By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
The report published by the real-estate concern Lamudi Ghana, indicating that only 13-percent of Ghanaians own their own homes, ought to serve as a wakeup call to supporters and sympathizers of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Needless to say, the key operatives of the Rawlings-minted, faux-socialist NDC have used communist propaganda tactics to stall the healthy development of a liberal market-oriented capitalist democracy. Under the specious guise of protecting unsuspecting Ghanaians from the supposedly kleptocratic clutches of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo Tradition, now represented by the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP), the NDC had actually used its stranglehold on power to thoroughly bankrupt our national economy, even as these Red-headed faux-socialists have effectively taken ownership of the bulk of hitherto publicly owned landed and real-estate property (See “Only 13% of Ghanaians Own Houses – Report” Ghana News Agency / Ghanaweb.com 11/30/14).
For instance, it was the Rawlings-funded and led National Democratic Congress, and before the latter the so-called Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), that engineered the patently criminal and corrupt process of liquidating government-owned factories and unconscionably quartering them up among their associates, friends and relatives in the name of an IMF-World Bank-guided divesture program. At any rate, the objective of the Lamudi-Ghana Report, as widely publicized by the media, had far less concern for the fundamental plight of the hoodwinked and wantonly exploited Ghanaian worker than the plight of the latter as one that offers prime opportunities for investors and potential investors to ravenously tap into the market of providing rental housing for the 87-percent of the effectively dispossessed Ghanaians, to whom there is absolutely no possibility of real-estate property ownership in the foreseeable future.
The irony of the statistical differential between the haves and the have-nots in an emergent democracy like Ghana eerily recalls the era of Apartheid in South Africa, when only 13-percent of that country’s cultivable land was collectively owned by the 80-percent-plus indigenous African population, with 87-percent of the choicest lands in South Africa being effectively controlled by the Euro-ethnic white-minority populace. Twenty years into Black majority rule in South Africa, the situation has not been any remarkably meliorated. And this Apartheid-era nightmare is likely to remain entrenched for a considerable while.
It is also quite clear that the dismal real-estate climate in Ghana is highly unlikely to be reversed anytime soon, if also because the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress has shown little will and zeal in this direction. The infamous STX scandal remains fresh in the minds of level-headed and progress-oriented Ghanaian citizens. Under the latter abortive venture, then-Vice-President John Dramani Mahama and his cohorts of NDC party toughs attempted to literally scam and/or mortgage Ghana’s new-found oil industry to a Seoul government-backed real-estate development firm whose industrial record was at best spotty. And so far, halfway through its 4-year term, the Mahama regime has yet to roll out any viable public-housing construction agenda for the country.
It deafeningly goes without saying that what the Ghanaian people direly need presently are not “Shylocky” absentee landlords, but a well-orchestrated affordable housing plan for the long-term upgrade of the living standards of the youthful hardworking majority of Ghanaian citizens. With its brazen and nearly hermetically scandalous focus fixated on the sponsorship of drug-trafficking kingpins and baronesses, like the recently arrested Ms. Nayele Ametefe (aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi), there does not appear to be any end in sight to the misery of working class Ghanaians in search of decent and affordable living standards.