Monday, October 10, 2016

Ghana: Opposition leader attacks government economic record

Ghana’s main opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo launched an attack on the government’s economic record on Sunday as he released his party’s manifesto at a mass rally ahead of the December election.
Akufo-Addo claims that president John Mahama had squandered the wealth the country has amassed since the West African country began producing oil in 2010.

He said the president has not been in touch with the people who have been struggling economically since he assumed power in 2012.
“President Mahama might not recognize the suffering of the people of Ghana and might not be hearing their cries because he has sadly insulated himself from the reality on the ground, “he told a cheering crowd in the capital, Accra.

Manifestos are key to elections in Ghana, a stable democracy where parties place emphasis on competing policy agendas and ideological differences.
The opposition leader said his party, the New Patriotic party (NPP) stand for business and free market. President Mahama is expected to face a tight contest against Akufo-Addo as he stands for a second and final four-year term.

Ghana has been facing economic problems since Mahama came to power. The country has lost its reputation as one of Africa’s economic stars, the budget deficit and debt have risen sharply while its currency, the Cedi has depreciated consistently.

The country has faced a slump in global prices for its exports of gold and oil. Since 2015 the government has also followed a $918 million aid deal with the International Monetary Fund to restore economic stability. Ghana is also the world’s number two cocoa producer.

Mahama launched his party’s manifesto last month adding that government has taken tough decisions to tackle the economic crisis. He had assured that GDP growth will rise to eight percent next year from a forecast 4.1 percent this year.

Akufo-Addo was the Foreign Minister, and Attorney General during the NPP’s eight years in power from 2001, a time when the country made significant strides economically and discovered oil. He lost elections in 2008 and 2012 and senior party officials say this year’s vote will be his last chance at power.



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