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President Mahama's Presentation at the IEA Encounter

2012 elections

John Mahama IEA Debate
President Mahama's Presentation at the IEA Encounter

Chairperson, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues and friends from the media, fellow Ghanaians, Good Evening. It is a pleasure and an honour for me to be here with you this evening. I would like, first, to thank the Institute of Economic Affairs for organizing these encounters.

May I acknowledge the respect that the IEA exhibited after the passing of Professor John Evans Atta Millis, our late President by suspending your original schedule. This is a time of great possibility in our country.

In fact, the possibilities that lie before us for true and sustained progress are limitless. As the clock draws nearer to our national election, it is crucial for us to depart from the destructive, time-wasting exercise of unfounded personal attacks, petty name-calling, and character assassinations and rather, move our energies toward the debate of real issues, concrete ways in which we can transform these numerous possibilities that exist into viable programmes that can, and will, create A Better Ghana.

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By establishing these encounters, the IEA is doing just that. It is creating a forum within which we candidates can seriously discuss the issues facing our nation and present the solutions that fall not only within our vision but also within our capability. I welcome this opportunity.

While part of the function of a government is absolutely to institute policy and to put forth programmes, what I have discovered is sorely missing in many talks and speeches during this election cycle is the basic link between the citizens of this country and the policies that are being promoted.

What is missing is the clear correlation between the good people of Ghana and the benefits of the programmes that are being promised. For more than 2 decades, I have been serving this great nation of ours in various public roles. As I have travelled throughout this great nation of ours, through all the regions, from the larger urban areas like Accra and Kumasi, to the smaller villages like Tutukpene, and Bodi, I have met a number of wonderful individuals.

These are ordinary citizens, people whose only desire is to work and earn a living; to feed their families; to give their children hope that one day they will be able to surpass the limitations that were faced by their parents and grandparents. These individuals have told me stories of resilience, optimism and commitment to their families and communities.

What a resilient people we are! What a mighty people we are! These people are pushing ahead for a better Ghana. Interacting with these citizens has reinforced my optimism. It has reinforced a belief that was already strong, my belief that the future that lies before us, all of us—not just some of us—is bright.

Let us examine the reality, I will like to capture them under four themes, for the purpose of my conversation with you this evening:

Building a strong and resilient economy

Capable of creating and sustaining jobs,

Putting People First in our health, education and social protection agenda

Transparent and accountable governance.

We are Consolidating a Strong and Resilient Economy

Under the NDC government, Ghana’s economic output, which is also known as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is currently about GHc 70 billion, from a low value of GHc 30 billion and GHc 36 billion recorded in 2008 and 2009 respectively. These are among the latest or end-September 2012 projected figures released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).

This is a sign of an economy that is growing by leaps and bounds. The fact remains that Ghana is rated among one of the fastest growing economies in the World! We have recorded the most sustained single digit inflation level in Ghana’s history.

We have achieved one million metric tons of cocoa production in a year, and have paid the highest percentage of FOB price in Ghana’s history. We have improved cotton production over tenfold and, through the SADA vehicle, have established a Shea butter processing factory at Buipe, an oil mill in Tamale and a rice processing plant at Nyankpala.

The Single Spine Pay policy has seen an escalation of Public sector wage bill from GHC2billion to over GHC5billion. In less than 4 years into our Better Ghana Agenda, the level of infrastructure development, access to social services and quality of life for ordinary people is unprecedented in Ghana’s history.

Our country is now accredited to be among the very first in Africa south of the Sahara to be in transition to true middle-income status! Ladies and gentlemen, let me say emphatically here that this nation is making remarkable progress. She is not retrogressing.

Ladies and gentlemen, as you know, we are in a dynamic period of our nation’s history and there is much hope for a bright future ahead. We are told by political philosophers, and even theologians, that to think positive of your circumstances is to invoke the more remarkable good tidings and future prospects: Our country is great, and will be even greater.

Our macro-economic goals in the next four years are an average GDP growth rate of at least 8% per annum, a sustained single digit rate of inflation, low interest rates, an overall budget deficit of approximately 5% of GDP and gross international reserves that will cover not less than four months of imports.

