Hon. Joe Ghartey speaking at the ceremony
An amazing way to kickstart a campaign when the message centered not on despair but hope for the country and unity of the Party and the country. The euphoria was clear, the nods told the best part when with a simple yet strategic message Hon. Joe Ghartey launched The Agenda for Hope and Unity as part of the road to Jubliee House at the University of Mines and Technology, School of Railways and Infrastructural Development.
The message was short as he centered his attention on two major sectors Education and Railway.
According to Hon Joe Ghartey, these two sectors were examples of how various sectors or all the sectors of the economy could totally transform the country. On the railways sector, Joe Ghartey gave several examples of the possibility of transformation. He said when he became the Minister in 2017 the situation was hopeless. The salaries of the workers of the Ghana Railways Company Ltd was outstanding for a number of months and was barely up to the minimum wage. Traders had taken over the Accra station and the infrastructure of the Ghana Railway Company Limited had completely detoriarated. It was against the background he said that he suggested in October 2017 to UMAT that the University should combine with the Ministry to set up the UMAT-School of Railway and Infrastructural Development. This School today has more about 1700 students and is offering degree and certificate courses. Joe Ghartey said this decision was made in October 2017 when there was no hope in the sector. He said that what was needed was a clear vision in each sector gearing towards expanding the economy. He said in the railway sector within 10 to 15 years the country would see the impact of a new and revitalized railway sector.
Hon Joe Ghartey turned to the educational sector and said that like the railway sector the foundation for economic lift of had been laid over the years. He said the sector was poised to become a major foreign exchange earner. Joe Ghartey said when he was in the University of Ghana, Legon in the early 1980’s the were hardly any foreign students in the University and in Ghana. He said the situation is different today showing clearly that over the years but we could do much more. Joe Ghartey said that in the United Kingdom it was estime that international students contributed £28 billion pounds every year. He said if Ghana could do as little as 10 per cent of what United Kingdom was doing, Ghana could earn about £2.8 billion a year, which he said was about the amount of money we were seeking to borrow from the IMF.
Posing the rhetorical
question as what must be done for us to achieve this Joe Ghartey said we must internationally and strategically ensure that our Universities become Centres of Excellence. He offered some solutions. One he said was that government scholarships must be geared towards producing first class lectures, increased and enhanced supervision and regulations and increased funding on competitive terms to the Universities.
Hon Joe Ghartey said in achieving this our mindset must change as Ghanaians. He should it was important to develop a merit based economy and country. Joe Ghartey said a video was making the rounds where Singapore mentions Ghana as one of the countries which they were like in the 1960s. He said in the said video one of the factors that were identified that leading to the rise of Singapore was the adoption of meritocracy.
He said government should also be leaner and more efficient. He said as President he would have a four year contract renewable for a further four years by Ghanaians, subject to acceptable performance. He said likewise all his appointees would, to the extent pemmisable by law, have a two year renewable contact of employment. This would include Ministers and after two years their performance would be assessed against agreed targets and a decision including the possibility of reshuffle or removal from office would be considered.
Joe Ghartey said he had the experience and determination to be present. He urged Ghanaians not to lose hope.
On unity Joe Ghartey bemoaned the disunity in the Party and in the country. He said as Presidential Candidate he would unite the Party and as President he would unite the Party.
Joe Ghartey will today be meeting the Regional Executive Commitee of the NPP.