The 2008 flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during his campaign to Ghanaians assured that a total of one million jobs will be created in the construction, heavy industry, and tourism sector 3 years into office.
Mr. Akufo-Addo who was leading his party for the first time under the election slogan, 'I Believe in Ghana', stated that "…more productive, higher-paying jobs are coming and we plan to make you ready for them."
In the communique by the party’s Executive Director, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, Nana Akufo-Addo promised an increasing trade within West Africa and the continental market. This he believed would have expanded the national economy.
However, the National Democratic Congress, led by Prof. John Atta Mills emerged winner of the 2008 presidential elections with 50.47% of total vote cast as against the NPP’s 49.53%.
Read the full story originally published on August 20, 2008 on GhanaWeb
In a bold and visionary speech, Nana Akufo-Addo Tuesday declared that one million jobs will be created in the construction, heavy industry and tourism alone in the next three years as a result of his economic policies, according to campaign estimates.
Outlining his plan for job-creation, ranging from investment in education to modernising farming, Nana Akufo-Addo declared: "The new, more productive, higher-paying jobs are coming and we plan to make you ready for them." In addition to expanding existing agriculture and industry, new jobs would be created in environmental protection, tourism and manufacturing.
The former Foreign Minister also highlighted the role of increasing trade within West Africa and the continental market to expand the national economy, explaining that: "Africa is perhaps the only continent whose people trade so little amongst ourselves and we must reverse that... My government will work with other countries to reduce tariffs, harmonise rail-gauges and truck axels so that we can increase intra-African trade", providing valuable new markets for our goods and services.
The flagbearer, whose election slogan is 'I Believe in Ghana', declared that: "The purpose of our party is to manifest our faith in our country and her people by helping to make Ghanaians winners in the global village, able to compete effectively with their counterparts from all corners of the globe."
To this end, he pledged that â€œthe education of our children for the jobs of tomorrow, as well as the talent that drives the creation of the jobs of tomorrow, must largely be of Ghanaians, by Ghanaians and for Ghanaians. I see the day when many Ghanaians will be counted amongst the most esteemed business leaders of our generation, not just on our continent but in the world.
He entreated the assembled trade union members to â€œLet Ghanaians with the skills and resources join the NPP in the creation of wealth and jobs that will pay living wages for workers and increase living standards.
Universities will be expanded and focuses on the key areas of science and technology through the use of scholarships. Through funding attachment programmes, students will acquire work-place knowledge whilst in school and leave study ready to lead the way in our new and expanding industries.
Furthermore, the NPP Presidential candidate declared their goal of seeing 500,000 people benefiting from on-the-job skills training with investment of additional resources and tax incentives for companies to provide skills training for their employees. People of all ages would be helped to advance their productivity with tuition assistance for workers to enhance their qualifications by expanding the existing facilities of the Ghana Workers College.
The modernisation and development of agriculture will be pursued to increase incomes for farmers and keep food prices down for the whole population. Nana Akufo-Addo outlined how this would be achieved through the provision of the latest higher-yielding seeds and new machinery, combined with investment in irrigation and storage facilities. Furthermore, a US$ 1 billion Northern Development Fund would transform farming in the North.
The next NPP government would also develop booming agro-processing industries both to add value to the nationâ€™s agricultural products and generate a significant numbers of jobs, supported by the US$ 1 billion Industrial Development Fund. Â Jobs would also be created through the expansion of the energy, aluminium and limestone industries. Â Nana Akufo-Addo declared that the construction industry has the potential to modernise our country through the provision of major infrastructure, like roads, railways, ports and airports and to provide our people with affordable and decent housing.
Investment in housing and road-building would therefore be pursued for the benefit all Ghanaians, whilst also creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. Â Workers in the informal sector would not only be encouraged to expand and upgrade their businesses through micro-credit schemes, certification programmes, technical assistance and skills upgrade programmes.
But Akufo-Addo also pledged that: "My Government will make a determined and sustained effort to bring them into our formal sector. I foresee this sector pulled in significant numbers into our health Insurance and retirement schemes that will make those schemes sounder financially; and significantly improve the lives of our citizens," he added.
The NPP Presidential candidate concluded with the statement: Our democracy requires that our citizens have access to good, well-paying jobs. I have clearly outlined the measures that will create the workers with the skills needed for the high-paying jobs of tomorrow.