Ladies and Gentlemen:My vision is to transform Ghana into the most important, the most inclusive and the most inspirational democracy in Africa in my second and final term, God willing. To achieve this fundamental goal, we need to create more jobs. We need a more vibrant economy, where opportunities grow for everybody and where success stories embolden the young ones to dream big.
During the last four years, we built the foundation for this. Here are some results.
In 2012, services represented 47% of our GDP; in 2015, they represented almost 50%, consolidating our transition to a modern, service-centered economy driven largely by technology and a vibrant youth.
In 2012, exports represented 40% of the GDP; in 2015 they represented 44%, proving that Ghanaian goods consolidated their position on the international market.
We moved upwards from less than 15,000 registered carrier departures worldwide in 2012, to over 20,000 in 2015.
The domestic credit to private sector grew from 15% of Ghana’s GDP in 2012 to 20% in 2015.
All these results mean more jobs and more employment opportunities. Unemployment went down from 3.6% in 2012 to 2.4% in 2014 (the last year with available data from the World Bank). At the same time, employment to population ratio grew from 66.6% in 2012 to 67.8% in 2014.
Apart from this, Ghana moved upwards in the Index of Economic Freedom. In 2012, we were 84th in the world; today, we are 72nd in the world.
Finally, when it comes to fighting corruption, in 2012 we were the 64th least corrupt country in the world. In 2015, we were 56th i.e. 7th in Africa and our worst record over the years remains superior to the best record during the tenure of the NPP.
All these data provided by prestigious international organizations depict the true picture of our modernizing and transformative achievements during the last four years. The transformation was not necessarily easy. It was not by chance and some paid a higher cost than others during this period. However, nobody can deny that as a nation we are better off today than we were four years ago – and much better off than we were a decade ago.
I have said it before, and I will say it again and again: these are not my achievements, these are our achievements – and for that I am deeply grateful to all of you! And let me add, notwithstanding these impressive collective achievements, the work is by no means over.
Based on this economic and social transformation, we built the foundation for true and solid growth. Now, we are ready to harvest the benefits particularly as our economy is projected to grow above 8% next year.
Together with a new NDC Government, I will deliver the most ambitious job creation plan for our country. We will implement the Economic Transformation and Livelihood Empowerment Programme (ETLEP), an Initiative that will generate at least three million direct and indirect jobs.
Let me emphasize seven (7) policies only, that will be implemented:
We will increase funding to the Youth Enterprise Support (YES) Initiative from GH¢10 million to GH¢100 million, which means GH¢25 million a year;
We will create more IT Enabled Service jobs through the completion of the Ghana – Mauritius Technology Park Project among others;
We will strengthen and expand the operations of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) to create over three hundred thousand (300,000) jobs;
We will vigorously pursue the Integrated Aluminum Industry Project, which is anchored on the oil and gas industry;
We will rejuvenate Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s era factories such as the Asutuare Sugar Factory among others;
The next NDC Government will employ over 300,000 unskilled people in public works, so that even people with no qualification could get a chance to contribute to our country’s growth and
The next NDC Government will expand the YEA job creation opportunities from the current 100,000 to 400,000, so that the youth could get more opportunities to work;
I encourage all of you to read all about the NDC’s commitments to the people of Ghana at: https://johnmahama.org/category/vision-for-ghana, especially the plans for job creation, for agriculture, for industry and for mining.
You’ll find there that, together with the NDC, I have carefully designed plans to create more decent jobs in every region and in every economic sector.
Now, there is a general consensus among economic scholars around the world that in urban, developed economies one direct job generates three to five indirect jobs. Of course, Ghana is not such an economy yet, but let’s apply the same ratio here. 1.5 million direct jobs mean at least six million direct and indirect jobs if we apply the ratio of 1 to 3 (i.e. one direct job generating 3 indirect jobs).
In less developed economies the ratio is even higher– in some instances it goes as high as 1 to 20 (one direct job generating 20 indirect jobs) – but I like to keep my feet on the ground. We are talking about human beings and their destinies here, and as President I cannot and will not treat these matters lightly. I prefer to work with very prudent calculations, 3 million more jobs, instead of giving people false hopes.
So my extremely cautious estimate is that in the next four years our programmes and policies will generate at least three(3) million direct and indirect jobs. This is, by all accounts, a huge leap forward!
I stand unshaken by propaganda – because I know how things truly are in Ghana. I know the degree of social and economic transformation that have taken place under my watch during these last four years. And I know the energy this transformation will unleash in the next four years.
We have planted the seeds of solid growth and development. It was hard and sometimes frustrating work. But now, the time has come to harvest! The time has come to unleash our full potential of love and hope!
Three million jobs and a vibrant economy in a highly inclusive democracy, where everybody counts: this is my pledge to all of you!
John Dramani Mahama