Several positive adjectives have been used to describe Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo?s presentation at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) evening encounter where he elucidated his New Patriotic Party (NPP) policies if voted into power at the December 7 general elections.

The over 500  guests at the presentation on Tuesday who practically overflowed the Kofi Annan ICT Centre in Accra, were mostly impressed by what several of them described as an ?eloquent, refreshing and impressive? delivery by NPP flagbearer.

?It is not a matter of being impressed. I think he did well; he communicated what he will do. In my opinion, he fielded the questions very well,? Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante, the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church and the Chairman of the National Peace Council, told DAILY GUIDE after the event.

?It was a very good delivery- quite comprehensive, quite broad and adequately convincing,? said Osei Boah-Ocansey, an independent consultant and the former Chief Executive of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF).

When asked about his views on how the NPP flagbearer responded to questions aimed at him, Dr. Ocansey observed, ?I think the responses were quite adequate. He addressed the issues enough.?

The People?s National Convention (PNC) chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan, was impressed with Nana Addo?s presentation, but opted to avoid comparing his delivery to his own flagbearer, Mahama Ayariga, whose delivery received a mixed reaction. ?I know Nana has done very well.

Equally, my presidential candidate also did very well and we leave the verdict to the generality of Ghanaians to decide on the voting day,? Ahmed Ramadan said cautiously.

Indeed, during the event, Nana Addo?s presentation was on several occasions punctuated by loud applauses when some of the policy ideas he was sharing hit a cord within the audience.

The applauding guests totally ignored a prior warning by the programme?s master of ceremony, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah that such interruptions could disrupt the live transmission being carried by several radio and television stations.

?I was very pleased. I think it was very well articulated. The delivery was superb; I think it was devoid of hiccups. In terms of straight assessment of the rhetoric and delivery style, I think I will rank him highly.

In terms of content, I was generally pleased,? said Prof Ken Agyemang Attafuah, a lawyer and the Executive Director of the Accra-based Justice and Human Rights Institute.

In the audience at the IEA debate were virtually all the cr?me de la cr?me of the NPP and several representatives from independent institutions across the country, including the British High Commission, Chinese and Japanese diplomats and other members of the diplomatic community.

Key on Akuffo Addo?s agenda is education, where he is proposing a highly ambitious free basic level education policy.

The policy envisages an absolutely free education from the kindergarten level to the Senior High School (SHS) level in Ghana.

Even though his plans have been criticized for lacking a clear-cut financing plan, Nana Addo on Tuesday, for the first time, explained how he would fund the project.

He said his government would draw funds from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) and certain percentage from oil revenues would be channeled into financing the free education project.

For the 2013-2014 academic year, Nana Addo estimates that funds totaling GH?78 million would be pumped into education financing by his government. This will amount to about 0.1 percent of Ghana?s GDP.

The amount would be boosted every year to accommodate the rising number of enrollment stimulated by the policy.

By the close of 2016, Nana Addo expects that 5.8 percent of Ghana?s GDP will go into funding free education.

The free education policy is the main focus of the NPP if voted into power on December 7, but Nana Addo also hints of several other economic transformational policies that would also be embarked upon by the party.

The programmes would include stabilizing the Ghanaian currency which is in a free fall against major world currencies.

Also, he hinted that the NPP would embark on an aggressive industrialization drive and massive infrastructural development that would give confidence to the private sector.

?I believe that beyond a competent, incorruptible leadership, the best instrument for achieving economic transformation is the private sector.

Much greater attention will be paid to indigenous and local businesses to expand and create jobs for our young men and women,? stated Nana Addo.

Nana Addo also talked about corruption and his commitment to curbing the menace in public service.

However, Vitus Azeem, the Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, an anti-corruption organization aligned to Transparency International, was not convinced by his presentation on how he would specifically stem corruption.

During the question time, Mr. Azeem asked Nana Addo to tell Ghanaians specific measures and institutional decisions he would take to stop corruption, but he told DAILY GUIDE that the response he got was not satisfactory.

?I was not satisfied.  I asked for two things: specific legal reforms, what institutional changes will he [Nana Addo] make to fight corruption, he didn?t answer those questions,? said the head of the anti-corruption organization.

By Raphael Adeniran

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