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Opinions of Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Columnist: Asiedu-Young, Bellinia

Ghana Is A Success Story

At a Tuesday evening dinner with Ghana’s Vice-President, Hon. Alhaji Aliu Mahama in the upscale, plush home of Mr. and Mrs. Mireku-Asare in a Toronto suburb, the VEEP was very convincing. He impressed on all that his government is on the right path to making Ghana a “Success Story”.

With an aura of calm and serenity, the VEEP as he’s affectionately called, provided the bare facts. In terms of the road network in Ghana, he explained in detail his government's plans of networking the whole country through roads, starting from Accra and linking to all corners of the country, such as the Aburi dual carriageway which is now a 1st class road by any international standards. Work is already underway to improve and construct multi-lane roads to curb traffic congestion in Ghana’s capital city, Accra. All major roads will be double lanes or more (remember the danger of overtaking on single lane roads?). They have already completed a 6-lane road along the stretch from Accra to Ofankor, and a 4-lane to Nsawam. Work is in progress along the road from Nsawam with a highway that will continue to Kumasi to link directly to Kintampo. The Accra-Tema road is also being broadened and improved. So are other roads such as the one from Sogakope to Aflao, towards Akakyi. The Cape Coast -Accra road is also being reconstructed from Kasoa to Central Region, with a major highway to Sekondi-Takoradi, as well as a direct link to the Ivory Coast border. Other roads that are being converted or improved are Wenchi, Upper West roads, from Tumu to link to Navrongo. Another highway is to run along Hohoe to continue to Kadjebi to Worawora all the way to the northern part of Ghana. The idea is to link the Volta Region to the Northern Region. The rest of the country is being opened up through feeder roads where dual roads are not feasible at this point.

On Education, he says they have opened many new elementary schools in villages and towns which had no schools before. As well, one in four elementary schools in Ghana participates in the School Feeding Program. In each region, Ghanaians can boast of at least one secondary school that is fully stocked with anything from books to computers to serve as a model so that it is possible to access quality education (comparable by international standards) in each region, whether you're in the north or south. Note that this is a model and will be used to stock the other secondary schools to bring them to par. There has been a massive expansion to improve tertiary education. Colleges, Polytechnics and Universities have been reviewed and upgraded to make them progressive.

On Cocoa, President Kuffuor’s government has been working to increase cocoa exports, using new technology. Fact: He says in 2000, Ghana exported 350.000 metric tons of Cocoa. In 2004, this was doubled to 700,000 and over. The immediate goal is to reach over 1,000,000 metric tons of cocoa exports per annum. The list goes on and on, most of us know that the health sector is also a great priority now. The Veep, also, interchangeably referred to as “Alhaji” touched on the Oil find. This find, he noted from experience from other countries could either turn good or sour for Ghana if not managed properly. However, there will be transparency and they will ensure that revenue from the oil is used properly for the benefit of Ghanaians so future generations will not look back and fault this generation for "chopping their inheritance".

It gets better, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". These are the bare facts and the truth as presented by the VEEP. I guess it gets to the point when we have to look at truth in the face and give Caesar his due.....................

Message from Hon. Alhaji Aliu Mahama to the all Ghanaians in the Diaspora: Stretch out your hands and reach out to your friends and relatives in Ghana to go and vote NPP on December 7th, 2008, in order not to derail the Train of Progress. Do not downplay your influence.

Bellinia Asiedu-Young Richmond Hill, Ontario