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Youth for Effective Leadership (YOFEL) In Support of Prez Mahama Launched
 
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15-Oct-2012  
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A newly formed youth group called Youth for Effective Leadership(YOFEL) has been launched in Accra over the weekend.

The group has declared its support for His Excellency John Dramani Mahama in his bid for the Presidency coming December 7.

Speaking at the Press Conference, the Secretary of the group, Mutala Mohammed said YOFEL’s support for the President is guided by their critical examination of the Socio-Political environment of this country and considering the track records, personal attributes, the commitment of the presidential candidates of the various political parties to the national cause, coupled with the pledges that has been made by the various presidential candidates.

According to him YOFEL has examined the NDC Manifesto carefully and has concluded that the NDC government is best positioned to lead this country given their track records and campaign pledges in the thematic areas of Economy, Education, Health, Youth Development and Job.

Below is the full statement:
 



MESSAGE OF YOFEL IN SUPPORT OF PRESIDENT JOHN MAHAMA

INTRODUCTION

Friends from the media ladies and gentlemen, you are most welcome to this very important occasion. As you may be aware, the fundamental purpose of our gathering here today is to officially declare our support for his Excellency the president of the republic of Ghana John Mahama in his bid for the top job of the land.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me begin by saying that youth for effective leadership (YOFEL) is a youth group with members of diverse backgrounds committed to effective LEADERSHIP with the ultimate aim of contributing immensely to national development.

The YOFEL considers crucial the role of the youth in all sectors of national development with particular emphasis on developing a trusted youthful platform to drive the national development agenda as well as identifying the needed leadership to propel sustainable growth in Ghana.

The YOFEL is hopeful of a galvanized youth front of all youth groups in Ghana to provide the needed LEADERSHIP for national growth and development.
We seek to flag essence of peace and effective leadership in our quest to build a society devoid of corrupt practices as well as train a vibrant youth class to confront the challenges of leadership in shortest possible time.

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, the YOFEL support for the president is guided by our critical examination of the socio- political environment of this country and considering the track records, personal attributes ,the commitment of the presidential candidates of the various political parties to the national cause, coupled with the pledges that that has been made by the various presidential candidates, we have no doubt in our minds that the PRESIDENT John Mahama and the NDC government needs to be given an overwhelming endorsement come December 7, 2012.

Ladies and gentlemen, country men and women, this year’s election is about track records and achievable campaign pledges. YOFEL has examined the NDC Manifesto carefully and has concluded that the NDC government is best positioned to lead this country given their track records and Campaign Pledges in the thematic areas of ECONOMY, EDUCATION, HEALTH, YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND JOB.

1. THE ECONOMY

In the first four years of prudent economic management;
• The NDC has achieved a sustained single digit inflation for more than 24 months the lowest annual figure since 1970
• Reduced fiscal deficit from 14.5% in 2008 to 6.1% in 2011
• An unprecedented GDP growth of 14.4% in 2011 from 8.4% in 2008
• Increased foreign direct investment (FDI) of$ 2.5 billion worth of projects resulting from an increased investor confidence
• Improved tax revenue/GDP ratio from 13.9% in 2008 to 19.7% in 2011;

• Increased the Gross International Reserves of the Bank of Ghana from 1.8 months of import cover in 2008 to 3.8 months import cover in 2011.

President John Mahama also pledges to execute the following regarding the economy in 2013 and beyond;
• Maintain an average GDP growth of At least 8%
• Maintain a single digit inflation
• An overall budget deficit equivalent to 5% of GDP; and
• Overall, the PRESIDENT’S economic policies and programmes will aim at the attainment of a per capita income of at least US$2,300 by year 2017.

