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24.10.2008 Politics

Akufo-Addo pledges more jobs

By gna
Akufo-Addo pledges more jobs

The presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Akufo Addo, has said one of the main components of his government would be a significant increase in jobs to curb unemployment.

He observed that the nation's industries would be expanded with the necessary investments and the proper public-private-partnerships to generate hundreds of jobs for the populace.

A statement issued by the Nana NPP campaign team said Akufo-Addo made this known when he delivered a speech on industrialization and job creation at Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) at Tema on Thursday.

These jobs, he said, would be well paying jobs which would move the country forward into prosperity.

To start with, he promised to set up a one billion-dollar Industrial Development Fund (IDF) to help young people with great ideas to start out on their own and create businesses to promote Ghana's development.

“To complement this, as I promised the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) in May, my government will pass, an 'SME's Charter Bill' to support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises,” he said.

According to Nana Akufo-Addo, the next NPP government under his leadership would work very hard to build on President John Agyekum Kufuor's legacy to attain these dreams.

He therefore urged the youth to get educated in preparation for jobs in the near future.

To those already working, Nana Akufo-Addo said the next NPP government would intensify the job training to enhance their skills.

The presidential candidate of the NPP said confidence in the Ghanaian economy had grown significantly in part due to the sound macro economic policies and adherence to the rule of law of the Kufuor administration, which he hoped to continue.

Nana Akufo-Addo said this year's foreign direct investment would reach the five billion dollar mark for the first time in our history.

He noted that since the inception of the Kufuor Administration strenuous efforts have been made to correct the old arrangement at VALCO which worked to Ghana's disadvantage.

This, he said, was as a result of the negotiation with both Kaiser Aluminium Company of Huston USA and Aluminium Company of America in Pittsburgh (AlCOA).

“The acquisition provided an opportunity to attract major global players of the industry to partner Government to create a new frontier of industrialisation.”

The Chief Executive Officer of VALCO, Dr Charles Mensa, took Nana Akufo-Addo and some members of his campaign team, including Mr Alan Kyerematen, Mr Yaw Osafo, Prof Mike Oquaye, Dr Nyaho Tamakloe, Ms Vicky Bright and Mr Sammy Crabbe round the company's processing plant.

Nasna Akufo-Addo said with the emergence of the new VALCO in which government of Ghana has major stake, developments such as VALE do Rio Doce of Brazil, the second largest mining company in the world and owner of the largest alumina refinery in the world, and Norsk Hydro Alumina Company would team up to develop the bauxite mines at Kyebi and Nyinahin.

This, he said, would lead to the development of the first integral aluminium industry in Africa.

The next NPP Government, according to Nana Akufo-Addo, would raise funds to develop the iron ore industry with deposits at Oppong Manso and other areas in the Northern sector.

In addition to these the discovery of crude oil in Ghana must not only be exploited for export but rather refined and used completely to its final point in the chain - plastics, bitumen etc - in order to earn significant number of jobs and earn huge foreign exchange.

He said to prepare for the future the next NPP government would complete the West African Gas Pipeline Project, expand the Aboadze Thermal Plant and construct new dams on the Ankobra and other rivers.