Power cuts, lack of water, inadequate roads and transport, bad drainage and sanitation all affect business, frustrate lives and hold us back. As a nation we have not invested wisely and enough in infrastructure. We have also accumulated a stock of incomplete and neglected infrastructure projects, which have proved a waste of scarce resources.
We will develop an aggressive infrastructure program focused on value-for-money integrated development planning. Ghana needs an integrated approach to improving power supply, housing, roads, railways, water, irrigation, ports, industrial centres, and refineries.
Our focus will be to invest prudently in public works in the following areas:
We will seek to integrate and consolidate all modes of transportation to improve efficiency and cut down costs.
Roads: In partnership with the private sector, we will develop interchanges, flyovers and overpasses in our urban areas to deal with the costly incessant traffic whilst connecting all the regional capitals with first class roads.
Railways and Ports: we will in partnership with the private sector, establish a modern rail network that will have strong economic linkages. We will link the North to the South (through the Eastern corridor Accra through Akosombo to Kumasi and then to Paga) to facilitate the exploitation of our iron ore reserves in the north.
Aviation: We will, in partnership with the private sector, establish Ghana as a hub for air travel in West Africa by building a new international airport.
Water: We are faced with poor water supplies in both urban and rural areas. Our water system is antiquated and saddled with frequent breakdowns in supply and needs serious investment. We will implement a strengthened National Water Policy, which will greatly improve supply, hygiene and sanitation. We will ensure that every Ghanaian has access to clean, potable water. We will continue the program of the Kufuor government, which undertook major water systems improvements nationwide including Cape Coast, Mankessim, Koforidua, Kumasi, Kwanyaako, Ada, Sogakope and Tamale. Over 9,000 new boreholes and 500 new pipe water systems were initiated.
To further improve the supply of water, we will construct more dams along some of our major rivers, build a second water treatment plant in the lower Volta basin and ensure more Ghanaians have access to potable water. We will ensure the water sector gets the investment it needs by dramatically cutting down on nonrevenue water and empowering the PURC to effectively oversee the water delivery system in the country to ensure Ghanaians get value for money.
The poor quality and supply of energy shown by the frequent power cuts and the consequent slowing down in the growth of the non-oil economy is a cause for worry. Without stable and reliable energy, our industrial development and expansion efforts will fail and hinder our ability to transform the economy. Our generation reserve is abysmally low around 6% against a minimum of 18% to ensure stable and constant supply of power.
Power Sub-sector: We will work with the private sector to increase output and will reopen negotiations with interested partners to develop and complete the mini-hydro power projects such as Pwalugu, Juale, Pra, Ankobra and Tano. We will also work to exploit our gas resources to increase our energy supply. By the end of 2016 we aim to extend rural access to electrification to 90%.
We will also focus on good governance in the sector, to remove inefficiencies, and facilitate effective autonomy and ensure transmission and distribution reliability and security.
Developing the North
The Northern regions in Ghana still remain relatively under developed after 55 years of our independence. Whilst having been identified as the most important breadbasket for Ghana development has been very limited. With about 7 million hectares of potential agricultural land with good soil, only about 10% is under cultivation and mainly by small holders.
The NPP would provide a dedicated source of financing for the northern development program. Abandoned factories such as the Meat Factory in Zuarungu in the Upper East Region will be reactivated as well as other integrated manufacturing activities such as leather making, shoe making and milk production encouraged using bye-products of the meat factory.
An aggressive irrigation programme will be introduced to reactivate old large and small-scale irrigation projects in the North to ensure all year round agriculture. The sheanut, sorghum and cotton industries will receive a boost under our Government. Private sector operators in this sector will be encouraged into through fiscal and tax incentives. We will improve infrastructure in the North to ensure that the roads and the railways open up the region to exploit its mineral and agricultural resources and enhance its investment and economic attractiveness.
We will provide incentives to businesses to establish or relocate to the northern regions and enable them compete effectively, which will also generate considerable employment. We will also develop the three public universities (including the two that will be established in the Upper West and Upper East Regions) into academic centres for excellence for agriculture, ICT and languages, attracting students from Ghana and beyond.
Zongos and the Inner City
The various “Zongos” and “inner city communities” around the country are seriously underdeveloped and lack basic infrastructure such as roads, water, toilets, good sanitation, schools and health facilities. Very often they seem left behind in any development especially in the urban cities. We will work with the communities to upgrade and rebuild their infrastructure, and improve the lives of the residents. We will support residents of deprived and neglected areas, and give them the dignity that they deserve, improve their health and enhance the value of their properties.
We will set up a Zongo and Inner City Re-development Fund to target basic community infrastructure problems. The fund will adopt a “developments by the people for the people approach “ which means projects will be community owned and executed by local contractors and labour.
Unbridled exploitation of Ghana’s resources poses an environmental challenge and a threat to health. The scourge of non-biodegradable plastics, pollution of our beaches and coastal waters, recklessly poor practices of miners, destruction of our water bodies, and poor management of our forest reserves are a source of considerable concern.
We will invest in environmental conservation and rehabilitation to preserve our bio-diversity, restore degraded land, combat erosion, protect our rivers and other water bodies, and ensure that the environmental impact of mining and oil extraction in Ghana is carefully mitigated.
Our government will embark on an ambitious reforestation programme. This will serve the multi-purpose of protecting the environment, creating immediate jobs for our youth and creating future wealth. We will employ the same concept to use waste to generate electricity in Ghana.