2. EDUCATION

The NDC governments commitment to ensuring that quality education is accessible to all Ghanaians no matter the economic strength of their parents or guardian and no matter where they live has been demonstrated by the fact that
The NDC has given meaning to the free compulsory universal basic education (FCUBE) by ensuring that 80% of children of school going age are in school.
• The NDC government has recruited 24,000 trained and untrained teachers as stop gap measure for the shortage of teachers in mostly deprived communities.
• Two public universities have been established- that is the University of Energy and Natural Resources and the University of Health and Allied Sciences in the Brong-Ahafo and Volta regions respectively. Country men and women, it will be pleasant to hear that admission has been offered to students to pursue various courses in these universities.
• The government has distributed over three million school uniforms to children in needy and deprived communities.
• Over 40 million exercise books have been distributed to about 4.8 million pupils annually.
• Also, over 100,000 laptops and desk tops have been supplied to various institution and students across the country.
• Ladies and gentlemen under the school feeding program, the NDC government has more than doubled the number of beneficiary school children from about 600,000 pupils in 2008 to over 1.4 million pupils in 2011/2012.
• Capitation grant has been increased by 50%
• About 1,700 out of the 4,300 identified schools under trees have been eliminated in just four years. This represents 40% of schools under trees.
• Out of the 110 science resource centres nationwide, the NDC government has rehabilitated 59 of them.
• Additionally, 300 emergency classroom blocks were constructed to cater for the unplanned infrastructure and logistics gap created by the 4 year SHS implemented by NPP.
With these impressive educational track records of the current Government in view, it has pledged through the recently launched manifesto to;
• Endeavor to provide access to the remaining 20% of students of school going age at the basic level
• Increase the subsidies currently paid to existing secondary schools with the view of reducing the burden on parents
• Ladies and Gentlemen, my fellow countrymen and women, the Mahama led government has also pledged to strengthen the computer school selection and placement system to place all JHS graduates into the second cycle institutions and other skills development programmes.
• Furthermore, the current administration has pledged to extend access to students with disabilities to pursue their academic programmes effectively.
• It is worth mentioning that the NDC manifesto also promises to increase admission of teacher trainees in the existing colleges of education by over 30% - that is, from 9,000 to 12,000
• To further the government’s commitment to the provision of teaching Staff, the manifesto proposes to establish at least 10 new colleges of education in the medium term to be located in areas not well served currently, in anticipation of the increase in student numbers on account the NDC’s increase access to educational programme.
• The NDC government will also upgrade all polytechnics into degree awarding institutions that will award both degree and HND.
• In furtherance to the Mahama led Government’s commitment to tertiary education in Ghana, it pledges to establish a New public university in the Eastern Region to complete the NDC’s vision of providing a public university campus in every region of the country.
• The NDC government shall also review the number of private universities and encourage existing institutions to expand and consolidate upon assumption of office.
• Furthermore, the Government will examine mechanisms for extending the students loan trust to students in private tertiary institutions.
• Progressively expand coverage of the school feeding programme to all public schools in rural and needy communities.
• Review the capitation grant periodically to keep pace with cost levels
• Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, the NDC government has keenly promised to intensively continue to provide free uniforms and free texts books and review all costs currently burdening parents and ensure that basic education is free
• Eliminate the remaining 60% of identified ‘Schools-under-trees’.
• Construct 200 new community day senior high schools across the country with emphasis on districts where there are no schools.
• Continue the rehabilitation of science resource centers.
• Continue the provision of infrastructure for the universities for Health and Allied sciences and Energy and Natural resources respectively.
• Upgrade both residential and academic facilities in the other existing public universities particularly UDS to address the current deficit.

3. HEALTH

The achievements of the current government with respect to health-care are overwhelming due to the seriousness and resources allocated in this sector, as a result the current NDC regime has;
• Established over 1,300 Community Health Improvement Planning Service compounds (CHPS).
• Established 12 District hospitals.
• Established 10 Polyclinics.
• Constructed 19 Health centers for areas with population of over 500.
• Started the structural rehabilitation and the upgrading of tamale hospital to serve as a teaching hospital
• Refurbished the regional hospitals at Cape Coast and Sunyani.
• Strengthened the national ambulance service with the addition of 161 ambulances to facilitate rapid response to medical emergencies.
• Started the installation of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment in 6 hospitals across the country.
• Out-patient utilization number of cases increased from about 9million in 2008 to 25million in 2011 indicating a large increase in access under the NHIS
• Claims payment under NHIS has increased from about GHS 190 million to about GHS 540 million.
• The NDC government has Commenced work on a 250 bed Regional Hospital in Ashanti region to reduce pressure on Akomfo-Anokye teaching hospital.
• It has Commenced construction of schools of Bio-medical sciences at the university of Ghana, Legon and the University of Health and Allied sciences at HO
• Constructed a Diagnostic Centre for the School of Medical Sciences of University of Cape Coast
Friends from the media, in view of these successes in the health sector, the Mahama Presidency promises to continue travelling on the path of success by;
• Doubling the number of CHPS compounds from about 1600 to 3200 to meet the needs of underserved communities.
• Establishing new District hospitals and more polyclinics in each of the 10 regions.
• Establishing Regional Hospitals in Koforidua and in Bolgatanga and complete the regional hospital project in Wa, Upper West.
• Upgrading Central and Volta Regional Hospitals into teaching hospitals to serve UCC and the University of Health and Allied sciences respectively.
• Re-introducing the Certificate in Midwifery Training programme and in conjunction with the Private Sector, establish more facilities for the training of auxiliary nurses to lower the current nurse-patient ratio.
• Ladies and Gentlemen, extending the ongoing Free Insecticide Treated Nets distribution programme will be a top priority in the next NDC government.
• Bearing in mind that the NHIS already covers breast cancer and cervical cancer; NHIS will expand to cover family planning, mental health, prostate cancer and the physically challenged.
Fellow Countrymen and Members of the Press, With the NDC manifesto’s commitment to quality health-care delivery, it pledges to;
• Implement policies of the integration of traditional medicine into the health care delivery system in compliance with ACT 575
• Implement the mental health ACT 2012, act 846
• Introduce instant NHIS card issuance to address challenges in current ID card management regime.
With respect to logistics in the health sector, the NDC government;
Pledged to support the HIV/AIDS new National Strategic Plan with 150 million Ghana cedis to operate.
• Will procure additional ambulance for the national ambulance service to establish an accident evacuation service along major road corridors

