Accra, Oct. 23, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Saturday said the NPP would focus on accelerated economic growth to be underpinned by a two-pronged strategy that would revolve around education and private sector development if given a second term. Launching the Party's 2004 Election Campaign at the forecourt of the James Town Mantse's Palace in Accra on Saturday, President Kufuor said " our manifesto to 2004 is titled "Positive Change-the next phase".
He said: "The entire focus of the next phase will be accelerated growth of the whole economy underpinned by a two-pronged strategy revolving around education and private sector development".
President Kufuor said " we need to get our education right. It should be re-aligned to solve peculiar problems and also to make the entire workforce versatile enough to accommodate new technologies and appreciate their role in the overall economy".
He said a lot was made in the past four years to promote the private sector to be the engine of economic growth and this would be continued during the next phase.
President Kufuor announced that bills for the establishment of the Venture Capital Fund and Long Term Savings were laid before Parliament. " Together, these will empower the private sector to become the engine of growth. Any talk of putting money in the people's pocket without these important measures is bound to fail".
He said the Government on assumption of office in 2001 set to itself five priority areas, these were infrastructure development, modernized agriculture, social services mainly on education and health, good governance and private sector development.
President Kufuor expressed appreciation to Ghanaians for their unflinching support for the Government "in thick and thin". He said the Government promised Ghanaians positive change and it had delivered it with significant improvement in the management of the country's economy and socio-cultural development.
President Kufuor said: "Our democracy has been deepened in all aspects, there is enlightenment and cohesion of the society. In every part of the country, the quality of education and health care delivery have not only improved but have become more easily accessible. This has led to a sense of general well-being and fellow feeling'.
He said the Government was traumatized by the death of the Paramount Chief of the Dagbon Traditional Area, Ya Na Yakubu Andani II and expressed regret that such an issue was being politicized while efforts were being made to solve the crisis.
He said neither the Government nor the NPP would benefit from the Dagbon crisis but the Government would spare no efforts to ensure that a lasting solution was found to the crisis and the late Ya Na given a befitting burial.
Among the dignitaries at the launch were the Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama and his wife Ramatu, Ministers of State and National Executive Committee members of the NPP.