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Your “24-Hour Economy” mantra is intangible – Bright Simons tells NDC



24-Hour Economy mantra is intangible

Bright Simons, Vice President of policy think tank Imani Africa, has expressed skepticism about the National Democratic Congress’s (NDC) “24-hour economy” proposal, describing it as more aspirational than a concrete policy plan.

Responding to queries from Twitter users on why civil society organizations (CSOs) have not scrutinized the NDC’s “24-hour economy” proposal as rigorously as they did the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Free SHS policy, Simons clarified that the NDC’s proposal lacks the specificity needed for tangible policy discussion.

“More critical, at least for me, is that ‘24-hour economy’ sounds more like an aspirational ‘policy VISION’ than a specific policy itself. Like Kufuor-era ‘Golden Age of Business’ or ‘War on Indiscipline’. Hard to probe those,” Simons tweeted.

John Dramani Mahama, the perennial presidential candidate for the NDC, has been advocating for a “24-hour economy” as a transformative policy for Ghana. He has made it the cornerstone of his campaign for the 2024 elections, similar to how the NPP emphasized policies like Free SHS, 1D1F, and 1 Village 1 Dam in previous elections.


However, the “24-hour economy” proposal has faced criticism for its lack of clarity. Various interpretations by key NDC members have led to confusion about what the policy entails. National Chairman Johnson Asiedu Nketiah mentioned providing electricity at reduced rates for night shift workers, while Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa linked it to the cancellation of ex-gratia and the construction of regional airports. Felix Kwakye-Ofosu suggested nighttime street food vending as part of the policy.

Other explanations include Professor Grace Ayensu Danquah’s reference to international practices and Nana Oye Bampoe-Addo’s mention of nighttime weeding with torchlights. Dr. William Atta Owusu even suggested rearing wild animals as part of the initiative.

This array of interpretations has led to uncertainty about the actual substance of the “24-hour economy” proposal, making it difficult for voters to grasp its implications and potential benefits.

Bright Simons’ critique highlights the need for the NDC to provide a clearer, more detailed explanation of their “24-hour economy” vision if it is to be taken seriously as a policy proposal. Many Ghanaians share Simons’ concerns, seeking concrete answers on how this aspirational vision would be implemented and what specific measures it would entail.