Bawumia's Acceptance Speech
2008-08-18 23:50:43This article has been read 714 times.Acceptance speech delivered by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia On the Occasion of His Introduction As Running Mate To Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, MP 2008 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)
Date: Sunday, August 17, 2008
Venue: Sekondi College, Western Region
Kukrudu! Kukrudu!! Kukrudu!!!
The National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Mr. Peter Mac Manu, Your Excellency, President John Agyekum Kufour, Your Excellency, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, the Vice-President, Our Flagbearer, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Members of the National Council of the NPP, Honourable Ministers of State, Honourable Members of Parliament, Distinguished Elders of our Party, Nananom, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, National, Regional, Constituency, and Polling Station Executives, Rank and file of the great Kukrudu Family, Representatives of other political parties, Members of the Media, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen:
I wish to thank the Almighty Allah for this historic day.
Today marks the conclusion of our Party’s preparatory process in our bid to offer to the people of this country the best team to move Ghana forward into the future – future which begins on January 7, 2009.
I want to express my profound gratitude and appreciation to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, MP, the 2008 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, for the honour of reaching out to select me to serve as his running mate, and Insha-Allah, as the Vice-President of the Republic, under an Akufo-Addo presidency.
Furthermore, I wish to express my heart-felt gratitude to the members of the National Executive Committee and the National Council of our Party. I thank them most sincerely for their overwhelming endorsement of my nomination.
I also wish to place on record, that I am deeply grateful and humbled by the numerous expressions of support that have come, not only from the rank and file of our Party, but across the country, from Aflao to Zebilla.
I also thank the many professionals and businesspeople who have happily welcomed my nomination as a signal of renewal, as a sign of greater hope, and as an acknowledgement of the greater role young people can play in the transformation of our dear country.
Most especially, Mr. Chairman, I wish to register my gratitude to the young people of this country (in this case from the age 18-45!). This election is about the future. And, the future belongs to the youth of our country.
Mr. Chairman, I see my selection as a victory for our Party. I see it as a demonstration of its maturity, open-mindedness and progressiveness. It is a testimony of the great men and women entrusted with the affairs of the Party to think outside the box. I have already spoken to most of the highly eligible individuals who were considered for the position of running mate and we have agreed to work together as a team to ensure that our Presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and our parliamentary candidates win a resounding victory.
Mr. Chairman, my professional and career circumstances over the years have confined me to matters of economic and financial governance of our country. Naturally, in these circumstances, my open participation in partisan politics had been virtually foreclosed.
However, even though I may not be known on the political platform, I have been very active at the apex of the economic platform. I am proud to say that I have contributed to the economic achievements of the NPP under the leadership of His Excellency President J.A. Kufuor. Among other things:
• I was involved in putting together and implementing the framework that guides monetary policy, as well as the workings of the Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of Ghana.
• I played a major part in the banking sector reforms that have increased the number of banks and bank branches throughout the country, resulting to a major increase in the availability of credit to Ghanaian businesses and individuals.
• Mr. Chairman, I also led the Bank of Ghana’s technical negotiation team, and have been a part of the Government team that negotiated with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund since 2001 - through HIPC and the Poverty Reduction Growth Facility. Partly as a result of these negotiations, Ghana has, for the first time since 1983, successfully ended its dependence on IMF assistance and this allows Ghana to pursue more independent policies without IMF conditionalities.
• I also served as a member of the Government technical negotiating team on HIPC, Paris Club and HIPC Completion Point Negotiations. Ghana completed the HIPC process successfully with significant debt relief of close to $4 billion.
• I was a member of the Government team that negotiated the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Compact with the US Government and was responsible for drafting the financial sector component of the MCA Compact. The MCA Compact yielded financing for 547 million US dollars worth of projects.
• I was also a member of the Government Technical Team on the Deregulation of the Petroleum Sector. We achieved a successful deregulation, which has saved Government some $700 million over the last three years.
• As Chairman of the Capital Markets Committee, I was responsible for the strategy for accessing the international capital markets with a debut bond issue of US$750 million, which was four times oversubscribed. The bond proceeds have been critical in undertaking investments in the energy sector and have also been earmarked for the Kumasi-Accra Dual Carriageway as well as the Western Railway Line.
