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Opinions of Thursday, 17 January 2008

Columnist: Adomakoh, Joseph Smith

Akufo-ADDO - Trump Card to Ghana's ....

... Economic Viability and Sustainability

The selection of Nana Akufo-Addo as the NPP’s flagbearer is greatest asset not only to his party but to Ghana in general. Of utmost importance to the greatest asset referred to above is that, as a key member of President Kufour’s Cabinet, Nana played strategic roles in the design and implementation of the NPP’s Economic Architecture Blueprint that has brought about the ongoing economic boom in Ghana. For example, Nana not only negotiated most, if not all of the bilateral investment treaties (BIT) for the country but, was also signatory to many of them to pave the way for the influx of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Ghana. Thus by implication it follows that as president, potential investors will feel comfortable when making decisions to bring investments and therefore jobs to Ghana.

The basic tenet of the NPP Economic Architecture Blueprint is a focus on entrepreneurship, workforce development, industry-university connectivity, public policy and other fundamental building blocks that go beyond rhetoric. Unlike the old economic development model that favored socialistic impetus and required untrained sycophants for implementation, the Kufour’s economic initiative takes a different approach by working collaboratively with the international communities and trading partners to create, implement, and assess programs to ensure long-term viability and success. The NPP economic initiative, through its dynamic leadership and unique experienced ministers that implement it, is assisting the growth of the national and local economies through innovative economic strategies. They offer an array of opportunities to both domestic and international investors in all facet of the economic spectrum. Additionally, the NPP model not only specializes in designing, building, and implementing economic development initiatives, but also in securing funds to support them.
The Party’s newly elected flagbearer has served on the front-lines of the national economic development movement and has helped to pioneer groundbreaking initiatives in the process. As an avid politician and legal practitioner, Nana is a renowned thought-leader in the field. The depth of his experience across government, economic development, business and venture capital, is unparalleled. He is internationally known for his legal genius on geopolitical relationship between governments and conflict resolutions. The economic impact of development strategies and the creation of industrial cluster strategies are his forte and, have proven beyond reasonable doubt that he is the man for the job.
For example, in the Twenty-first century, countries incentives have created a virtual zero-sum game of company attraction and retention. With every country now offering some package of major incentives to attract the next big multinational corporation, competition to attract a multinational has become quite keen. Therefore, Nana’s foresightedness and vision has shown that for the country to compete in the global marketplace, Ghana needs to focus more heavily on growing new companies to be competitive hence, his laudable idea of “Indigenous Capitalism”, whose motivational assumption is the creation of small businesses by Ghanaians to drive the economy. He knows that small business development programs seek to assist and promote local business formation and employment maximization through characteristics associated with the country’s overall economic development framework. Without doubt, to develop the Indigenous Capitalism idea to fruition will require services and support for entrepreneurs, industry-university collaboration, a capable workforce, tax policies and above all capital.
To address these challenges, the Kufour administration has created a more supportive and aggressive investment culture, better connections between local and international companies and a more nurturing infrastructure for entrepreneurs in the country to prosper. The improved environment has generated more attractive business opportunities for the country and has made it conducive to attract potential investors to start their own businesses as this in line with the government’s overall economic framework.
That is, with all things equal it is expected that over 80 percent of the jobs to be created in Ghana over the next decade will be created by small and entrepreneurial businesses. Thus, with Nana’s campaign platform having embraced the idea of indigenous capitalism, it is only fair to say that he is ready to help anyone who shares his idea of having his/her own business and in the process help to diversify the local economy by generating employment opportunities for the existing labor force. As president, he will by no small measure, help to ensure that strong, effective, and corporate independence are made the mainstay of Ghana’s economy’s future, and the hallmark of Ghana’s corporate environment. For the NPP recognizes that as a developing country it's counterproductive to discourage investment. So in the second coming of the NPP, they will assist in every aspect of small business investment, to encourage wealth building, respect for property ownership and an end to government interfearnce on the private sector. Definitely the opposition does not come close to meeting this mandate. In their world they wish to maintain the status quo – namely, to prevent Ghanaians to own their own businesses because, this will lead to the proliferation of presidential hopefuls to challenge them in presidential bids and therefore, must be stopped at all cost.
