EVALUATING THE AKUFO-ADDO GOVERNMENT IN 3 YEARS 9 MONTHS Author: Palgrave Boakye-Danquah, Executive Director, Kandifo Institute.

According to the Economic Intelligience Unit which is the world leader in business intelligence, six top industries are the determinants of economic development in every country.

These six factors are the automobile industry, the telecommunications industry, consumer goods, healthcare, energy and commodities.

 These can be largely classified under three sectors; the Agriculture sector, industry sector and services and all these are burgeoning in Ghana.

 Under the leadership of H.E, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo, all these sectors have outstandingly developed.

As the third biggest economy among 16 other West- African countries and the 7th biggest in Africa, the Total automobile industry for example, recorded a total unit sale of 8,201 in 2015 which is a 38.02% fall from 13,231 in 2012. The significant decline in the automobile industry was as a result of frequent forex fluctuations, growth of ‘grey markets’ and excessive duty charges.

Grey markets are vehicle deals where individuals do not purchase directly from manufacturers. This was a definite happening that impeded national development.

However, the industry is now thriving under the Nana Akufo- Addo government. Currently accounting for a quarter of the GDP, the automobile industry under the transformational agenda of the current government through the Ghana Automotive Development policy is thriving. 

The Vehicle Assembly and Automotive Component Manufacturing has cusped the Ghanaian economy from importers to assemblers. 

With Volkswagen being then first to sign the Memorandum of Understanding, other vehicle manufacturing companies like Renault, Suzuki, Nissan and Toyota would join soon to add up to the existent Sino Trucks from China.

The automobile industry under the 2016 Manifesto promises made by the NPP government, LK international Co. Limited (Motor King) has employed 392 heads. The average inflation dropped by 9.6% while the average GDP rose by 7% and there is an import duty reduction of 50%.

 There is a total of 4 automotive companies in Ghana currently. These are commendable efforts of the Nana Akufo- Addo government.

 There is also a huge exemption on import duties and levies for the assemblers. There is a noticeable effort by the government to sustain the industry and help it thrive.

The manufacturing industry has grown from a GDP of 3.7 in 2015 to 6.7 in 2019. I believe the Nana Akufo- Addo government has done a lot in this global determinant of development.

As one of the indispensable sectors for every living organism, it would be repugnant to deny the toil of the Akufo- Addo government at the Ministry of Health. After the country was struck with the global pandemic, COVID-19, the Presidency demonstrated that governance and leadership is not its first rodeo.

It is impossible to talk about this sector without remembering the saying “We know how to bring the economy back to life. What we do not know is how to bring people back to life”.

The Akufo- Addo government provided much-needed perspective during the hard times, the indulgence rendered to all and sundry cannot lightly thrust aside.

Exemption from the payment of tax on employment emoluments for April, May and June, 2020 daily allowances of GHS 150 payable to those undertaking contact tracing, insurance package with an assured sum oof GHS 350000, additional allowance of 50% of basic salary for four months and others the President did for frontline workers is indeed praiseworthy.

Not to talk about the absorption of water bills and electricity for three months.
Undoubtedly, one may say the coronavirus was pennies from heaven.

The incredulous nature of some people must be addressed. The facilitation of 140 million euros to go into the construction of Nkoranza District Hospital, 400- bed secondary level hospital at Tema, an accident and emergency center at the Dormaa Hospital and the reconstruction of the Central Medical stores are all infrastructural developments in the healthcare sector.

Ghana has seen 73% enrolled on free NHIS for the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) and nursing allowances with 54,000 beneficiaries currently among others.

Some worth mentioning facilities which are under construction includes Eastern Regional hospital, Shama District Hospital, LA General Hospital, the 12 storey 400 bed maternity and gynecological center and the two storey 101 bed Urology and Nephrology center, both at Korle Bu and others are satisfactory for a government which had access to only 3 years to be able work and a year of crisis. Employment for 90,969 persons have been given in the health sector.

In his quest to promote literacy and give a free and fair educational system to each and every Ghanaian, H.E Nana Akufo-Addo has taken this particular sector to heart. This sector was the talk of the day since 2017.

All Ghanaians are benefiting either directly or indirectly from this sector. The government has spent GHS 2,429,257,748.00 on the free SHS and this scheme has benefited1.2 Million Ghanaians.

The school feeding program costed GHS 470,000,000.00 with over 2.98 Million beneficiaries. The double-track system, which is the best per the available resources, has regulated the secondary level education very well.