• I was part of the team that designed and implemented the successful redenomination of the cedi which has been hailed globally. Through this process, the cedi has been considerably strengthened as Ghanaians have found renewed confidence in their currency.
• I also played a key role in the design and implementation of the e-zwich common platform for all banks, savings and loans companies and rural banks. This common platform is modernising the country’s payments system. Significantly the e-zwich has put Ghana on the map as a world leader in the application of biometric smartcard technology for banking the unbanked. Ghana is the first and only country in the world to deploy this technology across its entire banking sector. With this, Nana Akufo-Addo’s vision of moving Ghana from a Third World to a First World country has already began under His Excellency President J.A. Kufuor.
Mr. Chairman, I have, therefore, made my contribution behind the scenes, to the solid economic foundation of the first eight years of the NPP Government.
As a result of the strong foundation laid by the NPP Government, our economy is ready for that big leap. In the wisdom of our Flagbearer and the National Executive Committee of the NPP, the time is right to bring me to the forefront. This is a view to which I fully subscribe. I see my selection to serve under our Flagbearer, as a unique opportunity and a privilege to be part of the vision to move our country forward. As an economist, I will help Nana Akufo-Addo from day one of his presidency to afford the improvements of tomorrow.
I have always been an ardent believer in, and practitioner of, the liberal democratic values and principles of the Danquah-Busia tradition. Like all of you here, I have been inspired, throughout my life, by the thinking, deeds, sacrifices and accomplishments of such great political icons of our country and Party such as Dr. J.B. Danquah, Edward Akufo-Addo, Obetsebi Lamptey, Prof. K.A. Busia, Chief S.D. Dombo, Alhaji Yakubu Tali, Tolon Naa, Jato Kaleo, Naa Abayifa Karbo, C.K. Tedam, S.G. Antor, Albert Adu-Boahen, R.R. Amponsah, and my own late father Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia, to mention just a few.
Mr. Chairman, I also wish to assure the members and well-wishers of our Party that my commitment and loyalty to the Party and its ideals and principles are deep and unflinching. Accordingly, I pledge that I will provide loyal, devoted and critical support to our Flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in our collective effort to secure a renewal of the mandate of our Party. This will enable us to move forward, with revitalized energy and ideas, with the project of the transformation of our economy, and the modernisation of our society.
Mr. Chairman, let me assure those who have, in the true NPP spirit of respect for free expression and dissent, voiced concerns about my nomination, that I am truly one of the family. I sincerely look forward to working with Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, the leadership, and particularly with you, the hard-working foot-soldiers of our Party, in order to ensure a one-touch victory in December, and beyond. For these reasons, I wish to make an open promise to you that my doors will be open to each and every one of you, and I look forward to developing personal friendships with as many of you as possible.
Victory cannot be won without you. The Party belongs to you, and must serve you. It is your sweat, sacrifice and tenacity over the years that have built up this great Party. I therefore see my selection to support our Flagbearer as a call to serve you at all times and in all circumstances.
Mr. Chairman, as most Ghanaians already know, the vision articulated by the Flagbearer of our Party is to move Ghana forward by building on the sound economic foundations laid by our great President, His Excellency, President John Agyekum Kufuor. Our Flagbearer has committed himself to the economic and social modernisation of our country. To achieve this, he has made access to quality education and health care, good jobs with good pay his priorities. As a Ghanaian of Northern extraction, I am particularly excited by the initiative of His Excellency President Kufuor in setting up a fund to address the under-development of the North. Our Flagbearer has moved this forward with his pledge of a comprehensive programme under a proposed Northern Development Authority, starting with a 1 billion US dollar fund. The idea to set up a special development organisation for the North is not new. It is fifty-five years old! What is new, however, is an honest acknowledgement by a national party and government of the North-South development gap, the commitment to find the resources, the establishment of an institutional framework, and the provision of the political leadership to make it happen. Indeed, we are moving forward!