Overall, our economic policies and programmes will aim at the attainment of a per capita income of at least US$2,300 by year 2017. With the consolidation of the economic fundamentals of our country, we are at the threshold of transitioning from a lower-middle income country to a middle-income country.

This phase has been largely led by Government. The next phase of transformation must be led by the private sector with Government’s active participation. The private sector is the area of my utmost passion.

Together we shall create more employment opportunities for our youth. It is my firm belief that the Ghanaian private sector has what it takes to lead the next phase of our development. And that process must not be obstructed by politics.

We will establish monitoring mechanisms to ensure local content and give priority to Ghanaians in job opportunities and procurement practices. The Government's own procurement processes will be made to set an example of local content preferences.

We will engage with investors to set and monitor targets for achieving the increasing levels of Ghanaian participation. The Private Sector Advisory Council, which I inaugurated in September, will serve as the apex body to coordinate all strategic decisions affecting private sector development.

As I earlier indicated, government will actively participate in the Private Sector led economic growth and employment creation interventions.

A critical part of expanding our economy is the expansion of infrastructure development.

A sound infrastructure base is crucial to the attainment of our goal to build a thriving private sector and a resilient economy for more jobs.Key amongst these is ready access to regular supply of power. This is why we promise to launch an ‘Energy to Every Home’ programme under which universal access to electricity and energy will be targeted by 2016.

In between now and 2016, we have two critical milestones:

As has been announced by the Volta River Authority, in December, we will end the current load management exercise that was put in place as a result of interruption in gas supply from the West Africa Gas Pipeline Project by end of next month.

By the end of 2013, Ghana’s deficit in Energy supply will be significantly minimised, thereby largely eliminate the need for load management.

These will be achieved by increasing power generation from 2,443 megawatts to 5,000 megawatts by 2016 through an active partnership with the private sector and improvement in transmission equipment. By 2020, to meet the demand of the iron industry and other large consumers by increasing to 15,000 megawatts.

In addition, our focus on people-centered infrastructure will involve:

Increase social housing and improve sanitation and social facilities that promote secured settlements for the people’s improved welfare;

Continue the Western and Eastern Corridor Roads and modernise the Central Spine;

Construct a new deep sea port in the Western Region;

Target the development of the country’s potential mini-hydro power projects with capacities below 100 megawatts, especially in the northern savannah zone, in partnership with SADA;

Develop and up-grade the port at Buipe to serve as an inland port for the five SADA regions and the Sahel regions;

Commence the process for a new international airport for the nation`s capital;

Upgrade the Tamale Airport into Ghana’s second international airport;

Expand and modernise the Kotoka International Airport and the Takoradi, Kumasi and Sunyani domestic airports to handle increasing commercial activities and passenger loads.

Accelerate the street naming and house numbering scheme.

We are convinced of the transformatory role of agriculture in our economy. We will implement the Medium-Term Agricultural Sector Investment Programme, which seeks to significantly modernize agriculture and also improve productivity to world standards.

Ladies and gentlemen, the long-cherished vision of our citizens for Ghana’s very own national carrier will be realized under our next term. We will, in partnership for the private sector, bring back a proud and prosperous airline for Ghana.

I am convinced and determined, that together, we can reach new heights of growth and development.

Fellow Ghanaians, all these initiatives on the economy and infrastructure are foundations for the creation of Sustainable Jobs

The issue of jobs has become a global challenge, and everywhere in the world. It is a significant challenge facing all nations, from the United States to France to South Africa.

The attention of governments has been squarely focussed on how to expand their job markets to put people who have been laid off back to work, and on how to absorb new entrants into the job market. Ghana is no exception.

While the National Youth Employment Programme and other schemes have provided some transitory relief, we need a sustained expansion of the economy in order to create permanent employment.

Under the CDB facility we have reserved $100 million as a business incubator fund for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). SMEs will be the main driver in terms of our acceleration of growth of the economy and more importantly, they will be an avenue for job creation.

