A study was conducted aimed at examining whether or not Ghana's foreign policy under former President John Mahama contributed to improving the image o
A study was conducted aimed at examining whether or not Ghana’s foreign policy under former President John Mahama contributed to improving the image of Ghana globally. The study adopted the descriptive survey design and the data collected were presented in table using frequency table as well as Pearson product movement correlation coefficient, to test hypothesis. The study revealed that Ghana’s foreign policy and image under the Akufo-Addo government have been greatly sabotaged by inconsistencies and unnecessary ambiguities. The findings also shows that more than external challenges, it is the internal challenges that are dampening Ghana’s attainment of positive international image and national transformation.
Some of those challenges include leadership crisis, corruption, nepotism, insecurity amongst others. The study revealed that Ghana regained its enviable status of the continent’s ‘torchbearer’ under Prof Mills and John Mahama because of their administration’s strict adherence to Ghana’s foreign policies and the kind of leadership they exhibited internally and at the global stage.
The report which covered the period between 2001 and 2019, mentioned the role Prof Mills played in the Ivorian crisis, Mr Mahama’s speech at the United Nations, how he handled crisis in the subregion as head of Ecowas including the Ebola crisis among reasons why Ghana’s image soared under the two leaders.
The Nigerian Foreign Minister described former President Mahama as a razor Sharp intellect, the former Liberian President described him as a great leader with exceptional leadership skills, Barbara Padmore, said, Mahama is too honest to lead an African country. Apart from these powerful comments, he was the leader of the Commonwealth observer team to Kenya, Sierra Leone and other countries and handled the elections with dexterity. Special awards and titles have been conferred on him by some respected academic institutions for his leadership skills and support for global institutions. Shimon Perez commended him for his powerful and thought-provoking speech at the United Nations, the United Nations Secretary General described him as a great leader with exceptional skills because of how he handled the Ebola crisis. Prime Minister Cameron, rated him among incorruptible leaders in Africa and reposed extreme confidence in him.
Ghana was rated the best in the subregion in terms of human development index, it was rated second to South Africa in terms of electricity provision and coverage and potable water supply. Ghana improved its standing on Transparency International’s rating rung under Mahama, was rated the best place for doing business in the subregion and the most investor-friendly country in West Africa. Ghana received a special award for its affirmative policies and President John Dramani Mahama and the Prime Minister of Norway, Ms Erna Solberg, were appointed Co-Chairs of a group of sixteen (16) eminent Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocates to support the Secretary-General in his efforts to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
Ghana has lost most of these enviable statuses under the current administration because of the administration’s bad foreign policies, outdated economic policies, bad human right record and refusal to adhere to basic tenets of democracy including harassment of Political Opponents, maltreatment and harassment of investors and businessmen, hounding of businessmen perceived to sympathizers of the NDC and unfavourable environment for doing business. Ghana dropped in Transparency International’s latest rating, and other surveys conducted by the world bank and other global bodies. In 2018, transparency international announced that Ghana made her worst ever retrogression in the corruption perception index.
Ghana lost all the wonderful accolades and status because of the new administration’s governance style. The President’s inability or refusal to punish corrupt officials in his administration, breach of procurement procedures, nepotism and clannism, clearing and promotion of corrupt officials have all contributed to the sharp decline of the country’s image and status on the global stage.
John Mahama was referred to as a Champion of development by his colleagues on the continent and was highly respected across the continent because of his infrastructure revolution in Ghana. His handling of terrorism and security threats in the subregion contributed to his high standing on the continent.
Academic institutions, businesses and traditional institutions across the world still accord John Mahama the respect and special recognition and invite him to their important programmes. He also acts as a resource person for some highly respected academic institutions, Civil Society Organizations and other global bodies.
By: Andrews Krow