Significantly, my late father was a member of the Northern Development Committee in the Legislative Council of the Gold Coast, which in 1953 formulated proposals for addressing the poverty and underdevelopment of the then Northern Territories. It is therefore an exciting challenge and privilege to be invited by our Flagbearer to serve in the pursuit of a vision, which my own father held but was never realised in his lifetime. This looks more like an appointment with destiny than a coincidence, considering the fact that our Flagbearer’s father, President Edward Akufo-Addo and my father, Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia, were founding members of the United Party, our ancestral base.
The NPP recognises that the issues of poverty and under-development are not unique to the North. Therefore, the next NPP government will implement specific policies to address the problem across the country. For example, the Central Region is at the centre of our manifesto pledge to use tourism to create an estimated 100,000 jobs a year, create wealth and reduce poverty. Similarly, for the Western Region, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pledged to ensure that an equitable proportion of expected oil revenues will be devoted to tackling the issues of poverty and under-development in the Western Region.
Mr. Chairman, I was born in Tamale. I attended Sakasaka Primary School in Tamale, and Tamale Secondary School. I trained in England and Canada as a banker and an economist. I worked at the IMF and taught Economics in the United States. For a first generation immigrant, the opportunities were immense. These notwithstanding, I gave up the attractions of a successful career in North America and returned to Ghana, my motherland. I took up an appointment in the Bank of Ghana as a Senior Economist and rose through the ranks to the position of Head of Department and Special Assistant to the Governor. I was subsequently appointed by His Excellency President Kufour to the position of Deputy Governor. I returned home because, like our Flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, I love Ghana, and I believe in Ghana. Like him, I believe in the abilities, resourcefulness and “can-do spirit” of the Ghanaian.
Mr. Chairman, I can therefore say, that I shall rise to the challenge of supporting our Flagbearer in the pursuit of his vision to transform Ghana into a modern, industrialised, prosperous, democratic and free society. A country in which none will be denied the opportunities for maximizing his or her God-given potential. A Ghana where access to quality healthcare and education shall no longer be a luxury for the privileged few, but a right for every citizen, a process we have already started. A Ghana where every young person desirous of working will find the skills and employment with a decent wage. A Ghana where we do not only build a future for our youth, but also build our youth for the future. A Ghana where our hard-working entrepreneurs can easily access capital. A Ghana where our young people will be well-educated and empowered to better compete in the global economy. A Ghana where each will be his brother’s keeper. A Ghana where our flourishing wave of freedom of expression will be guarded, respected and deepened. And, a Ghana where the safety and security of every individual and community are well assured. This Ghana that we all desire for ourselves and for our children’s future, can only be attained when we guard the freedoms that enable us to unleash our potentials, and manage our resources with competence and integrity. This is especially crucial as we prepare to take up the challenge of the blessing of the oil find, which could turn to a curse, unless managed with the kind of integrity, professionalism, patriotism and equity which the NPP has committed to provide.
Mr. Chairman, by my selection as running mate, our Flagbearer and the entire leadership of our Party has provided me with a unique opportunity to serve our countrymen and women. My duty is to contribute to the building of a new Ghana, where freedom, peace, compassion, opportunity and prosperity shall flourish.
Mr. Chairman, I see my nomination as a call to high service; a call to sacrifice and a duty to perform. It is therefore with great humility and appreciation that I accept this appointment. Let me reiterate my assurance to our Flagbearer, our Party, and the good people of Ghana, of my unqualified commitment to serve at all times with humility, loyalty, competence, integrity, dynamism and urgency.
Fellow Ghanaians, our country is at the brink of a historic economic breakthrough. Divine providence and sterling leadership have positioned the NPP as the party you can trust to deliver this prosperity to every individual, home and community in Ghana. But in order to achieve this, we must win the elections in December.
To win, we the members of the NPP must maintain and strengthen our unity and work together around the clock.
Mr Chairman, I am ready, willing and able to assist our Flagbearer achieve his vision of building a new Ghana. However, I cannot support him without your support. My dear friends, brothers and sisters, I ask for your prayers. Support me, pray for me and let us work with our Flagbearer to ensure victory for our Party and for our country.
Kukrudu!! Kukrudu!!! Long live the NPP Long live Ghana We are moving forward...
I thank you all, and may Allah bless us all!