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President Addo takes shot at Mahama in State of Nation Address


In his first state of the nation address yesterday, the president, Mr. Akuffo Addo did not disappoint. Though excruciatingly long and at times repetitive, the address was hopeful and reassuring. Mr. Addo touched on issues important to Ghanaians; the struggling economy, jobs, youth unemployment, education, housing and agriculture.

He promised to work hard to improve the living conditions for all irrespective of their political allegiances. “I am a man in a hurry because there is an urgent need to address the problems facing the country,” he said.

It is common knowledge that state of the nation addresses are platforms for presidents to lay out their agenda and project their vision for the future. They afford presidents the opportunity to tell citizens that the economy is now in capable hands and the nation is on the right track, in sum, state of the nation addresses occasions for presidents to blow their horns.

President Addo’s commitment to revamping the economy and thereby creating jobs for young Ghanaians is not in doubt; youth unemployment has been a thorn in the flesh of previous administrations, and every effort has been made to find answers to the problem. but to no avail.

The onus then is on Mr. Addo to do something dramatic to permanently change the fortunes of our young people. If he is able to reduce the current rate of youth unemployment from a high of nearly 25 percent to single digits, it will be a remarkable feat.

It is a daunting task, given the fact that the global economy is still not clicking on all cylinders. But it is not impossible to give hope to our young men and women.

Since this was his first address to the nation, it was predictable that Mr. Addo will use a large portion of the speech to blame his predecessor for all the economic and financial troubles he claims to have inherited.

Using a jumble of mind-boggling statistics and figures, Mr. Addo stated loud and clear that the economy faltered because of mismanagement under the last administration. Citing assistance from the IMF as an example of the financial paralysis that had gripped the country in 2012, the president emphasized that this would not happened under his watch.

I found the president’s assertions very troubling; pointing the finger at a man who is no longer in charge is tantamount to throwing in the towel and telling citizens that if the economy under your management does not perform as citizens hope for, they can always blame Mahama.

And more troubling was the president’s failure or deliberate neglect to cite the global financial catastrophe in 2008 which hugely impacted nations that are exporters of raw materials as a contributing factor to the poor economy.

The current president can blame the former president as much as he wants, but the hard and inconvenient truth is that the broken economy is now Mr. Addo’s for  the next four years; the ball is now at his feet and he must score the winning goal to bring the much coveted trophy home.





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