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Bawumia Prioritizes Job Creation, Youth Empowerment in Presidential Campaign

Ghana's Vice-President Launches Election Campaign with a Commitment to Economic Growth and Technological Advancements

by Adenike Adeodun

As Ghana approaches the 2024 presidential elections, Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has firmly positioned jobs and youth empowerment at the heart of his campaign, asserting his dedication to creating a conducive environment for the private sector to generate significant employment opportunities for the youth.

Launching his campaign at a “Youth Connect” program in Koforidua, the Eastern regional capital, Dr. Bawumia outlined his comprehensive strategy aimed at addressing some of the most pressing issues facing the youth today. These issues include unemployment, access to quality education, affordability of internet data, and life expectancy.

Dr. Bawumia emphasized, “Ghana needs a leader to solve many of the problems relating to the youth, including unemployment, improving the quality of life, and creating opportunities for all regardless of socio-economic background. I am that leader, a problem solver, and a generational thinker with innovative ideas.”

The Vice-President highlighted the progress already made under his supervision, such as the implementation of a unique national identification system and a functional national address system. These initiatives have bolstered the confidence of entrepreneurs and streamlined the operations of businesses by simplifying customer location and product delivery processes. He attributed these systems to enabling a more dynamic and responsive private sector capable of significant job creation.

One of the key innovations Dr. Bawumia championed is the mobile money interoperability system, which he described as pivotal in transitioning the economy towards less reliance on cash. This system facilitates smoother transactions across different telecommunications networks, enhancing the ease of doing business and expanding the customer base for entrepreneurs.

However, Dr. Bawumia stressed that the full potential of these technological advancements could only be realized when systemic barriers, such as limited access to credit, are addressed. He pointed out that in economies where credit access is streamlined, businesses, including car manufacturers, can scale up production and employment due to consumer’s ability to purchase goods through favorable credit terms.

In a striking comparison, Dr. Bawumia noted that while developed countries often boast a vibrant private sector creating sustainable jobs, in developing countries like Ghana, employment is predominantly government-driven and thus limited by state finances. This observation underscores his focus on nurturing a robust private sector that can offer sustainable employment opportunities.

Dr. Bawumia’s record as vice president includes significant strides in digitization, which he argues have laid the groundwork for transforming Ghana’s economy to be on par with developed nations and for fostering an environment conducive to substantial private sector job creation.

The vice president detailed several successful initiatives under his tenure, such as the Ghana Card and digital address system, which have simplified financial transactions and business operations across the country. “Due to mobile money interoperability, over 90 percent of adult Ghanaians now practically have a bank account,” he explained, highlighting the increased financial inclusion resulting from these policies.

Dr. Bawumia also touched on his plans to continue expanding digital infrastructure to empower young Ghanaians who are increasingly turning to digital platforms like Instagram and Facebook to run businesses. He anticipates the introduction of an individualized credit scoring system by the end of the year, which will further reduce the cost of credit and improve access to financial services.

On education, Dr. Bawumia reported a significant increase in senior high school enrollment and improved performance in national exams, attributing these successes to policies such as the no guarantor student loan policy. In healthcare, he mentioned the implementation of the national electronic pharmacy platform and the use of drones for delivering medical supplies to remote areas as part of a broader effort to integrate technology into public services.

Looking ahead, Dr. Bawumia outlined his vision for formalizing the informal sector through rapid digital registration and expanded access to credit, which would enable even small informal businesses to grow and contribute more substantially to the economy. He also plans to bolster technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and collaborate with the private sector to train at least a million youth in IT skills, creating a workforce equipped to meet global job market demands.

Dr. Bawumia expressed a strong conviction about his qualifications for the presidency, stating, “I am the better candidate for the presidency of Ghana as a result of my experience, track record, commitment to fighting corruption, qualifications, my work ethics, and my vision for Ghana.” As the election campaign heats up, these promises and achievements form the cornerstone of his appeal to the electorate, particularly the youth, whom he sees as vital to the nation’s future.

Source: Graphic Online

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