Committed to Freedom, Justice and Accountability.
The NDC aim to promote participatory democracy and responsible government in Ghana and establish friendly relations with all countries.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS:
“OUR VISION, OUR GOAL”
The National Democratic Congress is a social democratic party. It believes in the equality and egalitarian treatment of all persons with respect to their political, economic, social, cultural and religious relations in a multi-party environment.
The Party is committed to true democracy because it has its origins in grassroots
participation and involvement of ordinary citizens in decision-making at the local and national levels. It has a social conscience because it believes that the orderly, stable and prosperous existence of society is a condition for the orderly and prosperous development of individuals within society.
The NDC has a vision of a society in which the welfare of one is the concern of all. It is a vision in which political representation is universal and effective, economic opportunities are open and accessible, and social justice is a commodity that is not for sale.
The Party believes in the free market system, but one that is mitigated by measures of state intervention to cushion the poor, the marginalized, the dispossessed and the disadvantaged against the demonstrated iniquities of that system as well as to ensure and appreciable measure of distributive justice. The Party is convinced that unbridled capitalism is invidious to the body politic and detrimental to the social fabric.
The NDC is committed to the transformation of the previous near total state controlled economic system into a free market system. The market is critical for the effective and efficient performance of industry, agriculture and indeed the entire economy, but the market must not be allowed to create conditions for the exploitation of the majority of the people by a privileged few indigenous and foreign economic operators.
Arising out of these therefore, it will be realized that the economic policy of the Party is based on the liberalization of the economy, which has involved and continue to involve greater private sector participation and deregulation.
Foreign investment must continue to play a critical role in the economy, but the emphasis must be on self-reliance. The Party must continue to “do business” with the Bretton-Woods institutions, but greater attention must be paid to a domestically rejuvenated social sector to give fresh impetus to health, education, housing and employment.
The Party aims at empowering the lowest paid member of the community to have access to social amenities, to private comfort and the economic opportunities that are available to the wealthiest members of the society, though not necessarily in the same magnitude or to the same extent.
The Party’s brand of social democracy thus seeks to marry the efficiency of the market and private initiative with the compassion of state intervention to protect the disadvantaged and the marginalized and to ensure optimum production and distributive justice.
The Political Basis
Directive Principles of State Policy
The general goals of Ghanaian society are captured in Chapter 6 of the 1992 Constitution under the “Directive Principles of State Policy”.
The philosophy of the National Democratic Congress combines a commitment to those goals with the Party’s world-view and its own goals, and the means of attaining both national and Party goals, based on its shared body of common ideas, common beliefs and common experiences.
The Party’s Antecedents
The NDC accepts the principles of the June 4th and 31st December revolutions as the bases of our present democratic system. These include the principles of “true democracy”, based on the concept of “power to the people”, the political empowerment of the people through the processes of grassroots participation in decision making and decentralization of state power, the economic advancement of the people through policies of self-reliance, domestic industrialization and export diversification, and social and leadership responsibility through political and financial accountability to the people.
The District Assembly System
The PNDC, the political predecessor of the NDC, changed the political and electoral system of the country from one of elitism and power based on wealth to that of grassroots political participation and representation. The result is the world-acclaimed District Assembly system and decentralization programme that the Party intends to nurture to serve as the springboards for the articulation of the democratic aspirations of the people.
The NDC is a coming together of groups and individuals from diverse backgrounds who share a common determination to build a stable, just and democratic society and who believe that the principles of development through the united participation of all Ghanaians remains the foundation of our democratic programme.
Social and Leadership Responsibility
June 4th put the issue of social and leadership responsibility firmly on the national political agenda. 31st December sought to consolidate this. The NDC is committed to this agenda item. The Party will work to give respect and acknowledgement to integrity by requiring the highest standards of conduct of office-holders and to strengthen the machinery for dealing with lapses in social and leadership responsibility.
Human, Economic and Social Rights
The Party believes that democracy cannot be limited to the electoral process alone, nor can it be confined to the hallowed hall of Parliament. It must go beyond these to include human, economic and social rights which are conferred not by constitutional provisions but by an ingrained and well nurtured culture of respect for humanity and the production and distribution of the public wealth, especially basic goods and services, to every man, woman and child.
Peace, stability, human rights, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and social justice remain integral components of the NDC’s agenda. A vigorous and virile media, free and independent but responsible and nationalistic, is an invaluable and critical partner of the Party in the processes of governance and development.
