THE FRIDAY WEAR THAT WE DON’T WEAR
-What does it reflect?
Jos Anyima-Ackah on Vexed issues
There is a distinctive notion , perception or belief about Ghanaians characteristically we are imaginative, bubble with lofty ideas and plans but we slack off or fail to carry them out. Examples will suffice here.
More often than not, we organize workshops and seminars to deliberate on national issues and come out with views and opinions to address them. But thereafter, nothing is done, leaving the issues to linger into oblivion.
In the same way, our research institutes work-studying analyzing problems in the field. They present their formulas and methodologies, but the reports find their way on the bookshelves and remain there for ages.
In the course of business operations, organizations and institutions introduce measures and packages with the view of enhancing staff efficiency and effectiveness. But these guidelines and incentives are hardly followed and provided.
At government level, committees are set up to deal with critical issues as they occur. Their work involves financial and material resources, and with efforts and time they make investigations, study the evidences and submit reports together with recommendations. The necessary action may take a long time or it may be shelved.
Governments launched programmes and projects usually with fanfare to the admiration of the people. They clap and jubilate, expecting good things to happen in a jiffy. Yet quite often the implementation becomes slow and down the line it gets stuck and abandoned.
Interestingly day to day out government functionaries make statements, promising to do this or that thing. But the promises are never fulfilled.
All these instances show our lackadaisical approach to policies, measures, programmes and projects. And this point leads to one of such things, namely the Friday Wear promotion which was launched by the government under the auspices of the Ministries of Trade and Industry with the support of two inter-related Ministries of Private Sector Development and Information as the spearhead of the publicity campaign.
Its rationale stemmed from the decline which had set in the nation’s textile industry. By launching the Friday Wear, Ghanaians will be prompted to patronize the local fabrics which will directly boost production of the textile industries while the dressmaking business will become more buoyant and lucrative.
As the name implies, the Friday Wear is a national fashion show for Government Ministries, Department and Agencies, wearing only dresses made from local fabrics on every Friday of the week. It was expected that the craze will spill over to business establishments in the private sector, where the management and staff would take up the cue. The launching of the Friday wear programme was marked with an exhibition of the colourful fabrics and modeling of dress designs by the organizers. There was glamour and flair in the full glare of the audience at the occasion. High sentiments were expressed in the various speeches to whip up enthusiasm and interest.
At the end of the day, there was a high expectation of positive response. All government officials and staff from top to bottom would begin to put on the special Friday Wear to work and sooner than later the fashion would be a craze that will extend beyond Friday and ultimately be the common every day office wear.
Yes, there were signs of it in the offices of government ministries, departments and agencies, as many of the officials and staff dressed in the Friday wear instead of the heavy suits and jackets, fanciful skirts and blouses. They looked gay and smart.
However, after sometime the trend waned with everybody going back to the old order of wearing foreign dresses to work. In other words, the suits, jackets, skirts and blouses are in vogue.
What does the laxity in the Friday Wear reflect? Obviously, it portrays the weakness or failure on our part to implement policies, programmes and projects that take time, energy and resources to plan. The end result is the slow pace of our socio-economic growth and development.
At 50years of independence, Ghana lags behind in the economic race with countries that won freedom late in the years. The relevant comparison is Malaysia which is rated among the economic tigers of the world, having attained giant economic strides in a relatively short period of time after independence.
Perhaps this situation is a clear manifestation of irony of life expressed in the biblical saying that “the first shall be the last and the last shall be first”.
Be that as it may there is a way out of this quagmire, so to speak. Notably, the things that we plan to do most be done right and in time in order to accelerate the process of our socio-economic growth and development.
Clearly, the Friday wear idea is laudable, designed as it were, to promote the local industry and dressmaking business. Efforts should therefore be made to implement it to its logical conclusion.
The Ghanaian Times - page: 8 Wednesday, September 19, 2007