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Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen of the press Good morning, fellow Ghanaians We wish to welcome you to the final edition of the Meet the Press series. 28/11/ ; . of what the Government of President John Dramani Mahama has been Members of Ghana's national football, the Black Stars. CDU, occurs together with Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama, who is before the press on January 19, at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin. John Dramani Mahama, former vice-president, was swiftly sworn in as Mills's millennium development goal of halving extreme poverty and hunger by Meeting these challenges – and, in particular, dealing with the influx of put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can.President Mahama meets the press- January 2016 Pt 1
Our address will go beyond just the happenings under our Ministry and within the Communications sector. We will provide a snapshot of what the Government of President John Dramani Mahama has been doing in order to improve the lives of Ghanaians and bring rapid socio-economic growth to our country.
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In doing so, we also acknowledge that notwithstanding the significant and palpable achievements, we all still have work to do and we are committed to working with you transform our dear nation. Our approach to this Meet the Press session will touch briefly on where we are coming from, where we are and finally where we are going to. This will hinge on the four thematic areas based upon which President Mahama has been delivering on his mandate; namely, Putting People First, Building a Strong Economy for Jobs, Infrastructure and last but not least Transparent and Accountable Governance which will also focus on anticorruption.
We will then proceed to debunk some of the outright lies, fabrications and falsehoods being peddled against Government. Since the electoral victory ofwe have put considerable effort and resources into meeting the commitments that we made to you in our manifesto essentially because we believe campaign promises are blueprints that must be implemented, and even if one is unable to achieve all, it should not be for lack of effort.
Today, it is undeniable that our dear nation Ghana is rising and the evidence can be gleaned by all. Here are a few: Life expectancy has increased;?
Infant, Under fiveChild and maternal mortalities have reduced;? The National Health Insurance Scheme continues to witness exponential growth with key performance indicators like outpatient utilization, claims payments and active membership all showing very positive growth;?
Youth literacy has improved and mean years in school is also increasing;? The raw scores at the BECE level have hit an unprecedented high of above with over 3, students attaining this feat which prior to had never happened;? Access to electricity is now Mobile telephony subscription has risen from a little over 11 million to 35 million and still counting;? Data subscription is above 18 million;? In the second quarter of the total number of short message services across networks hit the , mark;?
Inflation is on a downward trend;?
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More jobs are being created;? We can easily recollect the market fires, the fire at the Central Medical Stores which consumed strategic medical stocks including medications for children and pregnant women, unprecedented labour agitations, volatilities on the global economic front, dumsor among others. Through these turbulent periods President Mahama has shown great leadership, remained resolute and kept the ship, Ghana, afloat.
His calm demeanour, steady hands, ability to listen to different shades of opinions, unifying attributes, his spirit of forgiveness and his undying belief in God Almighty ensured our rapid recovery. The invaluable contributions of Ghanaians cannot be overemphasised. Beyond this President Mahama also led all his appointees to show sensitivity by taking pay cuts and using the funds to support efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality.
Ministers and political appointees are presently on the prepaid metering system for electricity supply and billing.
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And the producer price of cocoa has seen an unprecedented increase. We have made significant progress and we are committed to achieving more and even better. Previously in many places where dilapidated structures and trees served as classrooms for our school children, today modern classroom blocks have been constructed to replace them and hundreds of thousands of school children are receiving instruction in these buildings.
Teaching aides such as exercise books, textbooks, uniforms and other logistics have been distributed in millions and have gone a long way to make the learning environment more conducive. Community Day Senior High Schools have sprung up in many communities in keeping with our promise to build them. Forty-two have already received students under the computer placement system and by the close of this year a total of 70 will be completed.
We are implementing the progressively free Senior High School education and there is every indication that this scheme will be expanded both in scope and coverage to ensure that fees do not become a basis upon which any child is denied access to secondary education.
At the Tertiary level, we have established two new public universities and secured funding for a third to be situated at Somanya and Donkorkrom in the Eastern Region. We have invested heavily in Technical and Vocational Education and championed the conversion of Polytechnics into Technical Universities with a view to giving our young people practical skills that will set them permanently on their way to securing new and emerging jobs for themselves.
We have, so far, converted eight 8 Polytechnics into technical universities and work is on-going to covert the remaining two, namely Bolgatanga and Wa Polytechnics. Accompanying these interventions in universities, polytechnics, technical and vocational training schools, are the massive investments in infrastructure and supporting facilities such as laboratory equipment and demonstration materials; including the ultra-modern petroleum engineering laboratories equipped with oil drill simulators and other state of the art equipment.
Teachers in service have also benefited from in-service training among others. Investments the Government of President John Mahama has made in education have not only improved access and quality of education but has also enhanced the prospects of employing more teachers and others in the educational sector and the same can be said for the health sector.
Sincefive successful elections have seen power twice changing hands between the country's two political heavyweights, the ruling National Democratic Congress NDC and the New Patriotic party NPP. Progress has fuelled upbeat predictions, not least the suggestion that Ghana is nearing the point, perhaps a decade from now, when aid can end. For that to happen, however, continued political stability will be vital.
Ghana may be on an upward curve, but the development narrative of a country ranked in the UN's human development index is a long way from being set in stone. Moreover, increased prosperity has triggered a population boom, placing a huge burden on health and education services and exacerbating regional inequality. Worst affected is the north, where food insecurity persists and infrastructure is weak. And although inflation is high everywhere in Ghana, access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation is not widespread.
Meeting these challenges — and, in particular, dealing with the influx of wealth anticipated following the discovery of offshore oil in — was always going to require strong leadership; Mills's death only magnifies that necessity. But if this year's elections hold the key to Ghana's future, what issues will shape their outcome? Security Fears of civil unrest are based less on pessimism than precedent. Although the presidential election consolidated Ghana's reputation as a stable democracy, it was a close-run thing.
The tightly contested runoff was accompanied by allegations of vote-rigging, highlighting Ghana's ethnic divisions and leaving the country on a knife-edge. When the NPP threatened to challenge the result in the courts, supporters of the rival parties converged on the electoral commission headquarters in Accra, briefly raising the possibility of military intervention.
The statesmanlike intervention of John Kufuor, the outgoing NPP president, eventually ensured a peaceful transition of power, but it is unclear whether unresolved tensions remain.
But I was talking to people on the ground that day, and what a lot of people don't understand is how close things were to anarchy in some parts. We have to make sure this is the election that really embeds the democratic trend in Ghana.
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Ghana is a figurehead for successful democracy in Africa; now, more than ever, the eyes of the continent will be on elections there. Should they go badly, it would send out the wrong message, potentially setting back the development prospects of other emerging African nations. Oil Traditionally, the cocoa industry has been the mainstay of Ghana's economic prosperity, but the long-term outlook altered irrevocably in Decemberwhen — two and a half years after the discovery of offshore reserves — production began on the Jubilee oilfield.
But while "oil brings great opportunities", as US president Barack Obama observed on visiting Accra init also raises the familiar spectre of the resource curse.