Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has assured European Union (EU) member countries that Ghana’s December 7 general election will be peaceful, free and fair.
He said the country has always earned the respect of conducting peaceful elections and this year’s contest will not be different.
According to Dr Bawumia, Ghanaians are peace loving people and anyone who would feel aggrieved over the electoral process or election results should seek redress in the law courts.
Government, he said, would continue to maintain the peace during the electioneering and after, thereby retaining the country’s reputation as the beacon of peace on the African continent.
The Vice President gave the assurance when he addressed the annual Ghana-EU Political Dialogue in Accra, yesterday.
This year’s event had the theme, ‘Ghana and EU partners for the future.’
He commended both sides for the preparatory work made towards the dialogue, saying most often those who work behind the scene to ensure such programmes become successful were often forgotten.
The Vice President stated that the President Nana Akufo-Addo administration had over the past three years put in place the necessary building blocks for growth and modernisation of the country’s economy.
According to Dr Bawumia, government has further added inclusiveness to its economy policies and that a significant amount of its programmes and interventions have been completed.
He stated that government has achieved micro-economic stability, including inflation rate now at 7.5 per cent, double growth rate and strict physical discipline.
The Vice President said government was determined to adhere to strict physical (monetary) discipline in the election year, explaining that, it could be made possible because most projects envisaged for the 2020 financial year had been taken care of in the budget.
On macro-economy, he stated that government has introduced numerous pro-poor intervention and programmes such as the free Senior High School, provision of ambulances, Planting for Food and Jobs, One Village One Dam, development projects in Zongos and other deprived communities and Nation Builders Corps meant to create employment.
He mentioned that the government was in the process of fully digitising the economy as one of the measures of curbing corruption, saying it has started to yield results.
According to Dr Bawumia, the introduction of the paperless process at the ports, digitisaion of the Passport Office, National Health Insurance Authority, Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority, Tax Identity Numbers, Ghana Card and e-Justice were aimed at fighting corruption.
Other measures, he said include the passage of the Witness Protection Act and increase in the budgetary allocation for anti-corruption agencies such as Special Prosecutor’s Office, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and the Economic and Organised Crime Office.
Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration said EU remains the leading destination for Ghana’s exports, “offering free access to the EU market, through the framework of first-the Lome Convention, followed by the Cotonou Agreement, and now the interim Economic Partnership Agreement.”
She noted that in a fast-changing world with important transformational shifts, the EU has become more than a key political, economic and development partner to Ghana.
“The EU is a safe anchor and vital link for a modern, forward-looking and sustainable Ghana,” the minister added.
She noted that having won the right to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area, the country would be poised to design and implement effective strategies and policies to support the rapid and inclusive growth of the economy.
Head of EU Delegation to Ghana, Diana Acconcia, said the dialogue has come at a crucial time when the EU just emerged from its elections last year.
He stated that apart from its development objectives, the EU and Ghana’s relationship should focus on interest, values and security on the continent, especially in the Sahel region which has witnessed instability for some time now.
By IAN MOTEY