​Akufo-Addo’s Ghana-Ivory Coast comparison blanket analysis-Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu

 

  Government has described as baseless and inexplicable Nana Akufo-Addo’s insistence that Ghana needs to emulate Cote d’Ivoire’s development and growth model.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer, who has been interacting with Ghanaians as part of his campaign tours across the country, has constantly spoken highly of the developmental strides being made by the country’s West African neighbors Cote d’Ivoire.

Nana Akufo-Addo has said Cote d’Ivoire has successfully overcome the effects of its 2011 civil conflict and become an economic powerhouse in Africa due to good leadership.

The NPP flagbearer has promised to chart a similar course if elected president after the November polls.

However, in a sharp rebuttal, government has described Nana Akufo-Addo’s reference to Cote d’Ivoire as a perfect development example as a blanket analysis which lacks basis.

Deputy Communications Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu, who spoke on Class FM’s current affairs programme Inside Politics, Monday July 11 argued that Ghana has seen higher growth rates than Cote d’Ivoire.

He noted: “Ghana’s economy is much larger than the economy of Cote d’Ivoire. It is just like saying that because over a brief period of time Ghana has had higher growth than the US economy, the US should model their growth around Ghana’s; that is how inexplicable the position Nana Akufo-Addo has taken.

Mr Kwakye Ofosu further stated: “The NPP has a penchant for dabbling in sophistry [that] if you are uninitiated, you will believe has merit. But if you delve deeper, you will find out it lacks complete substance. The fact of the matter is that there is not a single human development indicator that Cote d’Ivoire is doing better than Ghana. If you look at electricity for instance, just 30 per cent of Ivorians have access to electricity. 80.5 per cent of Ghanaians have access to electricity. If you look at water for instance, just about 30 per cent of Ivorians have access to water. At the end of this year, 85 per cent of Ghanaians will have access to water.

“If you look at school enrollment, about 90 per cent of Ghanaian children who should be in school are in school. If you look at road network, we are vastly superior to anything that Cote d’Ivoire can offer. Again, every country has its own peculiar issues that need to be considered when analysing their performance. So, to do the sort of blanket analysis or comparison that Nana Addo does…is a major problem that the electorate of Ghana must be aware of.
“Now he constantly refers to growth rate. There is no single growth rate that Cote d’Ivoire has achieved that Ghana has not achieved before. Not too long ago, we recorded a growth rate of 14.4 per cent. At that time, it made us the country with the highest growth rate, behind Qatar. We have grown at 8.8 per cent before, we have grown at 7 per cent before and we have grown at six per cent before. Indeed in the last seven years, average growth rate has been seven per cent. So, on what basis does Nana Addo claim that we should model ourselves around Cote d’Ivoire?

“Again they create the impression [that] because Cote d’Ivoire produces cash crops, they have done something extraordinary that Ghana should necessarily emulate. They even create the impression that it is only recently under President Mahama that Cote d’Ivoire became the world’s leading producer of cocoa.

The fact of the matter is that Cote d’Ivoire since 1976 has been the world’s leading producer of cocoa. In fact, Ghana used to be the world’s second leading producer of cocoa in the world until 2006, under Nana Akufo-Addo’s NPP government, that Indonesia overtook us.

“So the fact that Cote d’Ivoire is producing more cocoa than Ghana doesn’t mean that their economy is necessarily better than ours. Our economy is much bigger, so development in our economy has greater impact on the lives of our people than it is the case in Cote d’Ivoire.

“So if Nana Addo wants a model for Ghana to emulate, he should be talking about an industrialised economy that we can model ourselves around, not countries that have achieved development by being a raw material or a cash crop-producing country. No country can develop on a sustainable basis in that manner.

“So, if a man, looking to be president displays such limited vision, it is even inappropriate for us to be having a discussion on such blanket, baseless comparison because what it does is to create the that we are a homogenous country and that all conditions in Ghana are the same as the conditions in Cote d’Ivoire”.

“So if Nana Addo wants a model for Ghana to emulate, he should be talking about an industrialised economy that we can model ourselves around, not countries that have achieved development by being a raw material or a cash crop-producing country. No country can develop on a sustainable basis in that manner.

“So, if a man, looking to be president displays such limited vision, it is even inappropriate for us to be having a discussion on such blanket, baseless comparison because what it does is to create the impression that we are a homogenous country and that all conditions in Ghana are the same as the conditions in Cote d’Ivoire”.

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