A cabinet minister says President John Atta-Mills will keep his promise of a “better Ghana” in his second state of the nation address to parliament in the capital, Accra Thursday.
Information minister John Akologu Tia said Ghanaians are better off today than they were under the previous administration.
“We were able to stabilize the economy; we were able to provide jobs; we were able to provide some infrastructure and we were able to build the capacity basis of our human resource foundation. We have set the agenda to move towards a better Ghana that was promised. So we are now going to look at how…we move to achieve those goals we have set,” he said.
Critics have often accused President Atta-Mills of showing little or no commitment towards keeping the promises he made to change the way issues are addressed, including building a stronger economy and tackling high unemployment among the youth.
But information minister Tia said President Atta-Mills will outline strategies and policies aimed at achieving his pledge of a better Ghana in his address.
“I think those concerns have already been addressed except that people will want to know how far have we gone? We did indicate that what the government inherited was so colossal debt outlay that the government had to struggle to defray before it could even take off, and it has been able to do that. So, what we think Ghanaians should be expecting now is how we move towards achieving the better Ghana agenda after we have been able to overcome some of these initial problems,” Tia said.
President Mills declared that 2010 would be an action year despite the challenges his administration faced after ascending to power.
“The challenges were such that, but for our courage, and our belief in ourselves, we could have thrown up our arms in despair. But as you can see, we have been able to revise the...economy. We have been able to halt the depreciation of the cedi. Indeed, the cedi now is doing very well against all the major currencies of the world,” President Mills said in the Ghanaian media.
But an opposition Member of Parliament, Catherine Afeku, who is also a former cabinet minister in the previous administration, said the government has failed to build up the economy that would generate jobs and alleviate the frustration and suffering of the average Ghanaian.
She said President Atta-Mills is yet to keep his better Ghana pledge.
“To be very honest the short answer is no. The excuse being given is it’s a four-year term so it’s not over yet. But I think the first impressions will last longer. We are 14-months into the administration (and) I think that the early signs are not really giving people confidence,” she said.
She said the government has failed to take advantage of the goodwill and interest from the international investor community after U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Ghana last year.