Mills: Use resource to raise living standards

The only justification for leaders to be in power is to use their national resources to improve the living standard of the people, President John Atta Mills said in Washington DC on Wednesday. He however observed that the failure to live up to expectation were making people loose hope in certain political leaders and called on African leaders to realize that the people who voted them into power wanted them to use their positions of trust to bring about improvements in their lives. Contributing to a presidential roundtable organized by the Corporate Council on Africa, as part of the Seventh Biennial US-Africa Business Summit in Washington DC, President Mills said it was the duty of African leaders to create the necessary environment to promote business and attract foreign direct investment. He said foreign direct investment had no fixed allegiance or destination but only went to nations that created the enabling environment and necessary conditions. President Mills made a strong case for regional integration more than ever in the current age of interdependence, and called on countries in the West African sub-region to strengthen their integration and resolve to exploit their vast and untapped natural resources. The President noted that creating the necessary environment would involve the creation of markets, political stability and ease the cost of doing business. He, however, observed that the existence of parallel trade arrangements, with divergence of interests in the West African sub-region had not helped the integration cause of the sub-region. Also, the existence of different regimes for exchange of goods with advanced nations had not worked to the advantage of developing nations. President Mills said unfair trade terms had not helped developing nations to sell their goods, and called for a level playing field that would enable Africa broker partnership deals for her goods to gain access to the markets of the advanced economies and not a dumping ground for European and foreign goods. Other contributors at the roundtable were Presidents Dennis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, Paul Kagame of Rwnada, Fradique de Menezes of Sao Tome and Principe, and Dr Jean Ping, President of the AU Commission. The President who has since been in the US to address to the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, has been marketing Ghana as a preferred investment destination, dwelling on Ghana’s political stability, democratic governance, rule of law, hospitable people, rich natural resources, and government commitment to invest in people, create jobs, and run an open, honest and transparent government.