Boakye Agyarko writes: Why I am running to be president

It is said that there are two broad types of people who seek public office; those who want to be and those who want to do

A simple and straight forward answer to why I am running to be president is a zeal for the service to country, the passion for Ghana, and the development of its people.

It is said that there are two broad types of people who seek public office; those who want to be and those who want to do.

Those who want to be, seek office merely to be in office for the enjoyment of the trappings and thrills of the office. For such office seekers, there are no solemn responsibilities and obligations to assume, no sacred duties to perform and a lack of an understanding that the office establishes a covenant with the electorate and the nation at large, which covenant imposes on the office holder that sacred duty which cannot be shed.

Then there are those who want do and therefore seek public office as a platform; the means by which and through which the public good may be served. Such office seekers focus on the plans and programmes they seek to implement for the public good. It is this class of office seekers that I consider myself as belonging to. I have come to see and understand the Presidency as the most solemn and effective platform from which we can get this country moving again. It is the only effective and powerful platform available under the current Constitutional arrangement for implementing the transformational agenda of our nation. There is no other office with this capacity and potential effectiveness.

Blessed and endowed

After 66 years of Independence, we ought to seriously question ourselves as to whether we are satisfied with where we are and what we have become. Could we not have done far better than we are now?

I certainly believe that we can and must. I have travelled the world over during my days in banking and have seen many countries with much less than what we have been blessed and endowed with, do much more than we have done or are imagining. It is time for us as a nation to strive for higher heights. There comes a moment in time when a door opens to let the future in, that time is now and we must seize it within both hands.

Our failure in recent years has not been because our people have failed to rise to the occasion of meeting the challenges placed before them, but rather the failure of the political establishment and its leadership to place the challenges honestly and courageously before the people of Ghana and to trust their willingness to do what really needs to be done.

We therefore need to have public officials who will stand up and tell the people of Ghana exactly what the true situation is and to summon the better angels in us to get this country moving in the right direction.

We cannot and must not continue to live as a divided people. We have often retreated behind the walls that divides us rather than being led beyond them. But whatever our differences, they cannot measure up to the values we all hold together as Ghanaians.

For all political actors in Ghana, we must know that the constant engagement in shrill arguments amongst and against ourselves is not what the people of Ghana are calling upon us to do. We are really not each other’s opponent, but representatives of different points of view. The real opponent that our people are calling upon us to fight and defeat is POVERTY. Any other fights we engage in are mere shadow boxing and an unaffordable waste of the nation’s time and resources.

Legitimate task

The principal and only legitimate task I see for myself, my party and the government it forms is to bring the right and appropriate policies to bear upon our situation and circumstances so we can leap up from poverty into prosperity within our lifetime.

This is what the citizens of this country need and expect from us, and not the endless and often times needless quibbles and quarrels that we engage in most of the time.

We cannot deny or run away from the creeping disillusionment, disappointment and frustration of our loyalist and foot soldiers. We cannot deny the foreboding sense of unfulfilled expectations of the nation at large. In as much as the NPP government has done very well in moving the nation further forward than could have been the case under an NDC government, we have not delivered to our level of expectation or potential as the party brimming with talent.

Some of the most challenging issues I see facing us in Ghana and which calls for urgent attention are unemployment particularly youth unemployment, under investment in infrastructure, fiscal crisis, managing political change and governance, water and sanitation, and the ravaging effect of climate change.

Now, more than ever, we need to give the people of Ghana a good reason to continue to believe in the inspirational leadership possible only under the NPP. The people of Ghana have kept faith with us all these years, we need to reward their faith with good progress and good development. We need to raise the stakes of our present agenda, but we also need to change the pace.

Our aim is to create an optimistic, self-sufficient and a prosperous nation. The path to development we follow must have people at its center, that is, the quality-of-life issues of Ghanaians must drive our development processes and policies.

The vision that must guide our development efforts for the next few decades should lead us to the following expectations;

A population with a high quality of life
A stable, peaceful and firmly united country
A solid and efficient good governance machinery
A well-educated population that strives for excellence
A competitive economy capable of producing sustainable growth and shared benefits
In this regard, there are some big areas that must receive priority attention if we are to achieve our aims; youth unemployment, education, health care and sanitation, roads and highways, agriculture and irrigation, and national security.
We need a renewed political platform, one that provides a governing philosophical and political process able to unite the nation as well as an effective economic approach to reclaiming prosperity.
My vision for this country can be reduced to a very simple one; to identify with the important changes that the average Ghanaian yearns for, to make those changes the hallmark of the New Patriotic Party’s agenda, and provide the strong leadership we need to translate those changes into actions.
Qualities that I bring along to embolden us to say, as a people, YES WE CAN are;
A faith in the future of Ghana
A capacity to understand the situation in which we find ourselves
An ability to devise strategies to manage the present and shape our future
A skill in moving our society towards elevated purposes. We must transcend our circumstances by vision and dedication
A readiness to rectify short comings and pre-erupt our challenges before they manifest themselves as crises.

These qualities require character, intellect, tough mindedness, hardiness and courage.

