In a public forum organised by policy think tank, Danquah Institute, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, unpicked the ideology underpinning President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s administration’s policies, including the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, pro-agro-industry programmes and the sharp focus on human capital development.
Mr Ofori-Atta described the governing New Patriotic Party as both pro-business and pro-people.
Addressing a packed conference hall at the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons in Accra, Mr Ofori-Atta on Friday, 10 May 2019 explained that Nana Akufo-Addo’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid with agro-based policies and human capital development focus, do not only provide a toolbox for Ghana’s next development phase but are a continuum of the core philosophies that define the Danquah-Dombo-Busia ideology.
The NPP has been consistent with the Danquah-Dombo-Busia group’s core values “that have today become the standard to which, constitutionally, all must aspire: that is, democratic accountability, rule of law, tolerance, individual liberties, civic responsibility, free enterprise, market economy, and social justice,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
Having been at the helm of the country’s 62-year post independent history for less than 13 years, the Danquah-Dombo-Busia (NPP) group has had less than half of the opportunity the (P) NDC group have had “to make our contribution to the progress of this country”, Mr Ofori-Atta told the audience.
Over the years, and the “short [13-year] period” that has marked the Danquah-Dombo-Busia group’s time in office, “we embarked on policies which impact lives, defining what we stand for,” he said. “Our founding fathers left us with the understanding that Ghana has what it takes to stand shoulder to shoulder with the great nations of this world”.
Mr Ofori-Atta further said “the introduction of Free SHS was not built on some pompous political agenda to grab social democratic narratives from those who surprisingly have shunned their ideology for quick wins.
“Ours is a government that believes that a free market in consumer products and services can go hand in hand, side by side, with social justice – free education, free healthcare and welfare for the poor and vulnerable.”
“Busia’s Rural Development Policy, Kufuor’s National Health Insurance Scheme, buttressed with policies that unleashed the energies of Ghanaian enterprise and made Ghana an oil-producing nation and now Nana Akufo-Addo’s agro-based industrialisation policies and emphasis on human capital show the party’s consistency,” he added.
He continued that: “President Nana Akufo-Addo’s deliberate decision to provide Free Senior High School education to the Ghanaian youth was made with the knowledge of the costs involved. For 2019 alone, a total amount of GHS1.7 billion has been dedicated to Free SHS. This again underlines our belief that the development of the Ghanaian individual is the most important priority of the government.
“It makes both economic and social sense to zoom in on education to safeguard the future of jobs rather than sitting back, clocking short-term wins that make for beautiful headlines, and leaving our young ones to brace themselves for an uncertain and confused future.”
Citing former President J. A Kufuor, Ken Ofori-Atta said: “There has been enough suffering in our country, there has been enough of children whose dreams die before they have a chance to grow and there has been enough of our elders who, having served their nation, are forced into indignity in their old age.”