General News

2024 New Year’s Message from John Dramani Mahama

Hello, my brothers, sisters, my fathers and mothers, and the young people of our beloved Ghana. By the grace and mercies of the Almighty God, 2023 has ended. We have entered 2024. We praise and thank our Maker for protecting and preserving us.

We all have stories of personal trials and triumphs to tell- Triumphs fuelled by our dogged resilience. Our individual stories are inseparable because we are one people – we are proud Ghanaians.

The ultimate measure of leadership is not wanton appropriation but inclusivity. It is not abusive dominance over any group or persons, but collaboration. It is not about control over state institutions but empowerment. Indeed, the ultimate measure of leadership is not personal and familial gain but selfless service to all, regardless of their background or political affiliation.

This, sadly, is what we, the people of Ghana, have lacked over the last few years. We have all lived painfully through the challenges the failed Akufo-Addo-Bawumia administration has inflicted on us through their reckless mismanagement of the economy, poor governance, bare-faced corruption, and profligate expenditure at the expense of socio-economic and infrastructural development.

2023 has been nothing but a continuation of the years of hardship, the high cost of living and worsening poverty for the Ghanaian.

The 2024 budget provides no hope for an improvement in our circumstances. A raft of new tax measures has been slapped on us to raise an additional 11 billion Ghana Cedis from already overburdened taxpayers.

In the same budget, while they sought to squeeze the last blood from Ghanaians through taxes, they increased the money allocated to the Office of the President from 1.4 billion Ghana Cedis to over 2 billion Ghana Cedis — a case of asking the people to tighten their belts while the President loosens his.

Bawumia’s economic mismanagement, corruption, and Akufo-Addo’s poor governance and leadership have led to a significant decline in living standards for the ordinary Ghanaian. The soaring prices of essential goods, high levels of unemployment and the struggles of small businesses are a testament to the government’s failure to address the people’s needs.

Many of you have felt the impact of these challenges in your daily lives – whether it is struggling to put food on the table, finding a job to support your family, or witnessing the erosion of our national pride due to corruption and mismanagement.

My brothers and sisters, I feel your pain, your despair! The NPP has brought economic calamity to us. This is not just a matter of Mahama saying so— we all now know that drastic action is needed to reset our nation on the right path. That process must start in earnest with the 2024 presidential and parliamentary election.

We have a crucial election in December, and I am happy to present myself as the man with the experience Ghana needs today to take us out of the doldrums we have been plunged into. We require nothing short of a team of experienced Ghanaians committed to righting the wrongs of the last seven (7) years and working together with the citizenry to Build the Ghana we want – a prosperous Ghana with many opportunities to benefit everyone without discrimination.

As we start the journey in this new year, I am here to offer hope to you all. I am committed to repairing the damage done to our economy and creating a brighter future for all Ghanaians. We must all work together to bring about the change that Ghana so desperately needs. Let us stand united in our quest for a better future for ourselves and generations.

This is because the heart-breaking tales of a significant population of our people giving up on Ghana due to this rudderless leadership are too many to recount. And can be too costly to carry. But we are assured that no matter how long darkness reigns and darkens our hearts, minds, pockets, businesses and investments, the sun will rise and shine even brighter. As a result, we can look forward to the new year, 2024, with renewed hope and optimism.

My brothers and sisters, I want to speak directly to you through this broadcast, share my vision for the future, and outline some of my key interventions and initiatives – initiatives that will help repair the damage to our economy create well-paying jobs to fight the high 14% unemployment rate and meet our youth’s aspirations. These initiatives will also revamp businesses and productivity by implementing a 24-hour economy policy and building an agricultural economy driven by technology and digitalisation.

One of my key priorities will be to address the high levels of unemployment and meet the aspirations of our youth. My team and I, under the auspices of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), have developed a comprehensive plan, which will be shared with business, academia, civil society, and the youth to create jobs and provide opportunities for our young people.

We will empower our youth to contribute meaningfully to their well-being, families, the Ghanaian economy, and society through targeted investment in education and skills development. While providing jobs for the youth, we will also encourage business ownership – and entrepreneurship.

In April 2025, the new NDC government shall introduce a new budget to support small businesses and adjust taxes as incentives for job creation.

At the heart of my vision for economic revitalisation is the implementation of a 24-hour economy. This innovative policy seeks to maximise productivity and efficiency by extending business hours and operations around the clock.

Doing so will create a more dynamic and vibrant economy that benefits workers and businesses. A 24-hour economy will increase economic output and create well-paying jobs. It will also contribute to a more inclusive and accessible society, giving people the flexibility to work, study, shop and enjoy leisure activities at a time that suits them best.

The 24-hour economy will succeed because we shall provide improved security and public safety, which will require massive recruitment into the security services and private security operations.

My government will provide cheaper and more reliable electricity for participating businesses based on a Time of Use (TOU) tariff system. Companies that sign up for the 24-hour economy policy will benefit from modern smart meters calibrated to charge a lesser tariff (per KW/h) for power consumed during off-peak hours.

