The Member of Parliament for Assin Central and NPP presidential hopeful, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, is expected to officially submit his completed nomination forms for the flagbearer contest today.
He will be accompanied by some party stalwarts, including former national and regional officers, his campaign chairman, Mr. Oppong Bioh, campaign manager, Mr. Kwame Owusu, former Members of Parliament, constituency executives, Electoral Area Coordinators as well as Polling Station Executives.
Mr Agyapong’s decision to contest the flagbearer position of the governing party has been met with both enthusiasm and curiosity. He is excited about the upcoming contest, and his commitment to success of NPP and Ghana remains unshakeable, espousing an ‘Asia miracle’ vision to turn the fortunes of the country around.
It could be recalled that on Tuesday May 9, 2023, when Mr Agyapong donated a Nissan Navara pickup truck to the national leadership of NPP at its headquarters, ahead of the Kumawu parliamentary by-election, he called for a new approach to economic development inspired by the success of Asian economies in the past decades.
He declared that if he is elected to serve as President, he would use the “Asia Miracle” vision in identifying and supporting individuals with potential to become successful entrepreneurs and innovators.
He, however, indicated that such a vision must be executed with diligence to avoid wasteful spending and mismanagement. He explained that the ‘Asia Miracle’ is about assisting serious businesspeople with funding to produce and expand in creating jobs while ensuring that the funding doesn’t go to them directly.
“If they want to buy equipment for the factories, you outsource it and pay the money directly to the company and they deliver it, instead of giving it to the dreamers who will come with all sorts of things and eventually they are unable to do it. So the Asia Miracle will make sure we import the equipment for them and do a follow-up to ensure it’s installed; you have the capital to do it, we will monitor the work in progress,” the presidential hopeful stated.
The Assin Central lawmaker further explained that the “Asia Miracle” approach would avoid the pitfalls of traditional aid programmes and funding of initiatives and foster a culture of self-reliance and innovation.
He cited the examples of SANYO, HYUNDAI, SONY, NISSAN, among others, which he said had built themselves by relying on strategic partnerships and careful planning. “That’s what I stand for. Industry, industry, industry. Technology, technology, technology. Employment, employment, employment,” he said.
He gave the assurance that he would create an ecosystem that supports entrepreneurship and innovation. He said he would unleash the potential of the country’s citizenry, and give them the tools to succeed. Mr Agyapong reaffirmed his commitment that his government, if given the nod, would ensure a level playing field and fair competition.
“That’s the true meaning of the Asia Miracle. We need to unleash the potential of our people and give them the tools to succeed. We cannot continue to rely on aid and handouts. We need to create a new model of development that empowers our people and creates sustainable growth,” he stressed.
On job creation, he intimated that what he is bringing on board differently is empowerment of the youth many of who have completed schools and they have no jobs.
“So my main focus is the youth, and secondly the women of this country. Women in this country… I have learnt that from widows that I take care of them every year, and I have realised that when their husbands pass away, they’re not able to cater for the family. But I believe that what any man has done, woman can do it,” he indicated.
Based on this, he said, if given the nod, he will bring on board youth and women empowerment programme. The primary focus to drive this in terms of employment, he said, will be tourism, agro-processing and Information Technology (IT) to propel Ghana to greater heights.
In recent months, the NPP has seen increased interest from various party members in their bid to become the party’s flagbearer. Mr Agyapong’s entry into the race adds another dimension to an already competitive field, where several prominent politicians are vying for the coveted position.
So far, 10 presidential hopefuls have picked up nomination forms to contest the NPP’s flagbearer slot. A Special Delegates Congress will be held on August 26, 2023, to select five of the presidential aspirants. The top five aspirants will then contest for the flagbearer slot on December 4, 2023, to elect one to lead the party in the 2024 general elections.
Observers and political analysts are closely monitoring Agyapong’s campaign strategy and potential alliances, as they believe his candidacy could bring fresh perspectives and dynamics to the party’s internal politics. His vast experience in politics, coupled with his business acumen, has positioned him as a formidable contender for the NPP’s flagbearer slot.