CONNECTING AFRICA, ONE NATION AT A TIME
For The Daily Statesman December 20 2016
“The Ghanaian economy has taken a hit in these last three or four years, but we believe with discipline, with hard work and correct set of policies we should be able to bring the country back to prosperity.”
These are the words of Ghana’s president-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in conversation with Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha, the Governor of the Imo State in Nigeria, on Monday, December 19, 2016.
During a three day visit to The Federal Republic of Nigeria this week, Nana Addo will connect with the country’s president, Muhammadu Buhari. In honour of continuing and strengthening Ghana-Nigeria relations, the two will meet to discuss bilateral matters.
“We value the historic relationship between the two countries. It is important that such links are established between our people and our leaders. They give confidence to our populations that we are working to try and resolve their problems and help them progress with their lives,” Nana Addo stated.
This show of collaborative statesmanship is a fine example of the maturity and progression that Ghana has reached with Nigeria after a rocky history of national relations. This is the sort of trend that Nana Akufo-Addo wants to continue in all areas of Ghana’s development. This is apparent in the stragtegy he has set out to move the country forth, and to set the precedent for other countries to follow in the collective construction of Africa. This set of plans is outlined in the New Patriotic Party’s Manifesto for 2016.
These big plans have brought about big expectations from the populace of Ghana, especially after the last four years failed to live up to the promises of the NDC. There is no turning back now. The NPP has no choice but to deliver.
Under Mahama’s government, economic growth has plummeted and national debt has skyrocketed.
“I am extremely concerned that the next four years will see a marked improvement in the living standards of the people of Ghana,” the president-elect expressed.
Nana Addo’s faith in the blossoming of this nation will undoubtedly be supported by his appointees, the people he surrounds himself with, to contribute to the success of the manifesto. Qualifications for such positions include a fundamental connect to the group of ideas and set-up in the manifesto, competence and capacity to master the briefs given and ability to carry them out. Most importantly, successful appointees will have unwavering commitment and loyalty to the Ghana project, and possess the responsibility of working for the people, not for themselves. Surely not by luck alone, Akufo-Addo has a choice list of candidates for the task ahead.
Moving forward with a competent, committed network of support, the NPP can dig into the work it has cut out for itself. Nana Akufo-Addo has stated that Ghana is rich in human and natural resources which can play an important role in the development of the country. With land abundant in gold, timber, bauxite, oil, and cocoa, Ghana’s potential has been squelched by misuse of it’s resources in past years. The nation has everything it needs to be prosperous, it is just a matter of how it is used. Akufo-Addo and the NPP have something on their side that the NDC lacked: strategy.
Opulence, misuse of money, and a ring of inexperienced appointees brought a Mahama-lead Ghana to it’s knees. In a gesture of healing the scrapes and bruises from these mistakes, Nana Akufo-Addo has written into the manifesto a solution. Every constituency in the country will be allocated $1 million annually to finance capital expenditure on upgrading and improving infrastructure, and/or developing new facilities, especially in rural and deprived communities. This generous budget is not appearing from thin air, but is a refocused portion of the $275m annual budget. By prioritizing development in smaller areas, the very framework of Ghana will have a chance to balance out. Along with this, the NPP’s plans to revive previously proven healthcare systems, restore beneficial projects abandoned by the NDC, and distribute equal opportunities for all people, Ghana will be able to get back on it’s feet once more, and stand strong.
During their visit, the Governor of the Imo State of Nigeria congratulated the Ghana president-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo, on his victory.
“I think this is the right time for you to be the president of Ghana,” he said. “On behalf of the 5 million people of this great state, we shall build a bridge straight to Ghana.”
High praise from Nigeria, and another step forward in a cooperative alliance with a fellow African nation. Might this be the new paradigm for a new Africa, united?