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Politics Thu, 31 Jul 2008

Speech By Npp Candidate At UDS

PRESS RELEASE BY NPP CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE ON Speech By Npp Candidate At UDS ON FRIDAY, JULY 25TH TITLED “ TRANSFORMATION OF THE NORTH: AN AGENDA FOR CHANGE” Saturday, 26TH July, 2008

The NPP Presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has outlined his vision on the transformation of the North in a speech at the University of Development Studies in Tamale.

Addressing a capacity crowd at the University yesterday, the NPP candidate said his life-long commitment to the North comes from his background as a human-rights activist, his family’s tradition of public service and his conviction that the transformation of the north is central to the transformation of the nation.

Nana Akufo-Addo cited statistics in health, education and financial services infrastructure to illustrate his point and declared that “ the difference that exists today between the north and the south is not a gap, it is a chasm. It is a blight on the honour of our nation that must shame and then spur us all to action”.

While touting the achievements of the NPP in government, he said that development as usual would not do and that the north had waited long enough for leaders with the vision and the will to undertake transformation.

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He laid out a comprehensive agenda and pledged his government to the ff:

1: Doubling the capacity of UDS with an ICT focus as a basis for making the north a major outsourcing centre for companies around the world.

2: Tripling the road network of the North in ten years while completing the rail link to the north and an inland port at BUIPE to increase commerce between the North and South. In line with this, he pledged to complete and asphalt some major roads.

3; Transformation of the Tamale Airport into an ultra-modern International airport that would make Tamale the gateway to the Sahel.

4: Making significant investments in agriculture focused on irrigation, storage facilities and agricultural credits to help make the North, the granary of West Africa.

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5: Establishing a 1billion USD Northern Development Fund with a development Authority established by law with an Executive Director who would report directly to the President.

Nana Akufo-Addo said these initiatives will be financed with bonds, increased revenues from better management of the economy and oil revenues.

The NPP candidate said peace was necessary to development and that resources being spent by combatants to wage conflict and the government to maintain peace could be better used for development. He said it is necessary in a modern society for the law to be respected and stated that “ Modern societies require respect of their citizens for the laws of their country and the enforcement of the laws with firmness and fairness by government. I am determined that our nation, during my Presidency, will meet these tests.”

While underlining his commitment and that of his party to the transformation of the north, he conceded that no one can transform the North without the participation of northerners and appealed to northerners to join the effort. He stated “ While as I have indicated, my government will do its part, no government can develop the north without the commitment and participation of the people. The plan that I have outlined here as encapsulated by the Northern Development Authority will require total commitment from you, my brothers and sisters from the North.” “ I urge the North to reach out to my party in partnership, so that together, we can make the North, the strength of our country. Wherever you are, sons and daughters of the North, look homeward so that you can become the true vanguards of this coming transformation”

Finally, he said “ Let all who have been discouraged or demoralized join me in believing in ourselves, in one another, in Ghana and in the almighty God and our future will be bright. I know there are some who think our vision for transforming the North is a pipe-dream but they said the same thing about free education and health and we delivered. They are saying the same thing about transforming the north and we shall deliver.”

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The speech was interrupted repeatedly by applause.

The NPP Candidate and his team took questions from the audience afterwards.

Signed Arthur Kobina Kennedy ( Chair, Communication Committee) 2008 NPP CAMPAIGN)

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