Economist Dr Sa-ad Iddrisu, in a released statement dated today, November 8, has said that Former President Mahama’s campaign promise of a 24-hour economy would be a game changer for the Ghanaian economy. John Mahama (H.E. JM) addressed the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on November 7, emphasizing his vision to transform Ghana into a “24-hour economy” should he be reelected as president in the upcoming election.
Dr. Iddrisu states, “The concept of a 24-hour economy, prevalent in most developed nations, involves three working shifts and offers many advantages: Extending business operating hours beyond the conventional 8am to 5pm would substantially reduce unemployment. The need for additional shifts would create job opportunities and provide workers with flexible working hours, fostering a sustainable and productive workforce.”
” Implementing a 24-hour economy would necessitate enhanced security measures, contributing to reduced crime rates in urban areas. This initiative would also increase employment opportunities within the security forces, especially benefiting the youth. A 24-hour economy would drive attention toward improving essential services like electricity and water supply, which are vital for the economy’s uninterrupted functioning. Addressing these services would significantly benefit citizens, as consistent power and water supply are fundamental to sustaining a 24-hour economy”, he added.
Dr. Iddrisu mentioned nightlife tourism as the added benefit of running a 24-hour economy, “Adopting a 24-hour economy in major cities such as Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, Takoradi, Ho, and others could stimulate nightlife tourism. By promoting vibrant nightlife, these cities can attract youth and travelers seeking unique experiences, generating additional revenue for local businesses and the overall economy.”
Other added advantages he mentioned were traffic reduction and foreign competitiveness, “A 24-hour economy has the potential to alleviate traffic congestion during peak hours, as work schedules would be spread across different time slots, reducing commute times and improving overall city mobility. A thriving 24-hour economy would empower Ghanaian youth to compete globally without relocating. IT companies, for instance, could cater to foreign clients around the clock, generating increased revenue and employment opportunities.”
With all the laudable benefits of a 24-hour economy, Dr. Iddrisu cautioned, “However, it is imperative to acknowledge potential challenges. Improper implementation could lead to an upsurge in night crimes, necessitating vigilant support and engagement from citizens, community leaders, religious figures, and chiefs. Furthermore, careful consideration is essential in identifying sectors within the Ghanaian economy suitable for 24-hour operation, ensuring a balanced approach without overwhelming specific industries.”