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General News of Thursday, 30 November 2000

Source: GNA

Lartey entrenches his 'domestication' concept

Mr Dan Lartey, presidential candidate of the Great Consolidated People's Party (GCPP) on Wednesday re-echoed his policy of 'domestication' saying, the concept would form the basis of his government's programmes.

Mr Lartey, who was answering questions at a presidential forum in Accra said the fundamental problems stalling progress in Africa, particularly in Ghana are the lack of right policy programmes to encourage self-reliance through increased local production.

"Domestication will ensure that we develop our own production, stockpile and export commodities without necessarily having to rely on external support," Mr Lartey said.

In his view, most African countries are finding it difficult to survive the globalisation concept because of their inability to produce enough to feed themselves and 'stockpile' for export.

The forum, organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) with funds from the European Union, sought to provide a platform for the scrutiny of programmes and policies of the presidential candidates in the run-up to next week's election.

However, only three, including Mr Lartey, out of the seven men seeking the top post showed up. The others were Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby, candidate for the United Ghana Movement (UGM) and Mr Goosie Tanoh, candidate for the National Reform Party (NRP).

They were asked to explain how they intend to address socio-economic issues such as the AIDS menace, the perceived corruption in the judicial system, Information Technology, the future role of their spouses and their foreign policy.

They were also made to indicate what they would do with the presidential jet, which was acquired recently amid wide criticism.

While Mr Lartey indicated that his government would continue with the payment for the aircraft and thereafter use it because the state's commitment has already been made to it, Dr Wereko-Brobby and Mr Tanoh said they would return it.

He spoke against Ministers of State being sent abroad for medical treatment saying under his government, he would rather strengthen medical institutions and provide them with relevant manpower skills to enable them to handle cases that are currently treated outside.

Mr Lartey said it is necessary to involve the police and military in the 'power base' in order to prevent them from taking power from the people.

He expressed optimism that next week's election would be successful and violence-free if the 'proper things are put in place'.

Dr Charles Mensah, president of the IEA, moderated the session.