Summary of Political Basis
The 2000 Manifesto of the NDC summarises the Party’s political basis as follows:
“For the NDC, Ghana can never be said to be free unless we have the infrastructure, the human resources and the technology that it takes to enjoy any freedom of rights in the 21st century. We need water and food to enjoy the right of life. We need roads to enjoy the right to freedom of movement and the right to economic activity. We need energy to exercise the right to full employment. We need education and familiarity with information technology to have access to information and knowledge. We need to be healthy to enjoy the right to the
pursuit of happiness. In short, we need to be developed in order to be free”.
The Economic Framework
The Economic Recovery Programme
The NDC’s predecessor, the PNDC, took over an economy in 1982 that was in shambles. The situation was so desperate that the Government had to embark upon fundamental structural reforms that enabled the shortages of those days to be replaced with the abundance of today.
The country’s experiences have shown that excessive central planning and overinvolvement of the state in production and distribution could spell disaster.
The collapse of the centralized economies of the former Soviet Union and her sister Eastern European allies confirm that if the PNDC had not broken the new economic grounds as was started in 1982/83, the country would have been a basket case today. It is these reforms that have come to form the bases and the framework for the economic policies of the NDC.
The Free Market System
The Party accepts that the road to success points to the free market system in which private entrepreneurship, both domestic and foreign, is given as much encouragement and free play as possible.
The efficiency and productivity characteristic of the free market system is undeniable. The strategy of the Party whilst in office was to gradually but systematically move from the near state controlled economic system to the free market system. That continues to be the framework for the Party’s economic policy, but as indicated in the 2000 Manifesto of the Party, it is imperative now to review the strategy.
After systematically and prudently utilizing the several loans contracted by the Party whilst in government to rehabilitate the country’s economic and social infrastructure, especially in the sector of roads, harbours, telecommunications, electricity, water, health, education, etc., the time has come for the Party to ensure that the benefits of these developments are spread to all.
The Revised Economic Strategy
Under the revised economic strategy, the Party is committed to ensuring that the poor are made less poor and vulnerable by economically empowering them through improving their access to the means of production and in particular enhancing the role of women as agents of development and modernization. Greater attention must therefore be paid to the antipoverty and poverty reduction programmes that were proposed and indeed commenced under the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) produced by the Party whilst in government.
To do this effectively and to attain the needed accelerated economic growth, identified structural bottlenecks in the economy must be removed. Land reform, modernization of the means of production and production technology, especially agricultural methods and agricultural productivity, overhauling of the distributive system, financial intermediation to assist the disadvantaged, geographical and gender equity in the development agenda and national self-reliance represent some of the structural reforms in the Party’s revised economic strategy.
The Party remains committed to its vision of transforming Ghana into a middle-income economy by the year 2020. To achieve this, the Party has to work to restore the required macro-economic environment for economic growth and poverty reduction. Joining hands with other ECOWAS countries to establish a Single Monetary Zone and the necessary economic discipline that goes with it represents only the first step.
Other required steps include revised strategies to ensure growth in employment
opportunities and output of domestic products, improvement in private sector production and market capacities, export diversification and value-added processing.
Policies on taxation, industry and agriculture must all be geared towards the attainment of a stable macro-economic environment for sustainable growth.
At the same time, the Party must continue with the trade liberalization process, the privatization process as well as the deregulation process. A renewed commitment to private enterprise, both domestic and foreign, must continue to be a major feature of the NDC’s revised economic strategy.
Self-reliance, however, is at the core of the Party’s economic policy. Agricultural selfsufficiency is a historical imperative. The Party must be committed to ensuring that we grow what we eat, and eat what we grow. Our industries must have backward linkages, utilizing as much as possible our domestic raw materials. Patronage of “Made in Ghana” goods must be high on the self-reliance agenda. Our historic-cultural communalistic system of mutual support must be the guiding spirit in the struggle for economic self-reliance.
Strategic areas of state intervention for self-reliance of concern to the Party include education, health, water, public transportation and energy. An insistence on full costrecovery in the socialise sectors of the economy such as education, health and water, for example, will not sit well with the NDC’s concept of economic justice and social welfare.
