Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, has outlined a four-point agenda for development of Ghana hinged on the structural transformation of the Ghanaian economy, if, God-willing and with the people of Ghana consenting, he is elected the next President of the Republic in 2016.
The 4-point agenda, according to Nana Akufo-Addo, will be promoted in every part of the country in the run-up to the 2016 election, as this is the surest way Ghana can be restored to the path of progress and prosperity, and moved away from being a highly indebted and poor country.
Addressing party faithful at Shama, on the final day of his tour of the Western Region on Thursday, September 24, the NPP flagbearer explained that the first item of the agenda of his government will be to concentrate its energies on boosting industrial and manufacturing output of Ghana.
He explained that the next NPP government will take office with a clear programme of action for the industrialisation of Ghana – an economic transformation that touches every region of Ghana.
Nana Akufo-Addo added that the experiences of the successful countries in Asia and elsewhere have shown that government has a very important and positive role to play in spurring industrialisation and economic transformation. Thus, the role of his government will be to provide “fiscal incentives and bank support to boost our industrial and manufacturing sector.”
The second element of the agenda, the NPP flagbearer stated, requires his government to concentrate on raising productivity in agriculture and also diversifying agriculture.
“It is not right that with the same amount of land under cultivation between Ghana and Ivory Coast, 1.7 million hectares, the Ivorians are able to produce 1.6 million tonnes of cocoa, and we can hardly do 700,000 tonnes. We are doing less than half of what they are doing on the same land mass. It’s not correct. We are going to reverse it and increase productivity in agriculture,” he said.
The third element of the agenda for Ghana’s development will be to “strengthen and reform the financial sector, so it can support the growth and expansion of the two areas I have already mentioned.”
The 4th element of the agenda will be a very aggressive ECOWAS integration policy. With West Africa’s population currently estimated at some 350 million people, and projected to hit 500 million by 2030, Nana Akufo-Addo explained that this presents considerable opportunities for marketing Ghanaian industrial and agricultural products.
His policy, therefore, will be to “help accelerate the process of integration in the region”, as the emergence of a genuine regional market will stimulate Ghanaian enterprise and ingenuity.
“This is the four point programme that we are going to go into the election with, and will be the basis of our policies for the development of our country. It is a time tested strategy. It is the way Korea went, it is the way Taiwan went, and it is the way China has been going. That is the way, God-willing, Ghana is going to go, to develop our economy, bring jobs to our young people and prosperity to the masses of our people,” he said.
“The NPP has the men and women and the policies to do it,” he assured the gathering, made up of regional and constituency executives, as well as parliamentary candidates and their competitors from 14 constituencies in the Western Region. The constituencies were Wassa East, Shama, Essikado-Ketan, Sekondi, Takoradi, Effia, Kwesimintsim, Mpohor, Ahanta West, Evalue Gwira, Ellembelle, Jomoro, Tarkwa, and Prestea Huni-Valley.
No more 4 years for Mahama
The current state of Ghana’s cocoa industry, which, according to Nana Akufo-Addo, is in serious decline, is an indictment on the Mahama government.
“Can you imagine that cocoa processing companies, because of the shortfall in Ghanaian production, are having either to cut output or to import cocoa from Cote d’Ivoire?” he asked. This, he said, can be likened to the popular English adage of “carrying coal to Newcastle.”
The NPP flagbearer noted that “this is where we are today. That we, in Ghana, are having to import cocoa to support Ghanaian enterprises. It is a tragedy, it is a shame. It is the biggest indictment on Mahama’s policies and on his performance as President of this country,” Akufo-Addo added.
Nana Akufo-Addo added that Ghana finds herself in a situation which requires nothing but change from the 2016 election, so the country can be rebuilt.
“Our industries are down, enterprises are folding up, there are no jobs for our people. Our enterprises can no longer plan for the future. We have currency problems, energy problems, our economy is in tatters. We have to do something about it,” he charged NPP members.
He continued, “The NDC is looking for 12 straight years in office, if they win in 2012. In 2009 when they came into office Ghana's debt was GH¢9.5 billion. This was Ghana’s debt from Nkrumah’s time to when Kufuor left office. Four years later, by 2012 ending, it had gone up more than three times to GH¢33.5billion. The NDC got a second term in office, in 2012. We are not even at the end of 2015, but Ghana's debt has shot up another 3 times to GH¢95 billion!”
At this rate, Nana Akufo-Addo stated that, if Ghanaians keep the Mahama government in office for another 4 years Ghana's debt will hit at least GH¢300 billion by the end of their 12 years in office.
“What is the future of our youth? What future can they have with these statistics? That is why we have a huge responsibility to reverse the trend of our future and bring Ghana back onto the path of progress and prosperity,” he said.