The recent comment by The U.S Secretary of State, Dr Condoleezza Rice, that her country was proud to be a close partner of Ghana and to stand by its side has been one of the biggest signposts of the respect that Ghana is enjoying in the comity of nations.
Dr Rice’s comment was rooted from the US government’s genuine conviction that Ghana has made good choices about democracy, good governance, good economic management and in the fight against corruption.
She said the U.S, which had had good ties with Ghana over the years, was determined to "forge relations of hope and promise" to help new generation of Ghanaians to have better future.
Ghana’s respect among the international community which has resulted in President Kufuor being invited to every G8 summit since he became the President of Ghana has not come as a matter of chance but as a result of hard work that he and the NPP government has put in for the last eight years or so and for the Secretary of State to speak on behalf of her government and country to forge relations of hope for the new generation of Ghanaians, she is in essence giving a thumbs up to the NPP “moving forward” agenda.
NPP’s achievement in government is clear and unambiguous for any discerning Ghanaian who is not blinded by political hatred. Government accountability, transparency and reduction in corruption by state institutions and public officials have become important issues of concern to the NPP in government as they are a concern for many Ghanaians.
The NPP government has lived with the realization that promoting responsible governance is crucial for achieving socio-economic development, and therefore there is the need to promote accountability in state institutions in order to achieve sustainable democracy.
Reviews, ratings and rankings of the various international bodies such as the African Peer Review Mechanism, the Freedom House, the MO Ibrahim survey and Transparency International among others, show that Ghana’s upward trend in the numerous survey scores, clearly indicate that the NPP’s commitment to promote political and socio-economic development in Ghana in the last 7 years has been the most fruitful yet since independence.
It is generally acknowledged that the NPP government has done well in ensuring democracy and good governance, especially in the areas of respect for civil liberties, rule of law and human rights. That is not to say that everything is excellent. The foundations and sustenance for democracy, development and growth have been laid at a faster rate than any other government in Ghana.
Such is the confidence that the NPP as a political party has got to call to Ghanaians to believe in Ghana, so that all facets of society can work together, think together and build together to achieve the Ghana we all believe in.
Ghana’s economic governance and management has done better under the NPP than it has under previous administrations. Reviewers have praised the improvements that have taken place in the economy since the NPP assumed office, such as the reduction in annual inflation from 62% in 2000 to 13% in 2007. This has moved up to 18.4% in June 2008 due mainly to recent worldwide crude oil & food price increases.
Redenomination of the cedi has facilitated timely transactions, reduced substantially costs and risks in carrying huge money and simplified accounting records and the ease of expressing monetary values. There is relative stability of the cedi against the US dollar and other international currencies
The introduction of the EZWICH as part of National Payment and Settlement Systems has brought banks and savings and loans companies to a common platform to permit the use of EZWICH Smartcard by, as a new very secure way of paying for goods and services for all Ghanaians online and offline.
Ghana under the NPP has achieved a consistent performance in annual real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates of between 4 and 6.5%. There is room for further improvement in the areas of roping in more people into the tax net and prudent fiscal expenditure among a number of new initiatives. The economy has been resilient with economic activity proceeding at a pace above trend.
All the economic indicators in the area of inflation, average lending rates, investment, employment growth, minimum wage, credit to the private sector and growth in national reserves show that the NPP record in economic management is head and shoulders above the previous administration of the NDC. In the area of socio-economic development Ghana’s human development index also shows that the country’s development was well above the sub-Saharan average over the same period that the NPP has been in government.
The Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) provided the overriding policy context for the country’s socio-economic development since 2001.
The NPP government’s intensive social infrastructure development initiatives have include the construction and renovation of school buildings the school feeding programme and capitation grant, the National Health Insurance Scheme and healthcare facilities, successful disbursement of the poverty alleviation fund and District Assemblies’ Common Fund to the district assemblies for development projects at the local level and the construction of urban and feeder roads networks to link various towns and villages respectively.
In the road sub-sector, the road network portfolio has increased from 37,321 km in 2000 to 62,114 km as at 2006. Overall the percentage of roads in good condition increased from 29% in 2000 to 39% in 2006. Roads in fair condition increased from 26% in 2000 to 29% in 2006 and roads in poor condition reduced from 46% in 2000 to 32% in 2006.
Total development and maintenance expenditure by Government Development Partners has increased from about US$104.3 million in 2002 to US$259.03 million. While Government expenditure has been focused on maintenance only 40-50% of the planned periodic maintenance has been achieved annually. Annual routine maintenance has generally achieved over 80% coverage of the network.
The level of periodic maintenance needs to be improved to protect the investment in road infrastructure development. Aviation has seen an increase in both international and domestic passenger traffic. International throughput in 2000 was 542,606 and increased to 959,545 in 2006. Additionally, the number of daily international flights has increased from 13 in 2000 to 19 in 2006. Freight traffic per annum increased from 42,363 tonnes in 2000 to 49,456 in 2006.
Ghana under the NPP has paid for her economic success through the nose, including declaring herself HIPC and asking for debt forgiveness while managing the little resources at home prudently.
The NPP record of governance clearly shows a government that has kept faith with the people of Ghana and as discerning as we Ghanaians are there is nothing under the sun that will make Ghanaians change the NPP for any other government.
Nana Akufo-Addo’s manifesto pledge to continue with the god record of President Kufuor and build on as well as deepen the democracy we so much cherish, modernize our society, transform our economy and build on Ghana’s regional and international integration are the clearest indication yet for a hopeful future for Ghana. We are moving forward
Credit: Kwesi Atta-Krufi Hayford
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