The Member of Parliament for Assin Central and a presidential hopeful of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, has called for a new approach to economic development inspired by the success of Asian economies in the past decades.
He explained 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.
Mr Agyepong said this yesterday when he donated a Nissan Navara pickup truck to the national leadership of NPP at its Headquarters in Asylum Down, Accra, ahead of the Kumawu parliamentary by-election.
The Kumawu by-election, which is scheduled to take place on May 23, 2023, was necessitated by the death of the NPP MP for the area, Philip Basoah.
According to him, the donation is intended to support the NPP’s campaign efforts in the upcoming by-elections. He believes the gesture will, as a matter of urgency, help the NPP’s campaign team to transport party officials and campaign materials during the election period.
He stressed that it is also in recognition of the importance of the by-election and the need for the NPP to retain its seat in the constituency. He revealed that he would also be donating some set of motorbikes to support contingencies that will arise in the course of campaigning and other duties related to the processes for the by-election.
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.
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.
To the delegates, he said “although they feel disappointed, they should give me a chance and they will see what I will do for them. And it goes to all of them in terms of employment and their needs, I will ensure that it’s adequately met”.