Questions on agric, employment creation, energy missing at Mills’s media encounter

President John Atta Mills

President John Atta Mills met with journalists and editors at the Castle in Accra to review his government’s performance as he marks his second year as president of Ghana.

Over 20 questions were fielded and the President answered them as much as he could, but questions on agriculture, employment creation were missing from the list.

Come to think of it, Ghana’s economy is largely agrarian. About 70% of all people employed in Ghana work in the agric sector, and it contributes over 40% to the country’s GDP, and yet not a single question on the sector was asked.

The interaction shown and broadcast live on television and radio stations across the country, was the second since 2009. The event lasted for an hour, thirty-five minutes and 40 seconds.

On Ghana’s new found economic resource, the oil sector only one question was asked in relation to the sector. It was asked by a foreign correspondent – the Bloomberg reporter, Jason McLure. He wanted to know what exactly went into resolving the issue between Ghana and Kosmos Energy.

The president answered saying the issue has been resolved and both parties were satisfied. But he declined any details.

No question was fielded on how the president intends to deal with the electricity situation in the country.

There was no specific question asked about unemployment.

Since most of the questions dealt with politics, which has always been the order of the day, the president was not compelled to make policy statements but rather answered the questions with ease.

Many would wonder whether the interaction was meant to settle personal affairs between the media and president or to address serious and important national issues.

Some relevant questions were however asked. A question about the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) was asked by Haruna Atta of the Accra Mail newspaper. A question on the Ivorian crisis was asked by a TV Africa reporter, and David Amanor of the BBC Africa Service asked a question about road accidents in the country. A TV3 reporter asked a question about the recent petroleum price hikes.

Kweku Baako asked about the government’s top 50 achievements.

By Ekow Quandzie

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