27th May 2024

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

A review of the Akufo-Addo administration shows it has impacted more lives than all other governments since the introduction of the fourth Republic.

All the governments within the last three decades concentrated on social infrastructure. Thus, they focused on constructing roads, schools, hospitals, providing electricity and potable water.

The three presidents who ruled under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) focused on social infrastructure and amenities. In this regards, Mr Jerry John Rawlings performed better than John Mahama and Atta Mills. Thus, he constructed more roads and extended electricity and potable water to more communities than the two presidents combined.

Though they did their best, the poor could not benefit from these resources, especially the schools and hospitals.

Kufuor’s era

The narrative slightly changed when Mr John Agyekum Kufuor was voted into office in 2000. Before he became the President, the existing health system virtually denied the poor medical care.

The Cash and Carry system under which the hospitals operated in those days made it practically difficult for the poor to get medical treatment.

Upon his election into office, Mr Kufuor initiated moves to end this pathetic situation of the poor, whose votes made him the president.

With his political philosophy of promoting the supreme welfare of humans, he introduced the Mutual National Health Insurance Scheme (MNHIS). Through this policy, the poor could now access free medical care.

It is worthy to note that Mr Kufuor did not allow his social intervention policies like School Feeding Programme, MASLOC, Free Maternal Care and MNHIS to stop him from providing social infrastructure.

Just like his predecessor, he did his best in the provision of social infrastructure. To promote free flow of traffic in the capital city, Mr Kufuor constructed the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange and the George Walker Bush Highway.

He also embarked upon other projects like affordable housing and expansion of school infrastructure. However, the purpose of this article is not to outline the achievements of past presidents.

Until Nana Addo took over the administration of the country, all the past governments, except Kufuor’s, concentrated on providing social amenities. Despite this, Ghana is still in deficit with regard to roads, hospitals and schools.

Akufo-Addo era

Thankfully, the narrative dramatically changed with the current Nana Addo led administration. This has therefore necessitated objective assessment of the impact of this administration on Ghanaians.

Unlike the three presidents under the NDC, Nana Addo introduced structural policies to solve age long problems in the country. Notable among these policies are the Free Senior High School (SHS) education, One District One Factory (1D1F) and Planting for Food and Jobs. Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) is also one of such policies.

With the Free SHS education policy, the Nana Addo government has been able to make secondary education accessible to the poor. The policy also created jobs for both teaching and non teaching staff. More importantly, it has liberated parents who suffered to send their wards to school from financial distress.

Irrespective of this, quality has not been compromised as doom political prophets wished for. This is evidenced in the performance of the final year students in their examination with West African Examination Council (WAEC).

Planting for Food and Jobs and the PERD policies have also created income for farmers, thereby improving their standard of living. Through these projects, many Ghanaians, including the youth have been supported to cultivate both food and cash crops.

The place of PERD in the industrialisation agenda of Nana Addo showcases the problem solving abilities of the President. The success of both projects depends on each other. In like manner, both address similar challenges.

The most problem solving policy of the Nana Addo led administration is the 1D1F project. This policy, which is adopted to industrialise the nation, is the best panacea to the protracted youth unemployment problem in the country.

All the governments under the 4th Republic did little in tackling this challenge. This stems from the fact that the public sector has remained the biggest employer in the country for the past 30 years.

However, the public sector does not only employ a fraction of the millions of the jobless youth, but it virtually neglects those without certificates.

Has the government achieved anything with this policy, or it is a mere ideal problem solving concept?

Irrespective of what political propagandists say about the 1D1F, the verifiable facts remain that 104 factories have been completed and operationalised. Some 150 factories are also under various stages of construction.

Addressing Parliament on July 21 2021, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon Alan Kyerematen disclosed that over 150,000 direct and indirect jobs have been created through the operationalised 104 factories.

Comparing the total number of workers the government has recruited since 2017 to this, we can safely conclude that the 1D1F is the best solution to youth unemployment in the country.

Conceptualising solutions for unemployment, which is responsible for other societal diseases like crime and prostitution makes Nana Addo the best President of the 4th Republic.

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