Nana Briefs Volta Chiefs
5/7/2012 3:30:42 PM -
The flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has expressed his readiness to tackle unemployment in the country.
The World Bank country statistics on youth unemployment indicate that 65 percent of Ghanaian youth are unemployed with the number increasing by 250,000 yearly.
For instance in 2011, over 25,000 students were said to have graduated from public universities.
Despite this enormous challenge, Nana Addo believes the NPP government would adequately address the problem.
More so, he believes with a favorable condition to propel the private sector for growth, the problem would be tackled.
He noted that 'an NPP administration will be committed to creating the conditions that will allow the private sector to flourish at the surest way to generating sustainable jobs for the mass of our youth. But we recognize also that government has a duty to contribute to the creation of opportunities, with the central role to be played by the private sector.'
Nana Addo made these observations when he addressed the Volta Regional House of Chiefs in Ho last Friday to outline his vision and improve the NPP's relationship with the people of the Volta region.
Nana Addo greeting the chiefs
The eloquent NPP presidential hopeful said self employment would be promoted with support mechanisms such as access to credit, management training and preferences in public procurement to give hope to the hordes of street peddlers, kiosk owners and lotto and telephone card roadside entrepreneurs.
He stressed that the high unemployment rate was a threat to social peace and ignoring it would spell doom for the country.
As a result, there is the need for bold initiatives to be taken including the vigorous exploitation of the resources of Ghana and Volta region in tourism agriculture, salt, water transportation and many others to reverse the trend.
Nana Akufo-Addo, who was in the company of his wife, Rebecca assured the people of the region that the efforts that were put into discovering oil in 2007 would be replicated to explore the off and onshore deposit of oil and gas in the Volta region.
He added that the country's oil would not be treated like gold which is exported in its raw form, but used to transform the structure of the country's economy through industrialization and value added commercial activities to create a lot more jobs not only for Ghana but Africa.
He said, 'I want to see a West Africa that is working together to create jobs for its people and providing decent lives for its 350 million population and I want to see Ghana being at the driving seat of that regional project.'
Nana Addo exchanging pleasantries with Togbe Afede
He said his vision to create an industrialized Ghana would put the country at the forefront of industrialization in West Africa.
Value would be added to the country's bauxite and iron to create an integrated aluminum industry and a new iron and steel industry respectively. These products will also be exported.
Ghana's gas will also be improved to create a strong petro-chemical industry using both private and public capital, he indicated.
He noted that the Volta Basin, which per a study by the Geological Survey Department in 2008 revealed considerable amounts of cobalt, nickel, diamonds, gold and hydrocarbons, would also be developed under the policy.
Agriculture industry, which Nana Addo said, had steadily declined in growth from 7.4 per cent in 2008 to 0.8 per cent by 2011, would also be revamped to improve food security and give dependable income of large farming population, including the Volta region which has 59.7 per cent of its population engaged in agriculture.
On education, the NPP flagbearer insisted that it was possible to institute the Free Senior High School system if the right priorities were set and the right choices taken.
He said 'although it was going to be very expensive it is far too expensive now that we allow so many young people onto the streets after Junior High School without any skills or jobs.'
He lauded the House, led by the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV for signing the sister-region co-operation pact with Ningxia, Hui Autonomous Region of China.
The President of the House Togbe Afede expressed gratitude for the insightful words and wished Nana Addo well in all his endeavors.
From Fred Duodu, Ho