President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday indicated that his government’s policy interventions over the last five months are having positive effects on the country’s socio-economic fortunes.
He said already, there were positive signals that his administrations ambitious programme of social and economic transformation aimed at putting the country on the path of progress and prosperity, were lowering the cost of doing business and shifting the focus of the economy from taxation to production.
Speaking at a lunch meeting organised for delegates of the International Democratic Union (IDU) at the Flagstaff House in Accra, President Akufo-Addo said his programme of transforming the country was hinged on a clear industrial policy, restructuring the institutions of our governance, modernising agriculture, and rationalising the financial sector to support growth in agriculture, manufacturing and industrial sectors.
“We aim also to enhance further the business atmosphere and make Ghana an easier place to conduct business through paperless transactions at our ports, and the removal of all internal customs barriers by the beginning of September,” he said.
The IDU is a working association of 80 Conservative, Democratic and like-minded political parties of the centre and centre right formed in 1983.
It provides a forum, which parties holding similar beliefs come together and exchange views on matters of policy and organisational interest, with the a common purpose to promote democracy and centre right policies across the globe.
The Forum held its Executive/Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs meeting in Accra from June 19 to 21.
The meeting, the first to be held in Africa, South of the Sahara, was hosted by the New Patriotic Party.
President Akufo-Addo noted that his government’s flagship programmes, “One District, One Factory”, and “Planting for Food and Jobs”, have been launched, with the aim of making Ghana’s economy the most business friendly on the continent of Africa, and in the world.
He said the process of economic and industrial transformation was going along with ensuring that the most basic elements of social justice are met – making quality basic education and healthcare accessible to all – to promote a culture of incentives and opportunities.
“We are determined to build a new Ghanaian civilisation, a Ghana beyond Aid. It is a Ghana where we aim to be masters of our own destiny, where we marshal our own resources for the future, breaking the shackles of the ‘Guggisberg’ colonial economy of a producer of raw materials, and a mind-set of dependency, bailouts and extraction.
“It is an economy where we look past commodities to position ourselves in the global marketplace at the high end of the value chain. It is a country where we focus on trade, not aid, a hand-up, not a hand-out. It is a country with a strong private sector. It is a country that recognises the connectedness of its people and economy to those of its neighbours. It is a country that is governed according to the rule of law, respect for individual liberties and human rights, and the principles of democratic accountability,” he said.
Noting that the world was being rocked by vicious terrorism; religious extremism; resurgent populism in the Western democracies; potentially devastating climatic and environmental changes; and growing inequality between the north and the south, President Akufo-Addo said: “In my view, never has the necessity to organise, mobilise and articulate clearly our values and message been greater.”
“I have no doubt that, in doing so, we shall prevail here on this continent and around the world, and create harmony, serenity and progress for our common planet and our common humanity, and, thereby, banish global poverty and hunger.”
The President was expectant that at the end of the IDU meeting, “we share best practices in governance, marketing strategies for winning elections, and refining the tools needed to ensure that we continuously gain and maintain the support of our electorate with each other.”
The political parties making up the membership of the IDU, the President said, were at the helm of some of the biggest and most successful economies and emerging markets in the world, and are having a positive impact on this generation.
“We must ensure that, with the aid of science and technology, the promotion of enterprise, innovation and creativity, and the spread of democratic values, we offer the prospects of constructing a new era of prosperity in freedom for all the peoples of the world.
“I am confident that we can work together to achieve this noble goal,” he added.
The Founding Members of the IDU included Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former US President George Bush Senior, Paris Mayor and later President of France Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and many other Party Leaders.