The people of Amenfi Central constituency in Western region are hoping for change as two new candidates face off in the 2024 parliamentary elections.
Dubbed western’s poorest constituency per the 2015 Ghana Statistical Service’s Ghana Poverty Mapping, voters in the constituency seek a representative who can bring much-needed development.
For over two decades, the NDC has controlled the seat in parliament. But their incumbent MP Peter Yaw Kwakye Ackah was shockingly defeated in party primaries earlier this year, opening the door for change.
On the other side, the NPP’s two-time candidate Patrick Hockson Ampongteng—the current District Chief Executive, who came close in 2016 but tasted a 6,000-margin defeat in 2020, has stepped aside, replaced by a fresh face.
Dr. Joana Gyan Cudjoe of the NDC will face off against Dr. Albert Wiredu Arkoh of the NPP.
Both candidates have strong credentials that could appeal to voters tired of broken promises and unfulfilled potential.
As a businesswoman and wife of musician Andrew Keche, Dr. Cudjoe seems to understand the struggles residents endure.
But some question if she has the political savvy and experience needed for this job.
Standing against her is Dr. Arkoh, an immediate past Pharmacy Council Deputy Registrar official with expertise in accessing state resources.
The challenges there are immense. Over half the population lives below the poverty line according to data, due to crumbling roads, lack of electricity and poor internet access.
Healthcare, education and job opportunities are also severely lacking across this rural constituency.
With their old representatives now gone, the people of Amenfi Central see an opportunity for a fresh start next year.
They hope the new candidates competing for their vote can succeed where others have failed, and finally bring the development needed to lift up the region’s poorest district.
But only time will tell if their gamble on change delivers the "new hope" so desperately needed.