Ghana is on a path of major recovery in all spheres after a year of prudent policy implementation by the Nana Akufo-Addo government, and it is time for Ghanaians domiciled outside the country to turn their attention back home.
The Vice President,. Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who gave the advice when he met the Ghanaian community in the Bay area of San Francisco, USA on Thursday April 12, 2018, also urged the Ghanaian community abroad to make their skills and expertise available to their compatriots back home to speed up the pace of development.
The Vice President met the Ghanaian community as part of a 5-day working visit to the technology hub of Silicon Valley, California, USA. Accompanied by some government officials and the leadership of 15 leading local ICT firms, Dr Bawumia held discussions with the Valley’s thought and technology leaders to explore the possibilities of developing strategic insight, decisions and partnerships with the view of helping to enhance the digitisation of the Ghanaian economy to move Ghana Beyond Aid.
“We inherited a very challenging economic situation, but due to prudent measures that we continue to implement, in 2017 we recorded remarkable economic growth and fulfilled a number of major promises we made to the good people of Ghana,” Dr Bawumia indicated.
Explaining the rationale for the implementation of policies such as Free Senior High School Education and the restoration of Teacher and Nursing Training allowances despite enormous fiscal challnges, Vice President Bawumia said any nation that seeks to achieve holistic development must necessarily invest in its human capital, “and the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is very committed to the education of every young person in Ghana, because an educated population is a prerequisite for growth.”
The curriculum is also being reviewed to focus more on maths and the sciences, Bawumia disclosed.
Structural economic reforms are also beginning to yield positive results, Dr Bawumia continued, with Inflation down to 10.4%, Interest and Treasury Bill rates on the decline, and business confidence growing.
“We have maintained exchange rate stability, and last year, for the first time since 2006, a Ghanaian government met and surpassed the deficit target. All of this reflected in a real GDP growth of 8.5% in 2017, from an inherited 3.7%. Indeed, that was the fastest growth rate in the world”, the Vice President announced to loud applause.
Government has also embarked on an ambitious Digitisation drive geared towards leveraging the use of technology for the transformation agenda, with the roll-out of the National Digital Property Addressing System, the soon-to-be-issued national ID card, the land records digitisation agenda and efforts to increase financial inclusion via interoperability in the payment systems, and the visit to Silicon Valley was further evidence of this commitment.
“We are trying to build a new, efficient Ghana. The world is continually evolving, and this evolution is led by cutting edge technology. We know there are many talented young men and women in the ICT space, and government is looking at ways to make innovating and actualising promising ideas easier.”
He urged the diasporans to actively support the Akufo-Addo government to take Ghana to the next stage of her development, assuring, “This is a listening Government. We are committed to the fight against corruption, and will implement policies to create jobs. We are ready to take on board your suggestions and expertise to move Ghana forward, beyond aid.”
The Vice President was accompanied by Mohammad Tijanni Habibu, deputy Foreign Minister; Deputy Minister for Communications George Nenyi Andah; Alex Tetteh Djornobuah, MP for Sefwi Akontonbra and member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education; and Halidu Ali Maiga, Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs.
The Vice President returned to Accra on Saturday April 14, 2018.