It is said that to be successful, a leader must understand the history of the people, their tradition, their inherited rights and liberties and their present circumstances.

Hard work and honesty

Of course, no one can be fully prepared for the job of President. But as I reflect on my life and experiences, I can see that certain stages of my career have been particularly helpful. I was blessed with a set of disciplined yet compassionate parents to appreciate the value of hard work and honesty. To strive to do the very best at anything I commit myself to even under the most adverse of circumstances. The experiences and difficulties that I have had to encounter throughout my life have shaped me upon two basic philosophical principles: One is that I must learn something new everyday and that out of my blessings; I must make life a little better for someone else every day.

My training in economics teaches me that important results emerge from an unfolding process and that good policy must therefore have a sense of strategy, pace and timing. Economics trains you as a strategist who tries to understand the constellation of forces present in a situation and tries to arrange them to point towards a desirable result.

My years in banking have equipped me with very good negotiation and managerial skills, a sense of propriety and organization. Above all, I have gained a high level of technical competence in areas of vital importance to the survival and success of this nation.

As a Vice President in a major Global Bank, I have learnt to exercise responsibility in a sea of uncertain authority, where one learns the value of achieving compromise and consensus in the formulation of policies.

My active and continued engagement in the development of our national lives has helped me acquire as understanding of our people, our history, our traditions, our inherited rights and liberties and our present circumstances to allow me the practical wisdom to frame the necessary policies and programs to get this country moving again.

After many years’ experiences in a very vibrant private sector and some years in the public sector, I trust that I have acquired very considerable knowledge, skill sets and contacts to be put to the service of my country, Ghana. I believe that anyone who has been blessed with the blessings that God has showered upon me owes a public duty, which I do not intend to step away from.

I am running for President because I want to make this country work again for the benefit of all of us. I am convinced that this is what the ordinary Ghanaian yearns for.

By joining the race, we mean to restore the hope of this party and this nation that we have power to overcome. Power to overcome the heritage of debt, corruption and the lack of confidence. Power to overcome inefficiency, poverty, the present unemployment, the low standards of living and disease.
That power becomes demonstrable.

By our ability to plan and work hard to improve our standards of living and rise above poverty.
By the wise and responsible choices to establish a government that will not abuse power, but rather by honest and selfless service, enlarge even further our freedoms and help improve our conditions for fuller happier lives.

When we widen the boundaries of our knowledge to replace ignorance and fear with education and skills and confidence.

When we show the largeness of our hearts by refusing to hate when we are scorned, or to revenge when we are wronged, but to show our power through love.


The right of center political ideology espoused by our tradition is as relevant today as it was many years ago when our venerable Dr. J.B Danquah first, coherently, articulated it as the guiding philosophy appropriate to and for the development of this nation. The world over, the opposing ideology on the left failed to deliver on its promises and has virtually collapsed. Every credible message needs a credible messenger. As a true-blue product and bona-fide child of our tradition, I am unshakeable in my belief that I can live up to the billing of carrying high, the mantle of leadership of the NPP.

I believe in the theory of Future Preference, which holds that the future can and must be better than the present, and that we all have a responsibility in making it so. We therefore need a new dynamism that will infuse such optimism with competence and confidence. This country needs a new direction and a new leadership that can exude the conviction that success is attainable. This is the choice that we face in December 2024. We must build a nation that is daring. A Ghana that is never afraid to ask difficult questions, no matter how daunting the answers.

A Ghana that sets lofty goals and pursues them relentlessly and in excellence. We must build the kind of nation that inspires all of us to embrace the future, to feel excited at the dawn of a new day, and to view the past as a prologue, not a prison to trap us. I believe in the future of this country, and I wish that future to be as bright and as brilliant as our beginning. But it can only be so if we are not afraid to change. In a poem written for the 2002 Olympic Games, the poet Waddie Mitchell wrote, “Since mankind started walking, it has been swifter, higher, stronger, as if pushed by some deep need to keep limit unconfined. Always thinking, always striving for things bigger, better, longer, in some unrelenting pursuit of perfection re-defined”. And this is the Ghana we must envision. A Ghana that takes risks, that dares to be bold. A Ghana that looks at the next frontier, ever swifter, higher, and stronger than the day before. To quote Dr. Henry Kissinger, “our past has set a framework which we must transcend. It is our fate that from such a past we have inherited some intractable problems and commitments that have a momentum of their own. We must not act simply in accordance with the prevailing political consensus, even though the latter often runs counter to the necessities of history. We must not confine our actions to the amelioration of present circumstances because in riding with the trend we make ourselves irrelevant. We must be bold and be prepared to grapple with our circumstances, to wrench politics and our circumstances from the tight fist of the past, in order to reshape our reality”.

There comes a moment in time when a door opens to let the future in. 2024 offers us that moment, and we as a people must seize this moment with both hands. These are my fervent and overarching wishes for my country. I also want every Ghanaian to wish these for Ghana as well. This is our way forward.

Together we can do it if only we DARE TO BE GREAT!


By Boakye Agyarko, presidential aspirant hopeful of the governing New Patriotic Party and a former energy minister


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