Posted on November 22, 2013


Rwanda is mentioned time and again as an innovative African nation. Just recently Ghana’s top blogger Abocco, aka #Mighty African, founder of Ghana Think Tank and initiator of the Barcamp Ghana movement reposted this. It’s entitled Rwanda, The Hope For Africa and briefly presents a stark contrast between Ghana and Rwanda.

Also, very recently, on one of my favourite blogs FROM POVERTY TO POWER by Duncan Greene from Oxfam, there was a post on taxation linking it with good citizenship. Here is the relevant part concerning Rwanda, again presenting a stark contrast with the rest of Africa:

“Taxation plays a vital role in promoting citizenship and reciprocal relations between the taxpayer and government. It is about encouraging people to make a contribution for which they receive something in return. In Africa, local government will need to play an important role in developing sustainable relations of this nature.
Rwanda is one of the few exceptions, where tangible services are directed and delivered at national level. The government in Kigali taxes everything it can, while at the same time ensuring a low level of corruption. The system works because most people are confident that their taxes are paying for public good. Fear may also be a factor. Most African governments do not have the capacity or political will at a national level comparable to that displayed by the state in Rwanda.”

Relating this to Ghana, there does not seem to be that connection. Rather there is suspicion that taxes paid are “chopped” i.e. squandered or stolen, by politicians. Thus there appears to be no trust of government by the citizenry. Likewise there appears to be little concern for the citizenry by government. How to break this cycle of disconnection? What will be the tipping point to make both private and public sectors sit up and work towards progress and prosperity.

Actually, the breakdown of the whole dynamic is perfectly illustrated by the SCRAP SHORT TERM TOURIST VISAS TO GHANA campaign..which has gone nowhere in terms of process and product, i.e. return. There has been no dialogue and no results. Not like Rwanda which has:

1. Introduced eVisas
2. Introduced visas on arrival
3. Introduced visa exemption for citizens from certain international priority nations such as the US
4. Introduced one visa for entry to Uganda, Kenya and, of course, Rwanda.

In Ghana….nothing…just stricter regulations….

…join the grassroots FB campaign and join us on TWITTER @visafreeghana