After asking for the opportunity to serve Ghanaians as their president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was given the nod on his third attempt in December 2016. His primary objective for seeking the mandate as the president of Ghana is to pursue his vision for Ghana which is stated as:
“My vision for Ghana is of an optimistic, self-confident and prosperous nation with a strong and thriving democratic society in which mutual trust and economic opportunities exist for all, irrespective of their background. I have an unshakeable faith that our country, the Black Star of Africa, under the leadership of the NPP, has a bright future, a future that will be secured by the enterprise, creativity, and hard work of the Ghanaian people”
In line with the vision of the president and to fulfil key campaign promises, he has pursued several policies, programmes and initiatives. As the next general elections approaches the justification for Akufo-Addo to be given the mandate to continue as president lies in his performance during his first term in office. Below is a catalogue of some of the key promises and their status. The NPP government launched a website to track the extent of delivery of the various promises in 2016 [see www.deliverytracker.gov.gh/ ]. The government has, for the most part, delivered on its promises and has rolled out programmes to enable it tackle all outstanding issues.
Let us consider what the Akufo-Addo led government has achieved with the economy of Ghana in general; economic growth rebounded from 3.4% in 2016 to an average of 7% in the past three years. At the same time, inflation dropped from 15.4% in December 2016 to 11.2% in June 2020. Similarly, fiscal deficit declined from 6.5% of GDP in 2016 to 4.8% at the end of 2019 and trade deficit improved from US$1.8 billion in 2016 to Surplus of US$1.2 billion in March 2020.
The Akufo-Addo led government has also instituted several initiatives that are geared towards improving the overall efficiency of the nation’s economy. Among such are: the implementation of a paperless port clearing system, an initiative for which the government received the African Port Award in 2018; mobile money transfer interoperability; a national digital address system; and the issuance of the Ghana Card, a national identification card.
The Akufo-Addo led government has also introduced several programmes and initiatives to increase local production capacity, manufacturing and the creation of sustainable jobs. Among them are the One District One Factory; One Village One Dam; Planting for Food and Jobs; and the Rearing for Food and Jobs policy. Additionally, the government has begun the construction of a US$60 million cocoa processing company in a cocoa growing area to boost value addition to Ghana’s cocoa beans. Furthermore, initiatives such as NABCO which has provided employment to 100,000 graduates has been instituted to reduce unemployment while at the same time giving graduates much needed working experience.
Akufo-Addo continues to set high aspirations for the nation to pursue by declaring his plan for Ghana Beyond Aid which is a national transformation agenda comprising a vision of the Ghana we want and the mind-set and behavioural changes that we Ghanaians commit to make in order to pursue that vision. The vision calls for transforming our economy, which is now based mainly on the production and exports of raw materials, to one based on manufacturing and high value services; an economy that provides opportunities, jobs, and prosperity to all Ghanaians.
One of the realities of this world is uncertainties that can bring major crises. During the first tenure of Akufo-Addo led administration, Ghana has had to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Once again, Akufo-Addo has demonstrated leadership and shown the desire to take the tough decisions to protect lives. The response of Akufo-Addo in time of crises has been to put in place measures that are designed to help individuals and businesses cope with the impact of restrictions on gatherings. Some of these measures include reduction and soft loans for SMEs; the absorption of water bill for all Ghanaians for three months as well as providing subsidies on electricity bills for the same time period. The efforts of Akufo-Addo in dealing with the crises have been praised by international bodies such as the World Health Organisation.
Akufo-Addo has demonstrated that he is committed to delivering on the promises he has made. He has also demonstrated that he can lead the nation to aspire to greater heights and that he is a man we can trust to help navigate any crises the nation may face. For these and many more Akufo-Addo has certainly earned the trust of Ghanaians and should be given the mandate to continue with his good works. One good term deserves another.