Ghana’s former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings and the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley, have established that one of the setbacks of developing countries is the weakness of institutions established to combat corruption.
President Rawlings said the global economic situation is having a negative impact on countries like Ghana, but so long as “we can demonstrate to our people that we are providing a leadership of integrity, our people will make the necessary adjustments and put up with the pain.
“The integrity of our political leaders is what we need most on this continent. Some of our institutions that should be exacting integrity out of us have gone weak with time,” President Rawlings stated when Dr. Rowley called on him at his office in Accra on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Rowley in sharing President Rawlings’ sentiments said one of the failings of developing countries is our tendency to allow individuals to prevail over institutions, adding there is a terrible price to pay for it.
“If we subscribe to the rule and supremacy of institutions we stand a much better chance,” Dr. Rowley, who was on a state visit to Ghana, asserted.
The former President said he was glad the visit from the Trinidad and Tobago leader had finally taken place and expressed the hope that the collaboration between the two countries in the oil and gas sector will progress seamlessly without the challenges of institutional bureaucracy.
On the West Africa region, President Rawlings said the emergence and the integrity of Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria will have a positive ripple effect on the region and called on Trinidad and Tobago to explore collaboration with that country as well.
Prime Minister Rowley said his country and Ghana shared a rich history and expressed confidence that Trinidad and Tobago can join hands with Ghana to develop the oil and gas industry. He said so far the sentiment from all the institutions and people visited pointed to a “can do” spirit.
“Time is of essence,” Dr. Rowley said, “and we will let the technocrats advise what is doable and take it from there.”
Daughter of the former President and NDC Parliamentary candidate for the Klottey Korle Constituency, Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, who was also at the meeting, complimented the collaboration between Trinidad and Tobago and Ghana indicating that the relationship will help to better appreciate what works for us as people linked by a strong history, instead of the Western definition of what works for us.
Also present at the meeting was Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings. Prime Minister Rowley was accompanied by Ghana’s Minister for Lands and Natural Resources as well as ministers and advisors from Trinidad and Tobago.
Trinidad and Tobago, the leading producer of oil and gas in the Caribbean, boasts of large reserves of oil and gas and is recognised as a high-income country by the World Bank. It is the third richest country by GDP in the Americas after the United States and Canada.