SPEECH BY NANA AKUFO-ADDO AT THE LAUNCH OF HIS INTERNET BASED CAMPAIGN ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 AT THE KOFI ANNAN ICT CENTRE IN ACCRA
Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen.
Thank you for joining me here at the Kofi Annan ICT Centre, and online, to introduce everyone to my official website, and to my Twitter and Facebook pages and the launching of my e-campaign.
Those of you here and those who are joining us from around the country and around the world are part of this new exciting world of computers, of the internet and its wonders, of Facebook and of search engines. The contents of encyclopaedias are available on your telephones and calculations that used to take hours for mathematicians to make can be accessed on your iPads.
We need to build a knowledge-based economy, and that begins by making sure all our children have access to ICT. If we in Ghana are to make the transformation of our economy that is crucial to our survival and that will create the hundreds of thousands of jobs that young people deserve, we need to plug fully into what ICT has to offer.
I am happy that so many of you have the modern technological expertise and you can compete with the best in the world, but we need to expand access further. It is important therefore that you do not keep the opportunities and insights various social media have given you to yourselves. Spread the word! Share with others how it has transformed your everyday lives.
Not so long ago, to spread the news about an event could take days or even weeks. But here we are, as I speak, my speech is being watched live on my YouTube channel, youtube.com/nanaakufoaddo2012, whilst real-time updates are on Facebook and Twitter.
With access to information, we can transform Ghana. As the Good Book says, “my people perish for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). For example, increased access to information and better communication links will help us make informed choices about all facets of our economy.
I envisage a presidency under which the Ghanaian child goes for computer lessons in his or her school’s well-equipped computer laboratory with internet access. And this child will go on to appreciate the unparalleled access to the global village that this technology offers.
As information becomes more readily available, every policy initiative is now dissected, discussed, argued and promoted on Facebook. Often there is no intermediary between those of you accessing on social media and the politician. You are able to make your own minds up and make your own references. This has put enormous power in the hands of the citizenry and this is good for our democracy. Reaction and feedback are instantaneous and the population can have real influence on policy issues.
I have been engaging with young people via my website and social media since 2007. With encouragement from my daughters, I signed up on Facebook in 2007. I subsequently realized how engaging this social network was as I interacted with Ghanaians all over the country and in the diaspora and with friends of Ghana, some of whom are present with us in this room today. For example, yesterday, I was able to participate in a fund-raising event in Cologne, Germany without being physically there, thanks to Skype. Photos and reports from my tours around the country are uploaded regularly and issues affecting the youth especially are discussed with a lot of vigour. The number of ‘likes’ and comments have been useful in moulding my ideas on the issues that matter to the youth. I have been reading your emails too, and try as much as possible, to respond to as many of them as I can and when I can.
My website, akufoaddo2012.com, is live with the policies and programmes that will transform Ghana under an Akufo-Addo presidency.
There are daily debates on Facebook as to whether our Free SHS policy can truly be rolled out. My status updates are clear on what this policy has to offer, where funds will be gotten from and how much difference that will make to the lives of our young people.
And since the NPP as a party is known to deliver on the promises it makes to the people of Ghana, do not hesitate to ‘share’ my thoughts on the Free SHS Policy. You can also send me messages via Facebook on any clarifications or inputs you may have.
But most importantly keep tweeting the fact that a Free-SHS policy is possible and an Akufo-Addo/Bawumia presidency will execute it to the letter. Let us use the hashtag #freeSHSinGhana and spread the word.
By so doing we will follow a path on which our children are ensured a brighter and prosperous future and unfollow the path of empty promises and corrupt and incompetent governance.
The Akufo-Addo social network sites and e-campaign are duly launched.
The future is bright, join us and let’s transform Ghana.