Recently in my address at the United Nations General Assembly, I announced that we have developed a blueprint for a Young Entrepreneurs Program. This program will guide and assist young graduates and other youth to set up business enterprises of their own in any sector of their choice.

They will be assisted to develop feasibility studies and business plans, provided start up finance and capital, mentorship and technical support, and eventually graduated from the program. This program will help them become employers, providing jobs for others, rather than employees seeking jobs from others.

A linkage would be established with other funds such as the Venture Capital Fund and the Export Development and Agriculture Investment Fund (EDAIF) to achieve this same purpose of creating young entrepreneurs.

Expansion of local content to cover all sectors will guarantee protection of jobs for Ghanaians. Investors who employ expatriates will be required to find or train appropriately skilled Ghanaians to fill the positions within a given time frame or pay an incremental penalty the longer they continue to use expatriate workers.

The NDC government will review the procurement law to give added advantage to indigenous companies and suppliers of made-in-Ghana goods. Government will use its position as the biggest spender in the economy to promote the indigenous private sector.

Working with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) the Ghana Employers Association (GEA) and other private sector business associations, we will use Government’s significant financial muscle to create industries and manufacturing concerns in areas in which Ghana has a comparative advantage.

This will take the form of guarantees to support the private sector or public-private partnerships in which government will reduce its participation over time and hand over completely to the private sector.

This has already been piloted under the SADA initiative resulting in the setting up of 3 industries in collaboration with PBC and Avanash Industries.

Upstream, midstream and downstream of the oil and gas industry, jobs are being produced for which we must be ready.

In this regard the Takoradi Polytechnic and the Takoradi Technical Institute are being assisted to increase their capacity to train skilled human resources specifically for this sector. This will, within a short period of time, introduce thousands of sustainable jobs.

With the current commercial exploitation of crude oil and gas and the other natural resources of which we have in abundance, the foundation now exists for an integrated Aluminium industry based on bauxite, a petro-chemical industry based on salt and natural gas, a fertilizer industry to give impetus to agro-development, a salt-based chemical industry for caustic soda, allied consumer products and exports based on oil and gas, and the much-anticipated integrated iron and steel industry based on the iron ore deposits at Oppon Mansi in the Western Region.

Relatively cheap gas-fired energy from the Ghana Gas Company will also facilitate the full revival of the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO), the textile industries and ventures in their value chain, the ceramics, brick and tile manufacturing, the glass factories and the steel mill.

To prevent what is referred to as the ‘Dutch Disease’ which is a feature of hydrocarbon rich countries, modernised agriculture and agro-processing will be given special preference as a strategy to ensure food security leading to net exports.

Agricultural production has increased significantly with many fruitful interventions including expansion of irrigation.

Other sectors that will be expected to increase employment as a direct result of our initiatives in the next four years include:

v The Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies resulting from the creation of 46 new districts in addition to the 60 created by the NPP administration;

v The Rural Enterprises Programme,

v The Northern Rural Growth Programme,

v The SADA Investment Schemes,

v The Western Corridor Development Authority,

v The Security Services,

v The Graduate Business Support Scheme,

v The Ghana Education Service, and ICT and Business Process Outsourcing.

An expanded infrastructure facilitates the contribution of all Ghanaians to national development. This also creates the opportunities for increasing numbers of Ghanaians to participate meaningfully in the economic growth of the country.

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Just imagine what we can achieve if we stand together as one people, with one nation and one common destiny.

The questions I have been hearing most are: “How do these impact on me and my family?” This is the area in which NDC’s track record in Putting People First counts.

So this evening, I would like to answer some of those questions.

I would like to speak to the various people I have met during my recent travels through the nation, and to all the people in our country, the citizens whose lives will be impacted by the policies and programmes that are being presented.

I come from a family that understood first-hand the power of education to change a person’s life. My father’s very first profession, before he entered politics, and before he became a farmer, was a teacher. He laid the groundwork for a number of individuals not just his children, to be able to attend school.

I know and respect the importance of education, the value that it brings not only to the students, but also to their families, communities and to the entire country. So, too, did the architects who set down the foundation of this Fourth republic.

