IMANI Centre for Policy and Education has launched a report meant to assess the performance of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in its first year in office based on their 2016 election manifesto promises.
The assessment, according to the think tank was purely qualitative unlike previous years and had highlights and comments on what had been achieved so far under the NPP’s administration.
The assessment was undertaken along eight broad themes including Economy, Job creation, Agriculture, Governance, Education, Health, Energy and Infrastructure.
Data sources for the assessment includes the 2016 Manifesto, 2017 and 2018 Budget statements, the Coordinated Programmes for Economic and Social Development, project and news reports.
According to the report dubbed, IMANIFESTO which was presented by Ms. Barbara Andoh, a Research Associate at Imani revealed that, the NPP administration has managed to reduce inflation from 15.4 percent in 2016 to 11.4 percent in 2017.
The NPP government has also been successful in reducing the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio from 73 percent as at the end of 2016 to 68.3 percent in 2017.
“Government has achieved some reasonable progress in the fulfillment of its manifesto promises,” according to the IMANIFESTO 2018 report.
Under the education sector, the repot stated the NPP government has rolled out its Free Senior High School (SHS) initiative and the restoration of teacher trainees’ allowances, however, the policy has been faced with implementation challenges in the form of infrastructure deficit, congestion, inadequate furniture, high preference for boarding status and well-documented operational issues.
The report further added that, the Free SHS policy has not really addressed the issue of equity in the educational system in Ghana, saying the issue of equality has, however, been adequately looked at.
IMANI, is however bothered about the sustainability of the funding source for the Free SHS programme, emphasizing that it would have been much better if government had chosen tax revenues to fund the project instead of oil revenues, which are not reliable.
In line with promoting a private sector led economy, the NPP government reduced and eliminated a number of taxes in order to encourage production and enhance private sector development.
The 2016 NPP manifesto promised to reduce fees and charges at the port and restructure the customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority to optimize its operational efficiency, therefore following its promise, a paperless port system was launched in 2017 to boost revenue generations and to improve transaction times at the port.
On the issue of job creation, the ‘’One District, One Factory’ which is one of the flagship industrial development initiative set-up to establish at least one medium to large factory in every district in Ghana to ensure even spread of industries were not established.
Instead, the government completed Technical, Commercial and Financial viability analysis on 462 proposals out of which 191 projects were selected to be implemented in 102 districts according to the report.
As part of job creation, COCOBOD trained and deployed 10,000 youth in their Artificial Pollination Project whilst Planting for Food and Jobs has employed about 2,160 university graduates and 1,070 non-graduates. A total of 201,000 farmers have benefited from the programme.
By: Latifa Carlos