National programmatic and neopatrimonial logic policies in Ghana: A case of rice importation and production policies under the administrations of J.A. Kufuor and J.E.A. Mills

Abstract

Kofi Esien

Ghana’s 1992 constitution requires a party’s candidate to obtain 50% plus one valid vote to win presidential elections. However, no party has ever secured such valid votes in the respective stronghold alone. This study explores whether or not political parties in Ghana are emerging as programmatic parties, and the implications of the lack of programmatic parties for a party’s credibility and the deepening of democracy. To undertake this analysis, multidimensional construction of neopatrimonial logic is adopted and NPP’s Rice Importation Tariffs and NDC’s Savanna Accelerated Development Programme were extrapolated. Findings demonstrated that implementation of these policies has been occasioned by neopatrimonial logic as none of them is a programmatic party. This led to hypothesize that a non programmatic party leads to no credible national policy and programme, and consequently no democratic deepening. Using secondary data and interviews with 2 policy experts, 3 politicians and some respondents selected from among NGOs specialize in governance issues. This study concluded that Kufuor and Mills’ rice policies were populist rather than programmatic. Findings from the views of Ghanaians confirmed that the absence of programmatic parties opposes national policy and programmes, in that social interventionist policy of one regime faced implementation challenges in another. This situation often worsens the already dilapidated social conditions.

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