In previous write-ups, I have made arguments in my political market analysis to establish the fact that politics is a game of numbers, a game of power, a game of comparative advantage, a game of words and a game of strategy.

In this write-up, I crave your indulgence briefly to shed some light on another interesting angle to politics – that is understanding politics as a game of connection from strategic perspective. How a candidate connects or can connect well with electorates is one of the important things to consider when selecting a candidate for an election.

One thing we must all understand, as players of the game, is that voters base their decisions to vote for a particular political party or candidate on a number of reasons or factors. The factors could be economic, religious, tribal, financial, social, historical, relational etc.

It is these factors that establish connection between candidates and voters to inform the decision of the latter. That is to say that before any candidate or political party can win the vote of an electorate, there is a form of connection that is usually established first between the two, either directly or indirectly. People just don’t vote for a political party or candidate; they consider certain factors before they vote.

I, therefore, want to present to you a very thought-provoking comparison between Hon. Alan Kyerematen and Alhaji Mahmoudu Bawumia in respect of the aforementioned connection factors to try to ascertain which of the two would be a good candidate to connect easily with the electorates in the 2024 election.

THE ECONOMIC FACTOR CONNECTION:
DR. BAWUMIA: He burst unto the political scene as an economist with the economic magic wand to turn the country’s economy around, particularly in respect of the management of foreign exchange component of the economy. The President, when he was a candidate, is on record to have said Dr. Bawumia was brought in to help manage the economy, particularly the forex bit of it. Through his economic lectures, his name became synonymous to economic management and some people even described him as the economic messiah of our time.

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Since 2017, he has been in charge of the management of the economy as the head of the Economic Management Team. Everything concerning the economy emanates from or passes through his office. With the current state of the economy, and the IMF and debt exchange mêlée on his watch, the question people are asking is this: where is the economic messiah and his economic magic wand?

He seems to have found comfortable succour in digitalization, as a friend of the Communication and Digitalization Minister. Speculations have it that she is one of the people who have been promised the running mate slot. The Ministry has now made him Digitalization Ambassador, just as the Youth and Sports Minister made him Fitness Ambassador after the Kumasi Aduru Wo So Walk by pro-Alan groups. He is currently the face of any digitalization lecture or project done by the Ministry.

He rarely talks about the economy nowadays. I don’t even know what has happened to the Gold for Oil deal that was strategically credited to his account in anticipation of it being a game-changer in the oil sector. Interestingly, there seems to be a new law in Ghana that requires that every good thing the government does must bear the name of the Vice-President. Per the new law, which was promulgated by enigmatic Chief Whip, Annoh-Dompreh, Veep’s Spokesperson, Gideon Boako and others, the Vice-President, who is seen as economic saint by them, is not to be associated with any negative stuff in the economy.

So far, if truth be told, he hasn’t shown anything special to demonstrate to Ghanaian that he is capable of helping the country out of the current economic situation. As a result, many Ghanaians don’t trust him on the issue of the economy and job creation, which is going to the major economic factor that would influence the next election, as shown by Info Analytics recent survey.

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His major headache now is that, unlike Alan, he wouldn’t be able to come up with any new vision or plan for the future. If he has any game-changing vision or plan for the country, he should implement it now to save the economy. But, does he even have any?

ALAN KYEREMATEN: He is also an economist, international trade icon, a businessman and lawyer and, until recently, was part of the government in charge of Trade and Industry Ministry. Until his resignation, he was also part of the economic management team in his capacity as the trade and industry minister. As a minister, he championed the implementation of some major government policies such as the 1D1F and Automotive Industry Development, among others.

In recognition of his sterling performance, the President and other government communicators are on record to have showered him praises on different platforms and occasions. Not only that, he was also responsible for the establishment of the biggest economic project on the continent of Africa – Africa Continental Free Trade Area (Afcfta), which is headquartered in Accra. It is quite proudly refreshing to know as a Ghanaian that the whole Afcfta Project was the brainchild of Alan Kyerematen – from its conception to the location of its headquarters.

In spite of the above prodigious achievements for the government and, for that matter, the country and Africa in general, some people think he cannot insulate himself from the current happenings in the country relative to the performance of the economy, since he was a member of the EMT.

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However, since his resignation, he has come out to say he believes some things could have been done differently, albeit the government has laid a solid foundation. To prove he would do things differently, if he is given the mandate by Ghanaians to be the next president, he has come up with what he considers a game-changing plan called the Great Transformational Plan (GTP). Never in the history of this country have we seen a thing like this before. Besides, his record on job creation is unmatched.

QUESTION: Which of the two gentlemen can easily connect with the economic voters for their votes? I define economic voters as those who base their electoral decisions on economy issues, such as vision and plan of candidates relative to job creation, performance of the economy, as well as the individual performance record of a candidate. This group of voters are largely apolitical, youthful and are mostly found within the floating-voters bracket.

Watch out for Part 2
Shalom shalom!
E. G. BUCKMAN