The drafters of our constitution of 1992, in all their wisdom, provided for the implementation of Free Universal Basic Education. It was with foresight that they gave a definite time period for the implementation of this provision.

They specified that within 10 years after coming into force of the constitution. Allowances were also made in the case of secondary and tertiary education. The1992 constitution specifies as follows:

Article 25 (1)(b) of the Constitution states that “Secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular, by the progressive introduction of free education.”

Subsection (c) of that same article continues on to stat that, “Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education;”

No President who has sworn the oath to defend the constitution—as I have done and as previous presidents have done—can stand unilaterally against the implementation of the provisions of that constitution.

We have committed to MDG II, which aims at attaining universal primary education by 2015. As I speak with you now, tonight, 18.3% of children who should be in Primary school are not in school. 53.9% of children who should be in JHS are not in school. The existing 8557 JHSs cannot absorb the P6 pupils from 14,360 primary schools.

As I have indicated, our constitution guarantees FCUBE. We currently pay GHC4.50 per child per year.

Basic education is still not free, not compulsory, or universal. Parents are still compelled to bear some costs at the basic level. As a social democratic party, we believe that education is a right and that there must be equity in access and quality for all.

By 2016, we shall ensure that basic education is completely free for all, as the Constitution mandates.

Our commitment is to eliminate ALL identified “Schools-Under-Trees” and replace them with classroom blocks with ancillary facilities, continue the schools construction programme to eliminate the “Shift System” from the public school system.

We shall review the Capitation Grant periodically to keep pace with cost levels, progressively expand coverage of the School Feeding Programme to all public basic schools in rural and needy communities, continue the distribution of free exercise books and school uniforms and ensure improvements in Special Needs Education.

We will also agree with the GNAT, PTAs and all stakeholders on the best way of enforcing the compulsory aspect of the FCUBE programme.

To cater for the increased demand for teachers when FCUBE is fully implemented, we will increase admissions to existing Teacher Training Colleges and also establish at least 10 new Colleges of Education in the medium term to be located in areas not well served currently to deal with the shortfall in the number of teachers at the basic level.

A one year specialised skills training programme for teachers interested in early childhood development will also be pursued. We can reduce the burden on parents for students at the secondary level in a manner that does not compromise quality and does not squeeze resources that could be invested at the basic level to comply with the provisions of our constitution at the basic level.

When the NDC came into power there were as many as 4300 schools under trees. We’ve reduced that number by 1700; that’s 40%. This adds up to over 400,000 children who now attend schools in properly constructed classrooms.

We have also distributed 43 million exercise books, 3 million school uniforms to children in deprived communities. In respect to the school-feeding program, when we came into power in 2008, resources available could only provide for the feeding of 400,000. Resources have been increased so that today the school feeding programme can accommodate 1,000,000 children.

Whereas in 2008 the capitation grant provided 3GHC for each school going child; that grant has been increased to 4.50 GHC. By building new classroom blocks, we have further been able to offer the necessary infrastructure to a number of schools so that they can now eliminate the shift system and offer continuous daily instruction to the students.

Also significant is the motivation of teachers. Through the single spine salary programme teachers have seen their wages increase significantly, thereby boosting morale and lessening the weight of their own personal burdens and enabling them to better focus on their students. All throughout Ghana we see so many uncompleted projects, good ideas that somehow got left behind in the race for the promise of something bigger and better.

But these are not just projects; they are people. This programme should not be left uncompleted, and when it comes to basic education, no child should be left behind!

At the secondary and tertiary levels, our programme is:

To improve access by building 200 new community secondary schools in districts without them

To build 10 new colleges of education in areas with a high student-to-teacher ratio to produce more teachers for basic and secondary level

Expand facilities in established secondary schools to enable them take on more students

To revamp, retool and expand all technical, vocational and polytechnic schools

To build accommodation in schools to take in 20,000 teachers and their families (prototype almost near completion at HO Poly

To standardize fees at the secondary level

To increase subsidies and bursaries especially for deprived families

To work with GETFUND, NCTE and Accreditation Board to build the capacity of polytechnics in terms of faculty and infrastructure for them to become fully fledged technical university

To establish a new public university in the Eastern Region

A Government under my administration would consolidate education at the basic levels and continue to improve on the standards at all other levels that have enjoyed significant measures of improvement since 2009.

