Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, New Patriotic Party (NPP) flag bearer aspirant for 2008, has stated that the nation needs a leader with antidotes to the present economic problems and the global market competitions.
He stressed that the nation had gone through turbulent economic crisis and needed a leadership that would be transparent and accountable to make a positive impact on the lives of Ghanaians.
Dr Apraku was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview at Agona Swedru after touring 17 of the 19 constituencies in the Central Region to solicit the support of executives of the party.
He noted that if Ghanaians entrusted the leadership to him after the party had given him the mandate at a congress scheduled for early next year, he would build upon what he described as the "good economic policies the President J. A. Kufuor administration has chalked".
He said the role that he played as Minister of Trade and Industry in the first term of the government could enhance his chances to provide quality leadership.
Dr Apraku stated that he had developed a strong network and friendship and economic and trade relations with countries of the Economic Community for West Africa States (ECOWAS).
The former Minister for Regional Integration and NEPAD said the good bilateral cooperation formed with his then colleagues would come to bear on him to offer strong, dynamic, visionary and creative leadership for the country.
He told GNA that his tour of the Central Region had been fruitful for him to win not les than 17 constituencies when the time was up.
According to Dr Apraku, he made the effort in 1998 and was told that he was too young from supporters of the party and to wait for the next term and believed that he had become mature, wise and knowledgeable in politics and social issues, saying that, "I believe that this is my time".
He stated that as MP since 1997 to 2004 had given him more impetus, adding that, the next President should be a visionary to be able to implement sound economic, political and cultural development of the people.
Dr Apraku stressed that he had the capability to do so in the coming years, because the tour in the regions had encouraged him that he could win the presidential slot.
The Former Minister said he had enjoyed popular support among the rank and file of the party and that under him, appointments to ministerial, ambassadorial and district chief executives would be done in consultation with party executives to make Ghana a better place.
Dr Apraku noted that his 20 years experience including serving as a member of the Cabinet as well as in academia had given him adequate insight into the myriad of problems the nation and the faced.
He stated that this would put him in the frame of mind to fashion out clear workable programmes to work with others as a team to redeem the country from its numerous hardship.
Dr Apraku declared that his track record spanned his position as head of the United Nation Economic Reconstruction Unit, which rebuilt the shattered economic of Croatia after the war into a vibrant country.
He recalled his role when the NPP was in the Opposition as the spokesperson on finance and economic issues during which he made his colleagues in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government accountable and articulated a clear vision for the country.
Dr Apraku who lectured in economics and finance for 11 years in Universities in the USA and a Minister of State for five years in Ghana said he had a better appreciation of policy making and had developed a rapport with both developed and developing nations and would use them to improve the living standards of Ghanaians.