4. POVERTY REDUCTION

The establishment of the Savanna Accelerated Development Fund in itself is a turning point in the development history of Ghana with specific reference to savannah catchment area. Since its establishment ladies and Gentlemen, Government has;
• Completed a comprehensive long term(25 years) strategy and program for accelerated development in the SADA catchment area.
• Enacted legislation to back the authority, act 805, 2010
• Provided seed funding of 200 million Ghana cedis as promised in the 2008 manifesto.
• Provided additional funding of 30 million per year in 2011 and 2012.
• Support to farmers increased to 15,000 and support package included tractor services with the deployment of 100 tractors in the SADA regions.
• Afforestation program involving the planting of five million trees and the deployment of 5000 youth employed to plant and nurture the trees.
• SADA catalysed the establishment of shea-butter factory in Buipe, rice processing plant in Nyankpala and oil mill in Tamale.
Fellow countrymen, Ladies and Gentlemen from the Press, the NDC further pledges under SADA to;
• Increase its service to small –holder farmers from a current 16000 t0 40000 in 4 years.
• Assist small-holder farmers group to acquire tractors and other farm implements.

5. YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND JOBS

A cursory observation by YOFEL reveals that the NDC government in terms of Youth Development has kept faith with their promise to develop the youth and create jobs. Consequently;

• Ladies and gentlemen, with introduction of local enterprise and skills development programme(LESDEP),provision has been made for short term training and employment program for the youth.
• Also, a national apprenticeship programme has been introduced to enroll about 13,000 apprentices annually in 25 different skill areas for JHS students who are unable to access SHS.

With regards to Manifesto pledges, the President Mahama who is undoubtedly committed to youth development and job creation promises that;
• A GH¢10 million Youth Jobs & Enterprise Development Fund will be set up under the direct supervision of the Presidency through the Job and Enterprise Centre (JEC).
• Jobs enterprise centres (JEC) will be established in all 10 regions to help unemployed youth and those about to enter the world of work and entrepreneurship (own business). They will learn interview skills and CV and business plan preparation and JEC equipped them with internet facilities.
• Identify good business plan ideas an prospects of young people, provide financial capital, incubation opportunities and technical support young people who wants become entrepreneurs to achieve their goals.
• A stimulus package targeted at increasing youth employment in partnership with the private sector will be introduced.
• Provision of incentives for MMDAs to establish at least one well-resourced sports and athletic infrastructure in districts to enhance the development of sporting talents of the nation’s youth;
• Reserve 5% of admissions to Senior High Schools for talented sports and other creative students;
• Improvement of community and institutional sports infrastructure by developing a further 20 multipurpose courts in selected districts and educational institutions across the country in partnership with Corporate Ghana and donors;
• Development of Youth recreational centres in the Districts to facilitate youth meetings, interactions, cultural programmes, conferences, inputs into the district assemblies deliberative mechanisms.
• Completion of the refurbishment of the regional youth Leadership training centres.
• Organize youth volunteer work camps annually in each district in partnership with MMDAs in order to foster the spirit of patriotism and nationalism
• Increased recruitment under the self-employed modules of the NYEP to reach a target of 1 million youth in 4 years.
In conclusion to this media launch Ladies and gentlemen, the president’s commitment to ensuring that Ghana attains higher literacy rate in the country has been remarkable and with the pledge to continue to make quality education accessible by completely removing schools under trees and to build 200 senior high schools across the country is laudable.

There has been significant thrives made by the government to ensure quality and accessible health care through expansion of health infrastructure and training of more health personnel.

The government has promised to continue make health-care delivery quality and accessible to all by providing enough resources for the training of medical doctors, training more health assistance, increase the number of CHPS compound in the country, and establish more district hospitals and polyclinics in each of the ten regions
Poverty reduction and wealth creation has been the pivot around which all issues of governance gravitate.

The NDC manifesto has therefore put in place a number of poverty reduction strategies including the savannah accelerated development authority (SADA) to cushion deprived communities Northern Ghana. Youth development policies and programs have been rolled out to improve the lives of the youth in this country.

The government has promised to set up a ten million Ghana cedi youth enterprise development fund that will provide capacity building training programs to empower the youth to be self-employed and generate wealth.

The economy of this country has witnessed significant improvement over the last four years. We have had single digit inflation for over 24 months; we have unprecedented GDP growth rate of about 14.4% per annum and an improved foreign direct investment of about $2.5 billion worth of projects.

Ladies and gentlemen friends from the media it is against these fundamentals that the YOFEL is throwing its support for the president. We are urging all Ghanaians especially the youth to join us, to stand with the president to ensure electoral victory come December 7, 2012 to continue to work for an enhancement in the lives of Ghanaians especially the youth.

Thank you very much.

 
 
Source: YOFEL/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana
 
 

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