Presidential Candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the upcoming 2024 general elections, John Dramani Mahama, has defended the party’s proposal for a 24-hour economy, stating that it is a well-thought-out idea with the potential to significantly impact Ghana’s economic landscape.
Despite facing criticism from political opponents who argue that the concept is not innovative and won’t transform the economy, Mahama insists that the initiative is part of a comprehensive vision to shape the future of the nation.
Speaking at the 9th Ghana CEO Network Business Cocktail, the former President addressed concerns raised by critics, emphasizing that the 24-hour economy proposal is more than just a slogan.
Mahama pledged that, if elected, the next NDC administration would actively pursue projects and programs aimed at transforming Ghana into a fully operational 24-hour economy, leveraging available resources for optimal impact.
The concept of a 24-hour economy has faced skepticism, with opponents pointing out that certain sectors of Ghana’s economy already operate around the clock.
However, Mahama reiterated that the NDC’s vision goes beyond the current state of affairs and envisions a holistic approach to building an industrialized, inclusive, and resilient economy.
“The 24-hour economy may have finally resonated with Ghanaians. It may be classified as an idea whose time has come due to Ghana’s self-inflicted economic crisis today because the 24-hour economy initiative was well-thought-through and captured on page 105 of the NDC’s 2020 People’s Manifesto.”
“Without an economic revamp, we cannot hope to make any mark in our massive unemployment crisis, which is leading many of our young people down the road of despair. Research shows that unemployment, unavailability of jobs, poverty, high cost and poor living conditions are issues of grave concern to many Ghanaians.
“I remain optimistic about the Mahama 24-hour economy initiative. In a rapidly advancing global economy, in which countries worldwide are gradually drifting and adopting 24-hour economies to remain competitive and attract investments – Ghana cannot be left out.
According to Mahama, the 24-hour economy initiative is intricately tied to the NDC’s broader vision to create well-paying jobs, foster equity, ensure health and prosperity for all citizens, develop well-planned and safe communities, protect the natural environment, build efficient institutions for national development, and strengthen Ghana’s role in African and international affairs.
In response to critics who argue that Ghana lacks the necessary infrastructure for such an ambitious economic model, Mahama stressed that the 24-hour economy initiative was thoroughly considered and outlined in the NDC’s 2020 People’s Manifesto.
He pointed out that the policy is not merely an isolated proposal but an integral part of the NDC’s strategy to address pressing issues such as financial crises, severe unemployment, and unprecedented levels of corruption.
Mahama also highlighted the importance of economic revitalization, noting that without it, the country cannot effectively tackle the significant challenges of unemployment, job scarcity, poverty, and poor living conditions.
Drawing attention to the global trend of adopting 24-hour economies to remain competitive and attract investments, Mahama emphasized that Ghana must not be left behind.
The former President acknowledged the concerns of Ghanaians regarding unemployment and economic conditions, expressing optimism that the 24-hour economy initiative, among other proposed initiatives, would positively impact businesses, employment, and the overall well-being of the youth.
Mahama concluded by reaffirming his commitment to a future NDC government’s strict enforcement of prudence and fiscal discipline in public financial management.
He pledged to cut expenditure, reduce overlapping agencies, and address the financial challenges created by the current administration. According to Mahama, prudent financial management is irreplaceable for the sustainable development of the nation.