We will do everything step by step to ensure that everybody enjoys quality education in the coming years. As you can see, all these re-establish the focus to build capacities for accelerated development.

Teachers like many other workers on government pay roll have benefitted from the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy.

We are proud of this achievement.In the next four years, we shall implement a diversified mix of incentives including housing, training and professional development; ensure early processing of salaries of newly posted teachers as well as placement of newly promoted teachers on their corresponding salary levels.


The NDC 2012 manifesto acknowledges the fact that Ghana has a double burden of Disease – Communicable and Non – Communicable. Over the last 4 years we have pursued very successful initiatives to deal with the burden of these diseases, namely:

v Establishing 10 Polyclinics,

v 12 District Hospitals,

v 19 Health Centers and

v 1,300 Community Health Improvement Planning and Service (CHPS) compounds.

We have begun the rehabilitation of the Tamale Teaching Hospital and Refurbishment of the Regional Hospitals at Cape Coast, Ho and Sunyani. In addition, the installation of 6 MRI machines in hospitals vis-a-vis the provision of 161 Ambulances to facilitate rapid response to medical emergencies among others were highlighted as testimony to the foundations we are building to secure a better health for our people.

Over the past four years, these improvements in infrastructure and medical equipment coupled with human resource development, relevant legislations and increased governmental financial commitments have ensured a healthy nation as captured by the 2009 and 2012 Annual Report of the Ghana Health Service is also encouraging:


% of Deliveries Supervised by a Health Worker:

2008: 41.7

2010 52.2

Incidence of Guinea

2008 501

2010: 0

Number of functional CHPS Zone

2008: 409

2010: 1,675

Within the next four years, we will complete our long-standing grand plan of providing a modern Regional Hospital in each of the ten regions of Ghana.

We shall commence the construction of Regional Hospitals in the Eastern Region at Koforidua and in the Upper East Region at Bolgatanga and complete the Regional hospital project in Wa in the Upper West Region.

We are also committed to upgrading the Central and Volta Regional Hospitals into Teaching Hospitals to service the Medical Schools of the University of Cape Coast and the University of Health and Allied Sciences respectively.

We will establish new District Hospitals in districts without such facilities and more polyclinics in each of the ten regions as well as introduce new infectious diseases management centres.

We shall also continue the construction of both the Schools of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Ghana – Legon and the University of Health and Allied Sciences – Ho. Existing Midwifery and Nurses Training Colleges will be expanded and new colleges established in under-served areas.

It is our aim to improve patient – health worker ratio through the provision of these facilities with the ultimate aim of improving on the long waiting time in our health facilities.

We must salute the efforts of persons living with HIV and applaud the Ghana AIDS Commission on the great job they are doing. Government is supporting the 5-year National Strategic Plan with GHC 150 million, whose goal is virtual elimination of mother to child transmission and expansion of Anti-retroviral medications.

Harmonised Social Protection

Persons with Disability have witnessed the creation of the National Council for Persons with Disability (PWDs) and its related regulations and programmes which include the ongoing ICT Training for five thousand (5,000) people with disability and the use of 2% of the District Assemblies Common Fund to address challenges facing PWDs.

Beneficiaries of the LEAP and their corresponding Seventy – one thousand (71,000) households over the past four years have been integrated into the NHIS. We shall continue to provide the needed social protection to all vulnerable groups including women and children and in some cases men.

We shall continue to empower females through increasing the proportion of female beneficiaries of the Mathematics Science and Technology Scholarship Scheme to not less than 40%, passing the spousal bill, expansion and sustenance of microfinance schemes for women.

The Government of the NDC has made progress on its commitment to appoint many more women to positions of authority in Government. We supported and applauded the appointment of the first female Speaker of Parliament, we appointed the first Chairperson of the National Commission on Civic Education and the first substantive Commissioner on Human Rights and Administrative Justice as well as appointing more women to Ministerial, Deputy Ministerial and other Government positions.

