Feature Article of Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Columnist: Francis Ameyibor

Election 2012 campaign: Is CPP attracting the votes?

Who is attracting the votes as politicians bombard the electorate with melodious messages all in an attempt to woo them to vote for either their presidential or parliamentary candidates or both for victory?

A critical observation of the manifestos of the various political parties reveals that the Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP) quest for Election 2012 is based on the party’s belief that a successor generation has come to the helm of national affairs 55 after independence.

“Our manifesto is designed to change the structure of our economy so that the needs of our people are the top consideration in our economic planning.

“We have a strategy of structural change anchored on adopting and adapting existing technologies and enhancing local technologies, modernizing agriculture, increasing industrialization and enabling our local entrepreneurs to invest in manufacturing rather than importing goods we can produce.

“Our programmes will stimulate our consciousness and endue us with a patriotic attitude in all that we do. Honesty and incorruptibility will be our hallmark as a State.

“We will build a strong, self-reliant, and determined society that offers fair distribution of opportunity to all.

“Our manifesto is a blueprint to make Ghana Work Again! Ghana Must Work Again.”

The CPP explains that the development challenges Ghana is facing remained unchanged and in some respects have been made worse by a population that has increased six fold from four million to 24.7 million.

According to CPP since the first Republic Ghana has moved from a position of self reliance to dependence, “many of our people do not have adequate access to clean water, food, shelter, health care and education”.

According to the party in 2011, 53 per cent of school children taking the Basic Education Certificate Examination failed and could not continue onto senior high school.

Only 20 per cent of pupils that enter primary school reach senior high school and only three per cent of them reach the tertiary level.

Only a few of the poorest people who need basic healthcare are able to afford the National Health Insurance Scheme subscription. Maternal mortality is unacceptably high at 350 per 100,000 live births and the country remains protein deficient.

In the forward to the CPP Election 2012 manifesto the party claimed that socially “our cultural values have been eroded by unbridled modernity, whilst national patriotism has declined”.

Economically Ghana’s development has been stifled by policies that have shrunk the manufacturing sector to single digit as a percentage of its contribution to national GDP.

The nation therefore continues to borrow to meet recurrent costs of mostly consumptive expenditure.

This fundamental imbalance between inadequate economic growth and demand for goods and services puts pressure on public spending and has resulted in a debt burden of more than GH¢ 25billion.(Bank of Ghana ,February 2012)

“This situation is untenable and irresponsible”!

Fundamental reforms are needed to reverse the trend of affairs in order to achieve transformative change.

The CPP says the country needs bold and visionary leadership that will address the big challenges at a fundamental level.

The party’s Presidential Candidate, Dr Michael Abu Sakara Foster stated that his leadership would ensure that the State fulfills its responsibility for empowering its citizens to hold government officials accountable.

He said corruption would be detected and punished to take away the incentives through motivated police and intelligence services.

The judiciary will be supported to ensure efficient administration of justice through effective leadership building for public service employees.

“We in the CPP will live up to our tradition of selfless, dedicated and committed service to the people. Our overriding goal is to render service to community for attainment our national development agenda.

"Our aim is to establish in Ghana a strong society in which no one will have any anxiety about the basic means of life, about work, food and shelter; where poverty and illiteracy no longer exist and disease is brought under control; and where our educational facilities provide all the children of Ghana with the best possible opportunities for the development of their potentialities.

“The CPP Seven-year Development Plan written almost 50 years ago is as relevant today as it was then. It bears testimony to the party’s belief that people should be at the centre of all development efforts.

“After 55 years of independence, we, the people and State of Ghana, are yet to take control of our nation and our economy.

“The CPP is determined to make Ghana work again for Ghanaians. We cannot subscribe to an economy that cannot deliver jobs and higher productivity.

“Our manufacturing sector, which should have provided employment opportunities for our trained manpower, contributes just 3-4 per cent of GDP.”

The party said there is a steady de-investment by successive governments in the industrial sector. The end result is the massive unemployment situation the country is experiencing today.

“We the CPP are determined to re-activate our sense of self-determination, self-reliance, and self-mobilization.”

In doing this, the party says it shall be guided by the three main objectives of: Social Transformation, Sustainable Economy, and Social Justice.

“We are fully committed to championing the rights of every citizen to quality education, quality health and equal opportunity. We believe we must work towards achieving genuine democracy that translates into concrete benefits for all Ghanaians.

“In the society we envision for Ghana, democracy will mean freedom from want, freedom from poverty and freedom from fear.

“To achieve this, we plan to break away from the dependency syndrome and reliance on short-term solutions. No nation has succeeded in improving the standard of living of its citizens without industrialising.

“We will reverse the collapse of our industries. We will advance an integrated development planning programme.”

On the foreign front the CPP says Ghana’s development will be harmonised with the rest of Africa.

“We want to build a self-confident, Africa that is capable of meeting the basic needs of its people.

“Ghana’s prospects for development are tied to those of Africa. As individual states, African countries are too weak and too small to have sufficient voice at the various international negotiations that decides on the economic future of countries.

“A United Africa will give us a fair share of voice to negotiate for a fair share of the world’s resources.

“We will plan our development differently.

“The CPP will provide an alternative framework for socio-economic transformation and diversification.”

This is what the CPP is bringing to the market to sell, buyers are you interested?