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General News
State of the Nation Ala PNC 4/19/2007
The full text of Dr. Mahama''s The People''s National Convention (PNC) press conference in Accra on Wednesday

On the morning of last Easter Monday, a group of the youth of Atronie, near Sunyani, manning an illegal road barrier stoned to death Mr. Anthony Yeboah, Presiding Member of the Asunafo North Assembly, mistaking him for a robber. He was driving HIS OWN car and others with him were a nun and his wife.

This tragic example of lawlessness, a free-for-all atmosphere, making Ghana a transit route for narcotics, and rampant corruption that now pervade every institution in our nation create conditions bordering on anarchy. Numerous symptoms everywhere reveal deepening crises in every aspect of our national life. Along with most decent citizens, I wonder if the authorities are undertaking serious diagnoses for solutions to this decent of our nation into what present trends can only lead us into oblivion.

Praises from our foreign "well wishers may well have macroeconomic bases. However, the contrasting fact of life is that, at the microeconomic level, the cost of living, poverty, ignorance, illiteracy, youth unemployment are getting worse, with hardly any relief in sight. Our nation is in such a fermenting crisis that, if Ghana was a patient brought to my clinic, I would immediately place her under intensive care. The PNC view is that unless our national affairs are reorganized for a U-turn from the present worsening conditions, the future looks bleak and hopeless.

The low level water in the Volta Lake that is the cause of our current energy crises is one of several warnings of what is yet to come. Together with the frequent shortages of water for domestic use, these are clear indications of a drought of biblical proportions that is progressively unfolding. A recent international conference of scientists used all the currently available data on climatic trends to predict that Africa is likely to suffer the most from impending drought and poor harvests from current trends in the world''s weather.

The PNC is convinced that the fundamentals in running our nation are off course. Since we do not have enough resources for tackling all our national problems - each of which is important in its own right - a PNC administration would place priority on the following economic sectors, because they have the potential of producing positive catalytic effects on the entire economy.
1. Energy: The three types of energy are:
(a) Availability of adequate amounts of food to feed the nation (i.e., energy for the body) which means that we should attach more importance to agricultural development and production than we have done to date;

(b) Energy for productive industry and services; and

(c) Energy for lighting our homes and city streets.
2. Education.
By this the PNC uses a broad definition to include: nursery, primary, secondary, tertiary, and vocational systems of education. Another level is to ensure that all adults gain basic literacy and numeracy within less than 3 years. Lastly, the population needs continuous education in civic privileges and responsibilities of citizens, as well as to broaden and keep expanding awareness in the population of conditions in our rapidly globalizing world that affect their lives.
3. Health
- In several ways Ghana currently suffers very heavy health burdens of adults dying too young, high maternal and infant mortality, hospitalization, the sick staying off work, importation of very expensive medical supplies and medications. With the right national policies in the areas mentioned earlier and also to environmental sanitation, more than 50% of our current health issues would disappear.

Despite its enormous promise, our National Health Insurance Scheme is crippled and struggling with haphazard implementation from lack of commitment by its creators. If it is to succeed, the vanguard of this program must be practising physicians. Yet, is it not ironic that most of them cannot tell you the basics of this health insurance scheme?

What is the present way forward for our nation? In relation to food production and what I label as energy for the body, we need to recast the Operation Feed Yourself Policy of more than three decades ago to make it consistent with present realities of unfolding globalized world conditions. Fortunately, those who crafted the policy and some who were intimately involved in its implementation, such as retired Col. Bernasco, are still enjoying excellent health and still have a lot to give to the nation.

One of Dr. Nkrumah''s thoughts in establishing the Abosso glass factory was to add solar energy to Hydro and Atomic Energy. We need not look beyond our national borders and beyond our own citizens for solving our national problems, because Ghana is blessed with enough natural resources and abundant talent. For example, in July 2006 the Ghana Science Association called for a national program to harvest rain water as part of solutions for an impending crisis that is now already with us and promises to get worse. Was anybody listening then? Is anybody listening now? Here is an example of many programs that can use scientists at our universities to work with various district assemblies to improve every aspect of our national economy, such as food production, water conservation and to slow down desertification or even reverse it.

We propose that Ghana as African Union Chair call a meeting of the ECOWAS heads of Government to look at the twin crises of Energy and water shortage in order to device an integrated regional solution before the economic gains of the region are wiped out.

We have a potentially great nation, working together, we can make it really great!


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