We believe that Women have an important role to play in the Governance of our country and are even more committed to having many more women in positions of authority in the next NDC Government.

We are encourages that several more women are contesting the parliamentary elections this year and are optimistic that a good number of them will win their seats and create an expanded pool of female talent from which it will be possible to select appointees to Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial Positions from Parliament.

We have also drafted an affirmative action bill, which is now going through the consultation process and once this is completed it will be finalized for presentation to Cabinet and to Parliament.

The objective of this Bill is to create the legal basis for positive interventions to assist women and other traditionally disadvantaged groups to overcome those disadvantages and achieve their full potential. We have also sent the Property Rights of Spouses Bill and the Intestate Succession (Amendment) Bills to Parliament for their consideration in order to have legislation to assist our women to have the protections they deserve.

My tenure as President will continue to make the working conditions of medical Doctors, Nurses and Health Workers a priority. We will ensure that they are duly motivated to provide the quality health delivery that we all aspire to.

Transparent and Accountable Governance: Our democracy needs to grow beyond the election cycle and my personal conviction is that once elections are held and a leader is chosen, partisan political posturing must give way to a coordinated national agenda.

If we are to truly be one Ghana, then we must begin to work together for the good of Ghana and of all Ghanaians. Therefore as your President, I wish to reiterate my earlier promise that I will hold regular consultations with leaders of the registered opposition political parties, at which meetings critical national issues will be discussed outside the partisan forum of Parliament and the polarized environment of the media.

I believe this is necessary to signal to our supporters that we have a shared vision for ‘A Better Ghana’, despite our disagreements on how to achieve this.

Under my stewardship the various arms of government will be empowered to perform their functions effectively and contribute their quota to national development. This is not mere rhetoric. As you are aware, the Job 600 Office Complex for our MPs is near completion to provide decent office accommodation for our legislators.

As a former MP, I know how the attainment of this singular feat, will transform the law making in this country. This and the allocation of Gh¢50 million for the construction of constituency duty offices for all MPs and establishment of a ‘Democracy Fund 'will greatly enhance the contribution of the Legislature to our quest to make Ghana a better place.

Our decentralisation efforts have been remarkable in moving development investments to the most remote communities, and promoted an active, participatory democracy to the remotest cottage of our country.

Under my leadership during the next term, we will address the thorny issue of fair remuneration for members and leadership of the Assemblies, in tandem with a more aggressive revenue mobilization effort by the Assemblies.

All over the world, a credible legal regime is a pre-requisite for secured investments and economic advancement.

We will support continuous education for the Judiciary to improve the delivery of Justice.

When it is completed, the Court Complex named after the late President John Evans Atta Mills will also improve the conditions under which justice is administered.

It is my fervent belief that these investments in the judicial arm of government will attract additional investment (both local and foreign) to further advance and change course of our country’s economy for the better.

The Fight against Corruption and Narcotics

My brothers and sisters, if there is anything that detracts from the advancement of developing countries around the world, it is corruption.

Under my watch we will give impetus to the fight against corruption through leadership by example. We will take pragmatic steps including the enactment of legislation and enforcement of existing laws.

A comprehensive review of the Criminal Offences Act will be undertaken to define corruption to encompass all corruption-related offences and to cover all offences that fall under the scope of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption;

Regulations under the Public Officers’ Liability Act will be enacted in order to give legal force to the Guidelines on Conflict of Interest and the Code of Conduct for Public Officers prepared by the CHRAJ;

The Financial Administration Tribunal will be established and begin operation within the first year of the next NDC Administration; To guarantee transparency in how our resources are used, the NDC government ratified Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) regulations. The Petroleum Revenue Management Act also passed under this government, has provided an open and transparent system for disclosure and monitoring of petroleum revenues and the Public Interest and Accountability Committee is functioning effectively;

The Accra Redevelopment Policy will be revised to provide a coherent and transparent policy on the acquisition of public lands;

The next NDC Government will immediately implement the Freedom of Information Act once it is passed by Parliament.

