The IMANIFESTO evangelizing team just returned to Accra after a tour of Ashanti and Northern Regions of Ghana. It has been an eye-opening tour and an opportunity to build on IMANI’s work and expand our reach. By our estimation, our IMANIFESTO18 project reached millions of Ghanaians through the five major radio stations in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale and their affiliates across the ten regions of Ghana that live broadcast the events. Thousands joined our live Facebook transmission. Close to 100 print and electronic media personnel covered and reported on the project. IMANIFESTO is IMANI’s comprehensive tool for tracking the manifestos and gauging the status of implementation of promises.
There is great demand for critical enquiry into the causes of our challenges and opportunities to reform. Most of the questions and feedback we received on IMANIFESTO and particularly IMANI’s work from our compatriots in Ashanti and Northern regions were unmatched in my entire 14 years of elite activism in Accra. I also witnessed incredible resilience and adaptation to modern life in Tamale. I saw many ladies and mothers in Tamale ride motorbikes with such great skill and calmness while obeying traffic lights. And then I wondered; what if government’s first factory was actually an ultra modern motorbike assembly plant in Tamale with a dual focus on training say 500 of these ladies to learn how to fix broken bikes and package same for other parts of the northern territories including Burkina Faso? It was worrying driving from Accra to Tamale and seeing vast open fields almost begging for tertiary cultivation- not necessarily agriculture, but some pseudo-modern mechanical usage. Factories need not be agro-based alone. That is another subject for another day. All I want to say is that our folks in the countryside need help and leadership that is not based on slogans but real-life changing interventions. Right now, they need empowerment with relevant information to chart their own industrious paths.
I am glad that my team at IMANI is dedicated to this task. We are grateful to the faculty and 600 students of the department of political studies and history of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology who participated in the IMANIFESTO18 forum. In Tamale, the Northern Ghana Aid brought together traditional, religious leaders, political leaders, civil servants, nurses, teachers, military and police personnel to the launch of IMANIFESTO18. The Coalition of Civil Society Groups in the Northern, Upper West and Upper East regions participated in the Tamale forum. We are eternally grateful to the media for being the best amplifiers of IMANIFESTO18; Citi FM, Luv FM (an affiliate of Multi Media Group), Focus FM, Radio Justice, North Star radio and Chicago-based WGHC Radio for live broadcasting the events across the entire country and North America. The print media was a worthy ally in this endeavor.
OSIWA, an independent grant making organization and an important player in democratic governance in West Africa deserves enormous commendation for being our main IMANIFESTO sponsor.
Finally thank you, Team IMANI for embarking on this joyous caravan to help extend the discourse on the development challenges of our time. Hopefully, we will be bringing the curtain down on IMANIFESTO18 this evening when I appear on one of Ghana’s most respected television programmes, ‘Upfront’ on Multi Media’s Joy News TV at 6:00pm.
The full IMANIFESTO 18 report can be accessed at https://imaniafrica.org/2018/01/24/2018-imanifesto-report-assessment-first-year-npp-government/
Franklin Cudjoe, February 1 2018.