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Business News of Saturday, 11 August 2012

Source: NPP Toronto Chapter

Ghanaians Can No Longer Afford to be Offside in a Globalized Economy

Throughout history, each generation has demanded of their political leaders the transformational ethos necessary for bringing about fundamental changes in social institutions, the distribution of public goods, and the way people relate to each other at work and at play. American President Barack Obama, Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are modern leaders around the world who showed the transformational ethos at the start of their term in office.

And in Ghana – who have been our modern transformational leaders? Certainly we have many. But without going through the annals of Ghana’s history, the only one of recent memory is President Kufour. He implemented policies at the time that Ghanaians needed it most. Now we have two leaders making waves across the country and on the international scene. Nana Akufo-Addo, NPP Presidential Candidate with Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as his Vice Presidential Candidate, are eager to transform Ghana for a better future. They are committed to building a globally competitive Ghanaian economy underpinned by a free and fair society.

They want to build a society that everyone can achieve his or her full God-given potential.

This was the message of Dr. Bawumia at his recent visit to Canada from July 19th to 21st.

In a gathering of more than 500 Ghanaians in Toronto, Canada, - an event organized by NPP Toronto Chapter - Dr. Bawumia spoke about Nana Akufo-Addo’s vision to restore trust in government and transform Ghana’s economy.

He reminded attendees that the global economy operated on certain hidden assumptions: that of a formalized local economy, ability to identify citizens, and the ability to have certain social order such as proper street addresses. Without these critical infrastructures, a country’s participation in the global economy is akin to a footballer playing the game without knowing the rules; they may think they scored a goal but everyone else will know they were offside.

For far too long, Ghana has been offside as a player in the international economy. Ghana lacked the ability to determine who is in the country or who is engaged in business transactions.

For example, when as bank loans money to a person in Ghana, two weeks later, that person can go to another bank claiming a different identity. This is offside in a globalized economy. It erodes trust in our business and government institutions.

"That’s why Nana Akufo-Addo’s government will implement a unique identification card for all Ghanaians, implement a street address system, and abide by government contracts. This is part of the “Formalization of the Ghanaian Economy” Agenda, said Dr. Bawumia.

Other measures to grow the economy will include a Teachers First Policy to incentives teachers to be able to teach and free high school for all senior high school students.

But as Ghanaians, what will this mean for our families and us?

It will mean that our children will be able to attend high quality schools with teachers who are given the necessary support to teach. It will mean that the Ghanaian policy environment will be conducive for businesses to create jobs. It will mean that Ghana will have improved roads, banks, and government institutions because trust will be restored in government, both in words and in contract.

The Canadian short story writer George Elliott once said: “What we call despair is often the painful eagerness of unfed hope”.

For far too long, we Ghanaians have despaired because of unfed hope.

Now, we have leaders of this generation with the transformational ethos and the skills to build a Ghana that will not include an Unemployed Graduate Association, but rather, a Ghana that will have the economy to create jobs for Ghana’s sons and daughters.