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Presidential candidate of Ghana’s ruling party outlines main policies

GHANA’S Vice President Mahamadu Bawumia said he was ready to lead the nation in a campaign launch speech, pledging to revive the battered economy, fight graft, and boost the private sector if elected president in December.

The 60-year-old economist was overwhelmingly voted presidential candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in November, teeing up a contest with former President John Mahama.

The former central banker said he was ready to be “in the driver’s seat” in a speech to crowds of supporters at the University of Professional Studies in Accra.

“I want to build a Ghana where we leverage technology, data and systems for inclusive economic growth,” Bawumia told the crowd.


Whoever wins faces a steep challenge as the West African oil, gold and cocoa producer is still struggling to emerge from its worst economic crisis in a generation.

“To sustainably reduce the budget deficit and interest rates, my government will enhance fiscal discipline,” he said, promising to implement a rule to keep national spending closer in line with revenue.

Ghana had to turn to the International Monetary Fund for a $3 billion bailout after its already strained finances buckled under the economic fallout from COVID-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Bawumia’s presidential prospects may be threatened by his role as the face of economic policy throughout the presidency of Nana Akufo-Addo, who is due to step down in January 2025 after serving the constitutional limit of eight years.

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Bright Simons, a vice president at Accra-based think tank, IMANI Africa, said unlike before when Bawumia’s political pedigree was grounded in his assumed economic genius, “a failing economy threatens the very foundation of his leadership of the ruling party.”

“There is no such thing as a former economic messiah,” he told Reuters.

Although Ghana’s ruling parties are often considered favourites to win presidential races, no party has ever won more than two consecutive terms.

Student Harrison Abdulai, 22, said Bawumia’s candidature was tarnished by the harsh economic realities facing many Ghanaians.

“Fifty Ghanaian cedis ($4) can’t last me for two days and that’s how bad things are. Bawumia is one vice president who has gotten himself involved in governance the most (in Ghana) and so he’s responsible for everything,” Abdulai said.

Bawumia is the first Muslim to lead a major party in Ghana since 1992 and also the first person outside the dominant Akan-speaking ethnic group to lead the NPP.