The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning under the erstwhile government of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, Dr. Kwabena Duffour, has called for a change in the political space weeks before the presidential primary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The advocacy follows his declaration to run for the flag-bearer position of the NDC, a position that has been held by former President John Mahama since late 2012.
Mr. Mahama, who took over when his former boss, Prof. J.E.A. Mills, lost his life, has managed to win only one out of the three national elections. Dr. Duffour, at a news conference last Thursday, openly declared, after months of speculations that he would be contesting for the NDC flag-bearer position “anytime the party opens nomination.”
He is the first to publicly announce his intention, though wide speculations undeniably suggest Mr. Mahama would also be on the ballot.
The NDC goes to the polls this December to elect a presidential candidate for the 2024 elections.
Dr. Duffour is not new to the political sphere of the nation, and he comes as one who led a great public and private life, one of success and accomplishment.
“I will offer myself once again to serve the land of my birth with great humility and sacrifice when I’m given the chance to do so,” he said last Thursday.
THE GHANAIAN DREAM
He has been championing what he calls “the Ghanaian dream,” and explains that to mean there was a dawn of a new era being witnessed, in which the country trumps person and progress trumps power; “an era for all; the era of the Ghanaian dream.”
Dr. Duffour stated that during his tenure as the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning (2009–2012), the economy chalked up a lot of successes.
He chronicled a few, including the exchange rate, which, he said, stood at GH¢1.20 to the US$1 at the end of 2008 and rose marginally to GH¢1.80 to the US$1 at the end of 2012.
He said the economy registered a GDP growth rate of 14.5% in 2011, which was “the highest growth rate in Ghana’s entire economic history.”
Apart from the economy registering the longest sustained single-digit inflation over 31 months, he also said the unemployment rate dropped from 5.3% in 2010 to about 2.2% by the end of 2012-2013.
In the coming weeks, Dr. Duffour says he will tour the country to meet with citizens to discuss their issues. During such meetings, “I look forward to having those conversations and to explaining what I meant by the Ghanaian dream.”
Months before openly declaring his intention, Dr. Duffour shook the NDC with the launch of his Ahotor Project, an initiative meant for the grassroots of the NDC.
It was a project to donate items, including public address (PA) systems, plastic chairs, and canopies, which can be rented out to generate revenue for members.
The Ahotor Project, according to the Economist, is a real deal for progress, jobs, and to generate sustainable revenue for use as welfare, such as hospital bills, funeral donations, school fees, etc.
“We want to create a situation whereby there will be money in the party coffers of every constituency. The project is going to make you fishermen and not get money from people all the time,” Dr. Duffour said at the Ashaiman launch in April this year.