Former President John Dramani Mahama has noted that Ghana’s risk of becoming a country trapped in poverty is increasing.
Speaking during the launch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) campaign ahead of this year’s elections in Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North region on Wednesday, October 7, Mr Mahama who is the flagbearer of the party explained that to create sustainable and ever-growing prosperity it requires building a robust social and economic infrastructure, one that supports creativity, innovation and the production of high value-added products and services.
“The risk of becoming a country trapped in poverty is unfortunately boosted by the fact that while we are fighting hard to consolidate our status as a developing country, the advanced nations are in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution, transitioning from a post-industrial world to the world of smart technology – and from a production-based economy to a knowledge-based economy,” he said.
He further stated that the advanced world is moving in one direction, while we are still moving in the direction the world moved 20 or 30 years ago. If we keep moving in this direction, we will become less and less competitive on the global market.
“And this will condemn us to perpetual stagnation and backwardness. This might happen because our main vulnerability as a nation is a weak infrastructure.
“I have travelled around the country, deep into the hinterlands, meeting chiefs and interacting with communities and stakeholder groups. Over the last four days, I have been here in the
“Western North Region, and because of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s decision to stop ongoing cocoa road projects, for example, many of our communities and cocoa growing areas are inaccessible or have very poor road networks.
“Many of these communities are also still without mobile network connectivity, denying the people, students, teachers and health workers access to call and internet services, in this age.
“This is precisely why, during my first term as President, I took aggressive steps to develop and consolidate our healthcare infrastructure, our educational infrastructure, our transport infrastructure and our digital infrastructure.
“This is the only way to build a resilient nation. Without creating and consolidating a developed infrastructure, no nation can prosper and resist global shocks, like the current COVID-19 pandemic.”
“In 2012, Ghana’s GDP was 41 billion dollars. In 2016, it was 55 billion dollars. According to the facts, during my first term as President, we had an economic growth of almost 14 billion dollars. Ghana’s GDP in 2020 is projected to be somewhere around 59 billion dollars. This means that the current NPP government-managed an economic growth of only 4 billion dollars in 4 years.
“This is the difference between us and them: we delivered 14 billion dollars growth in four years, while they delivered only 4 billion dollars growth in four years. Some might say: the reason NPP is delivering only four billion dollars growth is because we are now hit by a global crisis generated by COVID-19. That may be true but during my first term as
“President, we had to face two years of a fall in commodity prices on the international market, which affected us.
“For almost a year, thanks to a court case, the country was on a wait and see mode. We also faced the Ebola epidemic. So, you see, the conditions are similar, and this is why my comparison between my first term as President and Nana Addo’s term as President is relevant.
We both had to face dramatic situations. The difference is that we, the NDC, faced them by delivering a 14 billion dollars growth, while they, the NPP, are facing them by tearing our country apart and delivering only 4 billion dollars growth. And there’s another big difference. We, the NDC, did not only face dramatic crisis. We also proved we were able to overcome them and move Ghana forward. They –the NPP – never proved they are able to overcome a significant crisis.”
He further stated that four more years for the governing New Patriotic Party will spell doom for Ghanaians.