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03.11.2008 Politics

…Our focus is on the future

By The Statesman

"However you look at, all we are trying to do in this year's election in our manifesto, plans and the promises during the campaign is basically about you.'

Nana Akufo-Addo, the governing New Patriotic Party presidential candidate, stated this when he interacted with leaders of various tertiary institutions in the country on last Friday at the premises of the Danquah Institute in Accra.

He held the strategic meeting with the students to know their concerns as the future leaders before proceeding to join the 'Believe in Ghana" concert which took place at the Independence Square.

The NPP flagbearer told the students' leadership that their generation has greater opportunity and prospects and promised that he would seek to create a nation where the youth would have a direct stake and say in national affairs freely.

He said he was prepared to create a platform under his presidency to listen to the youth saying, 'I'm not too old to learn.'

Nana expressed his gratitude to the students for offering him the opportunity to interact with them.

Earlier, Mahamudu Bawumia, vice presidential candidate of the NPP, had also interacted with the students and answered some burning questions.

Dr Bawumia said the country in the next government under an Akufo-Addo presidency was likely to attain total economic independence and become self-reliant rather than relying on foreign donors.

This, he noted, was due to the solid economic foundation President Kufuor had laid for the country to take off.

According to him, the need for economic independence lies in the heart of the 'Believe in Ghana' concept originated by the NPP flagbearer, which emphasises the 'can do spirit' of the Ghanaian.

'We don't want to be dependent on anybody because we believe in Ghana and we can manage our economy well,' he stressed.

Dr Bawumia, a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, cited a strategic decision taken by the Kufuor administration which made it possible for the country to wean itself from borrowing from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund adding, 'it was not by accident.'

Consequently, the NPP government was able to raise substantial amounts on the world's capital markets.

Although it would not be easy to attain the heights the Akufo-Addo presidency had set for itself, the NPP vice presidential candidate was of the view that it was important for the nation to dream big insisting, 'there is no reason we can't advance close to the West.'

On modernisation of the Ghanaian society, Dr Bawumia suggested radical thinking which would reflect the innate can do mentality of the Ghanaian.

Touching on the youth policy for the country, he maintained that Nana Akufo-Addo believes in the ability of the youth and proposed the need to perhaps institute a National Youth Congress, where issues concerning Ghana's future leaders would be brought to the government's attention for redress.

To make teaching attractive, Dr Bawumia reaffirmed the NPP manifesto on education which states that teachers would be motivated through improved conditions of service.