An amazing way to kickstart a campaign when the message is centred 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 Jubilee House at the University of Mines and Technology, School of Railways and Infrastructural Development.
The message was short as he centred 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 railway 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 were barely up to the minimum wage. Traders had taken over the Accra station and the infrastructure of the Ghana Railway Company Limited had completely deteriorated.
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 than 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 the economic lift 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 at the University of Ghana, Legon in the early 1980s 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 estimated that international students contributed £28 billion pounds every year. He said if Ghana could do as little as 10 per cent of what the 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 of 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 led to the rise of Singapore was the adoption of meritocracy.
He said the 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 permissible by law, have a two-year renewable contract 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 Committee of the NPP.