Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Presidential Candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Wednesday pledged his commitment to build upon the economic foundation laid by President John Agyekum Kufuor over the past eight years.
He said: "The Party inherited a battered economy in 2001, but through the prudent management of the economy by the NPP Government under President Kufuor, Ghana's economy is now on a solid foundation."
Nana Akufo-Addo was answering questions at the first of two Presidential Debates organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Accra.
The debate was among the Presidential candidates of parties with representation in Parliament- NPP; National Democratic Congress (NDC); People's National Convention (PNC) and Convention People's Party (CPP).
The questions focused mainly on the economy; social; security; pension schemes; the oil industry; infrastructure development; education and job creation.
The NPP Presidential Candidate used the platform to defend the eight year rule of the Party and spelt out his blueprint to move the nation forward as contained in the Party's 2008 Manifesto; "Moving Ghana Forward: Building A Modern Ghana."
He said President Kufour's Government had brought back the dignity of the Presidency and made Ghana an internationally recognised good-governance State, which has enlarged the freedoms of the individual citizen and institutions.
On promoting gender equality, the NPP Presidential Candidate said his administration would drastically reduce maternal and infant mortality by improving the quality of and access to ante-and post natal care; address the issue of child mortality, morbidity and malnutrition.
He would ensure that social security arrangements were set up in the formal and informal sectors in the rural and urban areas to cover all workingwomen and men.
Nana Akufo-Addo said he would introduce micro-financing schemes to help to improve the economic position of women, continue with the free maternal health care, and create enabling environment for accelerated growth.
He said the discovery of oil and gas in Ghana was the result of prudent management of the economy, "my administration will implement national oil policy with the aim of maximising benefits to the local people in the Western Region.
"Institute measures for transparent management of oil revenue, use oil as an instrument of national development through specific identified projects and develop liquefied natural gas as a complement to government's efforts in the West African Gas Pipeline Project."
On national security, Nana Akufo-Addo said his Government would establish relationship with international community to combat crime and increase the manpower capacity of the Police Service.
He also responded to questions on NPP's policy on education; health; infrastructure development; bilateral trade; foreign direct investment; energy, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and relationship with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Mrs Jean Mensa, IEA Administrator, said the debate provided the four leading Presidential candidates an opportunity to dialogue and discuss their vision, policies and programmes on the same platform.
Meanwhile organisers of the programme seemed not to appreciate that journalists relied to a large extent on the body language of newsmakers in crafting their stories, and consigned them to an adjacent room with a projector television screen, and thus compelling them to pick the news from the perspective of a cameraman.