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My thoughts on key campaign issues

BY: Kobby Asmah
My thoughts on key campaign issues

Many developed countries are now in recession, struggling with the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and quietly debating their AID budgets.

The Ghana Beyond Aid agenda is, therefore, more relevant now than ever for the well-being of our country.

That being the case, and with the 2020 elections 76 days away, what concrete steps are our politicians and political parties, especially the two dominant ones, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), going to do to ensure true economic independence?

What are their plans to boost cross-African and international trade, education and health strategies to ensure quality health care and education for all?

Education

The free senior high school (SHS) policy has been applauded globally and is seen as a good thing that will lift literacy levels and the quality of skills/workforce in future (even though there are a lot of issues relating to the policy’s drain on national resources, etc).

What plans do the political parties have to build on this and ensure that we have an educated and skilled workforce fit for the 21st century?

Infrastructure development

Another key issue is infrastructure development. All over the world, infrastructure development is considered the foundation stone for economic growth. Ghana cannot succeed without a proper National Infrastructure Plan, with clear targets and timelines to tackle basic infrastructure such as roads (local, urban and national roads), drainage, water supply, electricity, telecommunications and sanitation.

With this in mind, I expect our political parties and politicians to set out clearly what they see as Ghana’s infrastructure deficit (including local roads) and their plans for tackling this.

This, in my view, should cover more than a few interchanges here and there and extend to plans for infrastructure at the local/community level, including electricity and water supply, with clear indicative delivery timelines.

Local community roads/flooding

Visitors to our country are often impressed by the asphalted roads in the high-class and some portions of the central business districts of cities, but shocked at the poor state of our local/community roads and I trust we would all like to know what plans/targets politicians have for dealing with this.

Engagements with Diaspora

Additionally, what are the plans for engagement with the Diaspora to draw on the significant growing Ghanaian expertise abroad?

Those living here are also astonished that despite the loss of lives associated with the flooding of the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, formerly the Nkrumah Circle, and other parts of Accra, Kumasi, etc, it recurs every year and has become a ritual.

What specific plans do politicians have for tackling flooding?

Public sector institutions/corruption

There is the need to strengthen Ghana’s institutional arrangements and governance to position the country to deliver effective public services.

What plans do our politicians have to deal with this?

In the public sector is also the grave matter of corruption. The perception here is that corruption is endemic in the country — it increases the cost of doing business in Ghana and stops potential investors from considering Ghana as a potential investment destination.

Also, the perception is that the Office of the Special Prosecutor has not delivered effectively in its role. What will our politicians and political parties do to improve the perception of corruption in Ghana and create a structured business-friendly environment in the country, as doing so will also ensure more investment in Ghana?

Rising concerns

These and many more are my rising concerns as we inch closer and closer to the December 7, 2020 polls. Rather than focus on divisive politics, I trust our politicians will place premium on issue and knowledge-based discussions in their campaigns to win the hearts and minds of the electorate.

This is one good step that can help transform and push the economy to greater heights. - #GhanaVotes2020#