Via his Facebook page, PPP Presidential candidate, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom posted this subtle letter to Ghanaians on his plans for the future if voted as president.
Ghanaians can conquer poverty. This nation can become prosperous in our lifetime. The Ghanaian private sector can make an important contribution to the wealth of the nation by becoming competitive and highly productive. This I will make sure happens as the next President of the Republic of Ghana.
I will put the Ghanaian at the center of opportunity in the private and public sectors in Ghana. I believe that it is the job of government to prepare its people and give them the necessary opportunities to overcome inexperience and inadequate capital. Government as an active facilitator can use its purchasing power and legislative authority to create a market for the goods and services produced by the Ghanaian private sector. Quite often reference is made to the progress made by some of the countries who were at par or behind Ghana in terms of per capita income at the time of our independence on 6th March 1957. Specific reference is made to Singapore, Malaysia and Korea in suggesting that comparatively, Ghana has not lived up to expectations.
Many of the analysts or commentators fail to appreciate the positive role played by visionary leaders who made sure their governments directly assisted their private sectors to grow and prosper. It must also be stated that when these countries were off and running in the 1970s and 1980s, Ghana was labouring under the weight of military intervention.
I wish to refer to Korea to make my point about the need to give the private sector engine the oil, the body and a first class road to travel on. Too often, our people repeat “…the private sector is the engine of growth” and leave the sector alone to fend for itself. General Park Chung Hee ran Korea from 1962 until 1979. It was General Park who determined that Korea needed big companies if they were to withstand foreign imports, create jobs for Koreans and compete in international markets. He selected companies like Goldstar, Daewoo, Samsung and Hyundai, gave them low-interest loans, tax incentives, protected domestic markets and provided technical and other assistance to enable them become the big international companies they are today. Korea also launched chemical industries out running the Tema Oil Refinery which was started about the same time as the Korean version.
I will implement a consistent and aggressive government policy to support industries owned by Ghanaians throughout the country to provide sustainable jobs and living wages and salaries to our people. The support will come in the form of low-interest government loans and guarantees, technical support to ensure ability to achieve sustained growth, tax incentives and market advantages. My goal will be to ensure that we have Ghanaian companies who grow big to compete with foreign imports and are strengthened to compete in international markets.
We manufacture fruit drinks, chocolate, electrical supplies, cloth, computer software, soap etc. We produce rice, cotton, salt etc. We have the potential to produce many other products that are basic and essential for our people and industries. Yet we have opened our doors very wide to imports that suppress our potential for job creation. A government led by me will use Positive Action to strengthen our Ghanaian industries for the benefit of the many young men and women looking for jobs that will pay them living wages and salaries.
No country has really developed and prospered significantly on the backs of exporting raw materials to feed factories abroad. Domestic industries that can compete at home and export products are what we need to break out of poverty because they provide sustainable jobs and living wages and salaries. The purchasing power of the State can and will be used to ensure that we maximize the potential of local industries in all areas – agriculture, technology, consumer goods etc.
I will ensure that we use raw materials easily produced and obtained in Ghana to industrialize our country. Cocoa products, petro-chemicals, fruit juices, cooking oil and many others can be produced using raw materials available in Ghana.
Suame Magazine is one area that calls on all of us to stop the talk and act with a sense of urgency to develop manufacturing capacity that will stop the senseless importation of simple tools and equipment. A PPP government will organize the skilled people there, find experts to give them technical advice and direction, provide low interest loans to those who pass review and work with them to gain a market to become viable, strong and competitive. In addition technical and vocational education will be expanded and made attractive so that we develop the skilled personnel needed to support industrial growth.
The Ghanaian private sector can look forward with all confidence and assurance that in me they have someone who understands the difficulties faced by our entrepreneurs first hand. The PPP leadership has people with direct experience in job creation and industrial development in Ghana and abroad. I have experience creating jobs in all the ten regions of Ghana. The PPP is prepared to use appropriately the private sector, cooperatives, joint ventures with foreign investors and strategic state participation to create well-paying jobs here at home in Ghana.
I have the will and the commitment to use every available positive means to ensure that we have a profitable, competitive Ghanaian private sector that will benefit the nation as the next President of the Republic of Ghana.