In connection with fight against narcotics, we shall make NACOB a security agency and also seek to convert NACOB into an autonomous commission to empower them for a more effective execution of their mandate. We shall spare no effort when it comes to the fight against drugs.

Our commitment is to further resource and strengthen the security agencies with a view to establishing a more stable and peaceful country.

I pledge that under my Presidency, this election will be free fair and transparent, and that Ghana will continue to be the beacon of democracy in Africa.

This pledge has resonated with the entire world.


Let me say that our desire for seeking re-election on December 7, 2012 is driven by a solid record in office and our commitment to build a prosperous and equitable society.

Under the next NDC Government:

Ø Our economic performance will be deepened and diversified as the basis for the provision of the basic human needs of our people;

Ø We will energize the entire country by creating a rapid expansion of the energy sector to provide access to electricity and energy for all by 2016, and in this process, increase electricity generation, improve distribution bottlenecks and accelerate access to the poorest sections of our society;

Ø Our infrastructure development will be intensified to catalyse an accelerated transformation of Ghana to middle-income status;

Ø Our governance will be more thoroughly decentralized to enable citizens to access resources and demand accountability for services;

Ø Our private sector promotion and facilitation programmes will complement those of the public sector in our quest for accelerated growth and job creation;

Ø Our industrial development, notably in the energy sector, will be the basis for pursuing a value added, diversified and productive economy;

Ø Our agriculture will be modernized to involve a strong partnership between private agricultural investors and small-holder peasant small-holders in a manner that introduces capital, technology and expanded local and global market access; and above all,

Ø Our educational assets will be rapidly expanded to provide equitable access for every child to enter and complete basic education, enter and complete secondary school.

All of these will enable our economy to expand, creating the needed jobs that will propel prosperity for all and Advance the Better Ghana Agenda.

We aim to consolidate the People First social compact, long-established with the people of Ghana through our 2008 Manifesto and the pro-people policies we have championed since assuming office.

This is a new Africa, existing in a new era, and with this must come a new style of leadership with new philosophies and new ideas on how to integrate the firm foundations and clear visions that were forged by our past leaders into a better society.

This vision of a new Africa was what I articulated in my speech to the UN General Assembly. I grew up primarily in the North as the son of a teacher, an educationist, a politician and a farmer. I attended high school in Tamale, lived and worked there for a while after graduating; I served my professional terms in modesty; I represented my people in Parliament and I provided my stewardship at every level of human endeavour with humility and respect.

As I look across the diverse representations in this room, I see every Ghanaian here and the millions watching at home within whom I can recognize parts of my own story. We are all a part of one another and we cannot afford to live with policies and promises that will divide us into those who have and those who have not.

On December 7, when you pick up that ballot to vote, you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation - a choice between two distinctly different paths for Ghana, a choice between giving more and more to the ‘haves’ in the hope that it somehow, someday trickles down to the ‘have not’s—and you will see a choice that is based on equity and opportunity for all regardless of backgrounds, regardless of ethnic background, regardless of religious, political or private affiliation.

When I am elected into office, as President of Ghana and supported by a wide majority in Parliament, I will work with all my energy and soul to make sure that Ghana remains a country of equal opportunity, social justice and the pursuit of happiness by all, irrespective of class and privilege;

I will work tirelessly to restore Ghana to its pioneering role in Africa’s advancement And with your help we will deliver it.

But we must do it united, as one. One people, inextricably linked together by one future.

Take Ghana’s destiny into your own hands. The decision as to what that future will be belongs to each of us. It belongs just as much to you as it does to anybody else.

So exercise your right to give voice to your choice. Vote for John Mahama and the NDC’s ‘Better Ghana Agenda’. I will work to unite a divided country that is increasingly losing faith in the political elite and is beginning to question the significance of multiparty democracy that focuses less on lifting us up as a people, than lifting themselves up as individuals and celebrities.

God Bless Our Homeland Ghana and Make our Nation Great and Strong.

I thank you all for your attention.

God Bless.

Source: johnmahama.org



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