Ghana celebrated last week its 53rd independence. The focus was on young Ghanaians, and President John Atta Mills has called them to stand for the challenge to participate in the development of the country.
Education is key for empowerment of the younger. But the country has much potential which could be used to sustain development.
First after his election president Atta-Mills challenge was to stop the depreciation of the Cedi, the national currency. This operation was successfully handled collectively by the government and by mid 2009 the Cedi was stable once more and regained some points against all major currencies. Ghana is now looking forward to a sustained growth with many economic indicators flipping into positive. Inflation is now under control after the implementation of a robust fiscal and monetary policy.
Ghana is already the world’s No. 2 producer of cocoa after Ivory Coast and the continent’s No. 2 gold miner after South Africa. The country should soon become a major commercial oil and gas producer by the end of 2010 when the huge offshore Jubilee field comes on stream.
Construction of a deep sea oil port has started already; the plan is to revamp a major rail link from this year to help exploit energy and minerals. Oil production will start by November 2010 and could peak to 120 000 barrels per day within six months.
Ghana’s head of state also announced recently that infrastructure investments would help boost employment and support the expansion of other industries, including mining. When asked, in the streets of Accra, what should be the government priorities many young people responded straight: “the fight against unemployment”. Like other African countries, the aspiration for better life for young people is very high in Ghana. Progress in the country is visible, things are moving in the right direction, but all these should be translated into concrete actions.
This is probably why Atta Mills has also planned to start developing an integrated aluminium industry based on its rich bauxite reserves.