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Africa needs a radical agenda - Nana Akufo-Addo
Posted:(Sep 20 2012)
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The Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said he and the NPP are going into the December elections with a radical agenda to redefine education. Addressing the opening session of the Democratic Union of Africa (DUA) Party Leaders meeting in Accra, which opened from the 14-16 September 2012, he said “we are redefining basic education, which is the education that the state is obliged to give every child, to start from kindergarten and end at Senior High School. If you listen to some of the discussions in the country, you will hear that our opponents are claiming that we cannot do it, they call it a mission impossible, they say it is too expensive and Ghana cannot afford it.”

According to Nana Akufo-Addo, in this 21st century, it is unacceptable for Ghanaian children to be left with junior high school level education and expect them to be able to compete successfully in the global economy. He added that, “It is a deliberate decision we have made and we have looked carefully at the figures and we know it can be done. We need to have an educated and trained workforce to be able to run the modern economy that Ghana will soon become. If God willing, we win the elections, we shall implement this policy rapidly.”

Though much of Africa has embraced democracy as the model that promotes opportunity, freedom and growth, Nana Akufo-Addo however said, “Sustaining democracy cannot be done with just the vigilance of avowed democrats like us.” “We cannot help democratic sustenance by just being a union of opposition parties and shouting ourselves hoarse about how our countries are being run by half hearted democrats. To sustain democracy, we must get into power and help in the economic transformation of our countries. Now, there is no longer an argument about whether or not there is a relationship between democracy and economic development. So to deliver prosperity to our people, as Dr. Danquah and our forebears envisaged, we must win the hearts and minds of our people. We must convince our people that centre-right policies are the best that can create the societies of opportunities that we ought to create in Africa in order to raise rapidly the living standards of our people.”

The DUA Chairman Dr. Kizza Besigye who welcomed the delegates to the Party Leaders’ Meeting said Africa must do more to sustain the level of democracy and economic development to reduce the level of poverty and deprivation afflicting the continent. He whipped some African countries where according to him elections were a facade to seek international legitimacy for their agenda, adding that most governments were more concerned about regaining power than providing the basic needs of their people.

DUA being a Centre-Right organisation composing political parties across the continent who believed in the values of the philosophy, he said, it had so far performed better than the others in tackling the challenges of their people. He disapproved of what he said was the runaway corruption in Africa as he took his audience through the political challenges that had taken place in the past few years, notably Libya, Sudan and Ivory Coast.

Ms. Philippa Broom, who is the International Secretary of the Conservative Party (UK), applauded the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for its commitment to democratic principles and the well-being of Ghanaians. She reiterated Nana Akufo-Addo’s commitment to enhance Ghana’s democracy, rule of law and accountability, adding that, Nana Addo’s life and work reflected on the democracy that has made Ghana a shining star on the continent. It is my wish, Ms. Broom said, that Ghana will see a Centre-Right party back in power to enhance economic transformation.

Mr. Eirik Moen, Secretary General of International Democratic Union, (IDU) congratulated the NPP for winning the 2000 and 2004 elections, and also praised the party for fully cooperating in the 2008 transition, though the party lost by a slim margin. He urged other developing countries to emulate Ghana’s democratic achievements. Mr. Moen was optimistic that Ghana will once again go through the December 7th Polls as a peaceful and united country.

President J.A Kufuor, former president of Ghana closed the Party Leaders’Meeting by reminding delegates that though the strongman syndrome was abating on the continent, the alternative of democratic governance does not replace it automatically and may even be delayed for long years. He said ‘whereas the love of freedom is natural in all creatures, democracy is man-made and must be nurtured on principles and inculcated’.

President Kufuor tasked the Party Leaders to challenge the electorate to examine the quality of life they live in terms provision of social services and the conduct of state institutions. He urged the Leaders not to give up but persevere because the journey is rough.

Below is a statement issued at the end of the Meeting;

DUA PARTY LEADERS’ STATEMENT ON SUSUTAINING DEMOCRACY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA – THE CENTRE-RIGHT WAY

 

The Party Leaders of the Democratic Union of Africa (DUA) held their Executive and annual general meeting from 14 – 16 September 2012 in Accra, Ghana to assess the successes and challenges of democracy in Africa.

This conference with the theme “Sustaining Democracy and Economic Development in Africa – The Centre-Right Way” discussed and resolved the following:

The Conservative Response to Economic Challenges - That:

 

  • Africa Governments should as a matter of urgency put in pragmatic measures that will arrest the high rates of poverty on the continent. The poverty levels have risen to a level that all stakeholders (governments, political parties, civil society organizations, development partners etc) must work together to reduce it.
  • It is unacceptable for children in Africa to be denied access to education in this 21st century and that Africa must invest in her youth. Africa must promote the development of human resources through education and transfer of skills to create employment opportunities for the youth.
  • Political Parties have a responsibility to play in the economic development of their countries. Governments must therefore create a fund to be used to build the internal capacities of all political parties to enable them function properly in any democracy.
  • Centre-right parties must increase the level of cooperation amongst themselves in areas of institutional and logistical support.

 Media & Democracy

 

  • State media must ensure that all political parties and their candidates are provided equal access to sell their respective parties.
  • Governments must be encouraged to create media ombudsman.
  • State media must all be under independent bodies. 
  • Private media must be encouraged to flourish to make true meaning to the freedom of expression as enshrined in the constitution of African Countries.
  • Use of state security to intimidate journalists must not be countenanced. Governments must respect fundamental human rights.

 Promoting centre-right policies in Africa

 

  • Centre-right governments must clearly demonstrate that they are different and are able to solve the myriad of problems confronting their countries and the continent.
  • Centre-right parties must increase the level of cooperation amongst themselves in areas of institutional and logistical support.

Signed

Dr. Kizza Besigye

Chairman

DUA

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