, beat poverty


Did you know that 1% now own more than the rest of us combined? Inequality is growing around the world. Every year, the gap between rich and poor gets even wider. Such extreme inequality is standing in the way of ending global poverty. It's widening other inequalities like the gap between women and men. Our economy must stop excessively rewarding those at the top and start working for all people. It doesn’t have to be this way – together we can even things up. We can challenge the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few. We can change the rules on tax to make sure the richest pay their fair share. We can demand more spending on public health and education. We can demand fair wages for everyone. We can make sure the poorest have a voice, and those voices are heard by those in power. Extreme poverty was halved in just 15 years. We can be the generation that ends it for good.

https://www.oxfam.org/en/take-action/campaigns/fight-inequality-beat-poverty


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