Businesses that subscribe to the 24-hour economy policy will receive further tax incentives to reduce the cost of their operations and enhance their competitiveness. Financing support will be provided to strategic agro-processing factories and manufacturing companies through the Ghana EXIM Bank to boost production for import substitution and exports.

As President, I shall set up and personally chair an Accelerated Export Development Council to boost Ghana’s export drive, especially under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme and AfCFTA agreements.

As the Trades Union Congress opined, the 24-hour economy policy is a game changer. Evidence suggests that running 24-hour economies has propelled many great nations, such as the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and South Korea.

South Korea is living proof that, with the right leadership, a country can transform from underdeveloped to highly developed. It happened because, in 1960, the leaders of that country took the strategic decision to turn it into an export-led economy. More precisely, into an economy that grows by exporting manufactured goods.

To do so, they transformed their economy into a 24-hour one. This initial boost in productivity and the determination to find more export markets turned that country into a highly advanced one. Their GDP per Capita grew from US$158 to US$ 6,600.

Introducing the Mahama 24-hour economy is the right thing to do for Ghana, especially considering the state of our country today. It will boost our manufacturing industry and transform our country into an export-led economy, providing the world with goods made in Ghana.

Introducing the Mahama 24-hour economy will significantly increase the number of well-paying jobs available to young people. This is extremely important because the young people are the ones who will build tomorrow’s Ghana. Transforming Ghana into a 24-hour economy will increase the productivity of our industries, services, and agribusinesses.

And last, but by no means the least, a 24-hour economy will offer Ghanaians increased access to public services, and all of us will benefit from this.

I am also committed to revamping our agricultural sector. The sector remains a cornerstone of our economy, and we must invest in modernising this sector to maximise productivity and sustainability.

By introducing well-established cooperatives, advanced farming techniques, embracing digital tools, and promoting agribusiness, we shall create new opportunities for farmers, improve food security, and bolster economic growth. I am determined to lead this transformation for the benefit of our nation.

We will also establish and deploy farmer service centres nationwide to make essential farming equipment, accessories, and technology available to small and large farmers to boost production and output and make farming truly trendy, cool, and attractive to young Ghanaians.

Ladies and gentlemen, in addition to these interventions, I am passionate about the fight against corruption and uprooting poor governance to ensure that our resources are used responsibly and ethically. I firmly believe a transparent and accountable government is essential for building trust and confidence in our institutions.

We would hold to account members of this administration who have abused the public trust by misconducting themselves in office. But more importantly, we would also allow unfettered space for the anti-corruption agencies to deal with anyone who abuses the public trust under my administration.

By strengthening anti-corruption measures, promoting good governance, and upholding the rule of law, we shall create a fairer and more equitable society where everyone can thrive.

We will reduce the size of the government in our bid to cut down on expenditure. We will combine ministries and remove government agencies that duplicate each other. In other words, we in government will also tighten our belts, even as we call on our people to make whatever sacrifices are necessary for national revival.

As we look forward to the year ahead, I want to assure you, the people of Ghana, that I am fully committed, on behalf of Ghana’s most development-oriented political party, the NDC, to deliver on these promises.

Ladies and gentlemen, democracies cannot thrive without quality and trusted leadership. Economies cannot grow in the absence of quality and trusted leadership. Willing nations can only become great if they have quality and trusted leadership. When things are tough, true, and trusted, leaders set up a vision that inspires people and gives them hope. And this hope provides us with the strength to move forward.

When hope is gone, the people who destroyed your hope must also go! And they will go on December 07. Without hope, danger lurks everywhere you turn.

This is why the fundamental duty of any true leader is to instil hope when there is none or to revive it when it is gone. A true leader must cause positive change by example and action. I promise to lead the CHANGE. I invite you to be part of the change.

When times are tough, a true leader’s fundamental duty is to develop a vision that inspires and brings people together. That is another reason I am offering myself and the NDC to you this year.

By working together, we shall overcome our challenges and build a more prosperous and inclusive nation. I call on all of you to join me in this endeavour. Lend your support and actively engage with my outlined vision. This call to national duty is bigger than any individual interest.

Change is coming!

I am confident that together, we will change the direction of this country – THIS YEAR – on December 7, 2024, and build a brighter future for Ghana. A future you will be proud of.

Let me assure you that your votes will count because we shall protect and secure them.

Fellow Ghanaians, thank you for your resilience, strength, and perseverance. Despite the difficulties we have faced, I am inspired by the undying spirit of our nation. In this new year, let us move forward with hope and determination, knowing that a better future is within our reach.

Together, we shall build the Ghana we want — a prosperous and just Ghana filled with opportunities for all.

Together, we shall build a Ghana that we can all be proud of.

I am ready to lead this charge, and I trust you will join me on this journey towards a brighter tomorrow.

Thank you, and may God continue to bless our great nation.

Happy New Year!

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