In strengthening the telecommunications industry, the Akufo- Addo government has introduced coding at the primary or basic school level with over 313,250 beneficiaries and free Wi-Fi to 722 SHS and 46 COES. The teacher trainee allowance has 45,000 beneficiaries and the professional teacher allowance of GHS 1200 and GHS 600 for non-teaching staff.

 93,724 jobs have been created in the educational sector alone. 1,190 school buses have been given out. The Akufo- Addo government has built 2,699 school buildings including classroom unit blocks and dormitories.

 Not to mention the annual full scholarships for 40 persons from deprived Zongo communities to study medicine at Cuba. The NPP government under Nana Addo offered 918 Ghanaians with postgraduate medical scholarships.

Alongside the various infrastructural developments recorded earlier, 69 markets have been constructed. The one village one dam project, as promised Ghanaians during the 2016 manifesto, which some see as a waste of taxpayers' money has proven itself worthwhile as it serves peasant farmers during the dry seasons. 439 dams have been completed.

The 1D1F initiative has seen the light of day with 232 operational and ongoing factories at GHS 150,810,000.00. This shows that the government is not misusing national pockets.

The Road sector legacy debt of GHS 6 Billion has been paid. An amount of GHS 1,200,000,000.00 has been pushed into road infrastructure. 5 interchanges which is the Obetsebi, Pokuase, Tema and Tamale which are already under construction, and the Takoradi interchange which is yet to begin are and will see the light of day. 

The Akufo-Addo government has always supported the agrarian economy. Over 15 million seedlings have been distributed to farmers. Local cocoa processing has increased by 40% as the Akufo-Addo led administration has pumped USD 600 Million into this sector. Rice production in Ghana has sprang up since 2016. 

This industry under the GHS 400,000,000.00 allocated by government this year in planting for food and jobs is currently 50% self-sufficient. This same planting for food and jobs has benefitted a total of 1.9 million farmers with 257,000 from the Ashanti Region as at 2019.

The Economic Intelligence Unit under its global food security has ranked Ghana 59th out 113 countries. Ghana scored 3rd in Africa the presence of quality food safety net programs as the Planting for food and jobs scored 100%.

 5,000 outboard motors were distributed to aid fishermen. Exportation of food to neighboring countries rose by 56.6% and cocoa prices have also increased by 8.42%. Government supplied 11,794 equipment's for Agric mechanization.

Saving 4.6 million bank depositors from the financial crisis the banking sector faced, 10,000 bank jobs have also been saved. The Livelihood projects Alleviating Poverty which the Akufo- Addo government introduced has extended help to 1.45 million Ghanaians. The government has provided GHS 4 Million as support to disabled entrepreneurs, GHS 100,000,000.00 this year alone for the Zongo development fund and micro finance and small loan centers.

The Akufo- Addo led government has created 778,706 jobs in the public sector, 267,939 at the formal private sector and 1,008,365 jobs under the government job-creation programs. This makes a total of 2,055,010 jobs.

The lives of citizens have undoubtedly grown. In partnership with GCB and GCB securities, 250 housing units have been constructed in the Phase 1 at Tema. Unemployment rate at 17% as at 2015 has dropped to 11%.

In 2010, the USD 10 billion STX deal was cancelled, in 2013, The Hope City Project which was also another USD 10 billion never started. Undoubtedly, the previous government destroyed the economy. There is an additional oil discovery of 550 million barrels currently.

The Bono East Solid Waste Treatment Facility is also under construction. The National Entrepreneurs and Innovations Program which was set up to provide support to start-ups and small businesses has trained over 45,000 entrepreneurs, funded over 9,350 businesses and created over 92,000 jobs.

A great extrication from electrical crisis by the NPP government under Akufo- Addo's leadership cannot be driven on a coach and horses through.

 An aberrant leader who decided to besmirch the Presidency of the Republic once backed calls for an increase in utility tariffs if Dumsor was to be avoided.

He said, “Blame God for Dumsor Dumsor”. Well, leadership was not his knack but at least, he birthed the word “Dumsor”.

Putting Ghana on an electricity generation capacity of 4,399 MW – Hydroelectric: 1,580 MW, Thermal: 2,796 MW and Renewable: 22.5 MW, the Akufo- Addo government has proven itself worthy. USD 1,003 billion has been cleared under the Energy Sector Legacy debt.

The NPP government has exhibited outstanding love for the people when we consider how it ascended the Presidency on 7th January 2017. This government has lots and lots to offer to its citizenry. These are worthy of attention achievements of Ghana under the Akufo- Addo led government must be preserved by all Ghanaians in the upcoming elections.
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