Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, the running mate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer; John Dramani Mahama, has signaled that her focus would be on human capital development to address the aspirations of the country.
Perhaps informed by years as an academic, lecturing and rising to the pinnacle of the profession as Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, said in few years, 60 percent of Ghana's population, will fall under 30 years and it is imperative that policy makers formulate systematic reforms to effectively address the aspirations of the country, especially the youth.
Speaking at the University of Professional Studies on Monday after her introduction by the NDC Flagbearer, John Mahama, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, pledged to be the voice for the voiceless and ensure that she carries their concerns to the highest decision making table, if the JM&J ticket is successful at the December 7, polls.
According to the former Education Minister and first female Vice-Chancellor of a public university, many are those who have been energized to register and vote in the upcoming election because of her selection as running mate to NDC's flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama.
"We need meaningful, quality and comprehensive education that goes beyond access and responds to the future we can actualize.We must leverage on vocational and technical training to equip many into meaningful and fulfilling work.We must provide opportunities that transcend political patronage, 'connection' and the practice of whom- you- know. Equal and fair opportunities based on merit are an imperative for sustainable economic growth. The time for that shift is now", she noted.
The woman of many parts, charged Ghanaians to go out and register in the ongoing new voters' registration exercise under the auspices of the Electoral Commission (EC).
She said the right to vote was salient and every Ghanaian must guard same jealously. All electorates, she said must "reject the attempts by some to disenfranchise [others]."
"We are all Ghanaians and we love this country deeply and we make contributions to the running of our country. Do not let anyone make you feel otherwise", Prof. Opoku-Agyemang said.
The Monday event which attracted only selected groupings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was beautifully organized with the inclusion of the party in the 15 other regions joining the live colourful event via Zoom.
There were words of encouragements from women groups, academia, traders and electorates, who expressed delight and confidence the former lecturer, will help her boss to deliver their promises. Some of the groups that were invited aside party bigwigs were chiefs, religious leaders and others.
In a speech that ended with the invitation of the vice-presidential candidate to make her maiden speech, former President Mahama, commended Prof. Opoku-Agyemang for her sterling performance that earned her this enviable position.
"The choice of Professor Opoku-Agyemang is over and above affirmative action, because she is more than qualified to serve as Vice President.
She is a woman who has contributed to shattering the many glass ceilings that have held women down for generations, by becoming the first female to lead and manage a public university in Ghana. As I described her in my statement, following the announcement, she is "God-fearing, a distinguished scholar, a conscientious public servant and a role model."
The NDC has a lot to show when it comes to putting women at the forefront of leadership. Women constitute about 50percent of Ghana's population and women form the majority of Ghana's human resource. They must lead to advance our nation's progress", he said.
Mr Mahama, highlighted some of the promises that is contained in the yet to be launched "People's Manifesto".
He said the next NDC government will ensure female socio-economic empowerment, enact the Spousal Rights, establish exclusive and secured shelters for abused women and children, and provide opportunities for all.
"As the fulcrum around which our Health Policy will evolve, we will before the end of 2021, introduce and begin the implementation of a Free Primary Health Care Plan. This will make the provision of primary health care to all Ghanaians, young and elderly, FREE.
"I pledge on behalf of the NDC that we shall pay within one year all who have funds locked up with the collapsed financial institutions. Within one year. I promise! We shall not put up any long-term payment plans that will further worsen the living conditions of the victims".
According to the former President, the manifesto which is slated to be launched next month, will have the NDC establish a Financial Services Authority (FSA) "That will be responsible for ensuring that consumer financial markets work for consumers, providers and the economy as a whole."
On the performance of the current government, Mr Mahama said the December election was going to be a referendum on the administration of President Akufo-Addo describing it as "four years of nepotism, corruption, stagnation, deliberate abandoning of badly needed social infrastructure, dehumanisation, disenfranchising Ghanaians, stripping Ghanaians of their citizenship, deliberate collapse of indigenous Ghanaian businesses, massive job losses and the attendant socio-economic hardship".
He went on "This will be a referendum on the term of a president who has no real solutions for Ghana, a president, hell-bent on doing whatever it takes to stay in power including, against sound advice, replacing the very voters register, which brought him into office".
The former President who has insisted that government could have used a different way to curtail the collapse of indigenous banks said, he was saddled by the decision by the government to collapse them and assured he will within one year pay monies of these victims.
"It is heart-wrenching to hear Government officials justify the huge amounts it is spending to manage the impact of the collapse, now put at 21 billion Ghana Cedis.
I weep for the many who have lost their jobs, the many who have lost their businesses, the many who have lost their livelihood among others. I pledge on behalf of the NDC that we shall pay within one year all who have funds locked up with the collapsed financial institutions. Within one year. I promise!
We shall not put up any long-term payment plans that will further worsen the living conditions of the victims".