A case in point, for the 20 years that Rawllings ruled Ghana, we saw in such a grotesque profusion, evidence of constant harassment, tormentation, beatings, arrest and humiliation against businessmen and women without due process of law. His hatred against business is well documented and it will be suicidal to give back power to the NDC or him. Notice that I refer to both the party and him. This is because, like a hyena, he is waiting in the wings to gain access to power again through Prof Arthur Mills; that is, if he should win. Else, why has he made it his duty to be deeply involved in Dr. Mill’s campaigns so hard that (though strident); it doesn’t give any room for imagination of his intent as is so obvious.
President Nelson Mandela is the ANC as the ANC is Mandela. Yet, after serving his two terms as President of South Africa, he respectfully passed on power to his successor and has since stayed out completely from active politics to give center stage to the incumbent President, Thambo Mbeki, without any iota of interference. Former President George H. W. Bush is also a pedigree of these presidential leadership emeriti. He has equally stayed away from his son’s presidency in the US and given him the opportunity to execute the duties of the President of United States as he sees fit; but not as he is dictated to. Yet, Rawlings has been playing ever larger role in Professor Millis’s campaign, so much so that his action has become so “overt, voluble, high-profile and independent that, it calls into question the entire premise that Professor Mills is running for president as any thing but a figurehead”.
The challenges facing Ghana today cannot be met with timid actions or hollow words. Our challenges can only be overcome with optimism, resolve and confidence - in a leader who can get things done - and that leader is Nana Akufo-Addo and his party. For example, when the NPP took office in 2000, inflation was sky high, the Cedi was almost worthless and the country was in despair. Nonetheless, they acted swiftly to overcome these challenges. In less than 8 years they have refloated the Titannc and brought the country to economic bouyancy. Inflation is now at single digit; the Cedi currently competes mano-a-mano with all major currencies; GDP is at a record high and is among the best of the high performing emerging market countries; capital inflow which stood at $900 million during the NDC administarion is now $6 billion thus, confiming a red-hot investor confidence that has transcended into giving Ghana the opportunity to floating an investment grade soveriegn obligation (bond) for consumption on the interantional capital markets. Not-to-mention the multimillion dollar oil exploration investment, that has yieilded a gusher of one of the lighest and largest oil deposits in Africa, and soon to make Ghana a major oil exporter. This is an unprecedented performance that can only be achieved by good governance, respect for international law and great leadership.
Accordingly, as we stand at the crossroad of Ghana’s political and economic future what we need is continuity and a leader who has the testicular fortitude to make bold decisions, to move the country forward but not backwards. A leader who can balance politics with industrial strategies and create jobs, prosperity and bring hope to the hopeless. Therefore, let us not at this juncture of the brightest moment in the history of Ghana; turn back the clock to 1979/81 and bring us back to the period of fear, despair, hate and disenchantment; just to glorify an old demagogue whose time has past. Rawlings is nothing but full of lies thus don’t believe the hype of the rigging of election that he is trumpeting around. He is deliberately instigating such hooliganism in the country with the objective to disrupt the upcoming election to save his neck, sensing what will happen to him when Nana becomes president. Rawling is a known coward and once a coward is always a coward.
Therefore fellow Ghanaians, let us join Nana Addo, a person whose vision, courage, determination, and leadership abilities are destined to lead Ghana to a future, where every Ghanaian will have a sense of belonging; a sense of ownership and therefore, an opportunity to achieve his/her Ghanaian Dream.
Thank you and God Bless us all. Long live Ghana.

Joseph Smith Adomakoh, Jr. Wall Street, New York, NY January/14/2008

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.