The Convention Peoples Party (CPP) has developed a national economic transformation agenda dubbed: “The New Covenant – Apam Fofro,” which takes its root from the unfinished agenda of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
“Our confidence stems from the fact that we understand what has gone wrong with this country since the 1966 coup and our key suspect is the creeping unacceptable habits and attitudes of citizens promoted by political institutions.
“Our strategy will therefore focus extensively on social reforms as a vehicle towards achieving economic freedom,” Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, CPP Presidential Nominee for Election 2016, stated in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
Mr Greenstreet encounter is captured under the Ghana News Agency project “GNA Tracks Elections 2016,” which seeks to educate the electorate on the various issues raised by political parties, elections management body and other governance bodies.
The project also seeks to ensure gender and social inclusion in national politics and also provide voice for the youth, vulnerable groups, opinion leaders and broader spectrum of the society to contribute to peaceful elections.
It also created a platform to analyse the manifestos of all political parties and provide in-depth news item on each thematic area as captured to the electorates for them to make an informed judgment.
Mr Greenstreet said “Our society cannot be prosperous unless it is structured and managed to create wealth. Our strategy for achieving this will be based on two sets of policies. “One set of policies will be the drivers of ‘Wealth Creation’ and the second set of policies will ensure fair ‘Distribution of Wealth’.
“Because Ghana is in the primary state of nationhood we shall develop various sectors of the economy, always ensuring the dominant position of the public sector and central planning would be the primary means of organization of the economy.
“We believe the state must take centre stage in the development of our nation. The levels of poverty, lack of saving culture and scale, has ensured that our citizens have not accumulated the level of capital needed for the private investment in key industries, and that the government will have to take up the role of main entrepreneur in laying the basis of industrial and infrastructural development and social advancement,” he said.
Mr Greenstreet said only under state interventions can the nation reliably accumulate the capital needed for its development and also to ensure that the gains of investment will be applied for the general welfare of the people. This position stems from the basic premise that it is possible for the state to engineer sustainable development through tested and proven methodologies of governance.
Such an approach will minimize conflict amongst different interest groups in society in order to maintain stability on the national level, in turn fostering economic and cultural advancement. The CPP Presidential Nominee said: “We believe that central planning and market economics can be complementary, that planning and markets are only two different ways in which to regulate economic activity.
“Contrary to current widespread assumptions, there is a lot of evidence to illustrate that under the prevailing conditions of underdeveloped economy with reasonably complete and competent institutions meaning things like courts, tax authorities, standards, that central planning produces better results than the current unfettered free-market environment.
He said the success of any nation depends also on the character, culture, habits and attitudes of its citizens. “The CPP believes that greater economic output and national belief systems which is required to lift our people out of poverty and fund our social agenda cannot be achieved unless our economic programmes are accompanied by a social transformation.
“Specific habits and attitudes as well as the development of national core values are needed to change work ethics, abhorrence to corruption, promote self-reliance and drive for excellence which are a pre-requisite and fundamental to social harmony and economic success,” he noted.
The CPP Presidential Nominee said in recent years Ghanaians have become skeptical and suspicious of political leaders, dismissive of exultations for good behaviour, dishonest to claims of religiousness, and given up on corruption. He said citizens are gradually being disrespectful to laws and norms, completely devoid of standards and a sense of protocol, very mediocre in the assessment of achievements, ignorant of how the world ‘works’ and lazy in intellectual thought.
“Our social transformation agenda should seek to reverse the creeping negative behaviours as a prerequisite for transforming the nation. “A well thought through initiative by a cross functional team of knowledgeable experts will be charged to address all the negative habits and attitudes,” he said. Mr Greenstreet said if elected into power CPP will aggressively and intelligently promote patriotism, sense of community, self-reliance, pursuit of excellence and scholarship, quest for knowledge, pride in our culture which are positive attributes. This will be a long term effort, implemented across the country.
Professor Edmund Nminyem Delle, CPP Chairman, who was part of the encounter with GNA, said Ghana deserves a better society for all the people: a strong, just and compassionate society, one where the handling of complex problems may be a source of pride to ourselves and an example to the world.
“The CPP believe that Ghana’s potential for improvement is enormous. The rapid advancement of science, technology and the general growth of knowledge presents great opportunities for social and economic advancement for our people.
“With integrity, intelligence, our significant natural resources and the will to succeed, we can harness the new technologies and the powerful economic forces of our time to create a nation that would be a good example for and win the respect of the rest of the world. “But, without planning, with the current free-for-all situation, people become the victims of economic forces they cannot control: The CPP’s purpose is to create, on the firm base of a steadily growing economy, a country that is fair to all,” he said.
Prof Delle said the party believes that the contribution that ordinary people can make to our present welfare and national future is still largely untapped and undeveloped. “People want more responsibility. It is this that makes CPP wish to extend opportunities for everyone to have a bigger say in making decisions, whether in their local community or in their place of work. It is this, too, that makes us place the highest priority on education and educational reform.
“In the Ghana that we deserve, all people must be treated as equals: that women should have the same opportunities and rewards as men. We insist, too, that society should not discriminate against minorities on grounds of religion or race or colour: that all should have equal protection under the law and equal opportunity for advancement in and service to the community.
“We believe that society can now afford and must be ready to meet the basic needs of all its members. There should be decent housing for everyone; overcrowding must be dealt with; slums such as “Sodom and Gomorrah” must be improved and not be allowed to develop anymore.
“We must create the condition for full employment and make a rising standard of provision for those who, on account of age, sickness or other circumstances, are unable to provide for themselves. A compassionate society is one that does not grudge help for those in need,” he said.
Prof Delle called on the electorate to vote for Mr Greenstreet and the party’s parliamentary candidates across the country to enable the party form the next government. He said the Ghana, the CPP aspire to build if voted into power, is the one we shall have to build together. It will not be easy to achieve; but our deeply rooted democracy, our tradition of tolerance and fairness, our confidence in ourselves, are enormous assets on which we can draw.
“Our appeal is to those who have faith in the capacity and humanity of their fellow-men and to those who are not solely moved by the search for excessive profits and personal gain. “We believe that we have a responsibility to the future; to ensure that the nation we leave to the generation that follows is not spoilt by our misuse, whilst at the same time creating a far more attractive society, with a far greater potential for human happiness, than the selfish, cold, ruthlessly competitive model that our political opponents have been building over the last few years,” he said.