The purpose of these strategic state interventions is to use state institutions to create the conditions for self-sustained economic growth and development. It is also to ensure that for a Party whose support base are the workers, farmers, students and progressive intellectuals, its economic policies impact positively on these social factors. This can be achieved by tampering the inequalities and iniquities of the market system with the compassion and benevolence of the state’s intervention, undertaken on behalf of the people,
The International Economic Order
On the international scene, the struggle for the reform of the international order and the world trade system must continue to be waged, in collaboration with other countries of the developing world and the ordinary people of the developed world who have taken it upon themselves to organize sustained street demonstrations against the iniquities and deleterious effects of globalisation.
This is the only way to attain a fair and equitable world economic order that will create the enabling domestic environment for economic growth and poverty reduction.
Summary of the Economic Framework
The economic reforms of the 1980s and the 1990s which transformed the state controlled economy into a free market system, coupled with compassionate and benevolent state intervention, form the framework for the NDC’s economic policy.
The Party is committed to its Vision 2020 objective of a middle-income status for the country by the year 2020, to self-reliance, to poverty reduction, and to the international struggle against the unfair and unjust world economic and world trade order.
The Social Sector
The cornerstone of the NDC’s social policy is social justice, social equity and social welfare. Access to education, health care, housing, water, public transportation and employment are key to the success of this social policy.
The NDC remains committed to its belief that education is a right and not a privilege. Having complied with Article 38(2) of the Constitution whilst in government and produced a blueprint for a free, compulsory, universal, basic education (FCUBE) system for implementation up to 2005, the NDC must now work assiduously to ensure that every child of school-going age is involved in the FCUBE programme at the earliest possible opportunity. The Party must go further to incorporate pre-school education into the FCUBE system.
Tuition at the senior secondary school level must continue to be free and the Party must have as an objective the provision of free textbooks at the SSS level as well.
To cater for JSS graduates who do not gain admission into the SSS system, the Party must work to establish the RECAAST system to complete the educational reform programme or provide an appropriate alternative, whilst at the same time giving priority attention to free or appropriately subsidised vocational and technical education.
The NDC restates its non-negotiable commitment to free tuition at the public tertiary level of education. The Party recognizes its constitutional obligation under Article 38(2) for the state, subject to the availability of resources, to provide “equal access to university or other education, with emphasis on science and technology”.
In this connection, the Party’s commitment is to a load scheme system that is easily accessed by all qualified students, whilst instituting scholarships and bursary schemes for brilliant but needy students as well as students pursuing courses of strategic importance to the country.
The Party’s historical commitment to non-formal education, adult education and life-long learning must find expression in new programmes designed to ensure that all Ghanaians become literate to an appreciable degree.
The Ghana Educational Trust Fund, instituted by the NDC Government whilst in power, must be appropriately utilized in pursuit of these objectives.
“Health and happiness” as stated in the Party’s 2000 Manifesto must continue to guide the Party’s health programmes. Health care must be provided as a matter of government obligation irrespective of economic or social circumstances.
Consequently, the NDC must work to make registration and consultation at all public hospitals and health centres free.
The Party is committed to the realization of the National Health Insurance Scheme and the strengthening of the Primary Health Care Programme as a preventative health measure.
The Party must design an appropriate regulatory framework for private sector participation in the efficient and affordable delivery of health services and promote traditional medicine as a supplement to orthodox western medical practice.
Water is life and must therefore be as freely available as the air we breathe. Water must therefore be free, accessible and affordable, if it must be sold at all. Any scheme that seeks to put the profit motive above water availability in its production and distribution will therefore be unacceptable to the NDC.
Water is one area of possible strategic state intervention to ensure that at worst, it is produced, distributed and consumed at cost only.
The NDC ought to revisit the system of intra-city and intra-urban public transport system of the immediate post-Independence era when Municipal and Urban Councils ran this system of public transportation efficiently and effectively. Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies must be encouraged, assisted and empowered to run bus services, including school bus services, in their cities, towns and urban areas. Inter-city and long distance transportation may be left largely to the private sector.
The NDC’s employment policy objective is zero or minimum unemployment at all times. This involves a commitment to youth skills training, matching the country’s manpower training to her manpower needs and therefore improving the employability of people, support for small and medium-scale enterprises and credit support for the self-employed and informal sector operators.
The Party’s employment policy also involves a re-examination of incomes policy, workers’ wages and workers’ benefits, the incorporation of safety-nets into the corporate relationships between employers and employees and the general issue of financial security for working people. In all these, the Party must maintain and strengthen its links with organized labour. Indeed, the Party must forge a strategic alliance with organized labour, its natural allies, in order to be able to push the agenda of workers’ rights and workers’ benefits to the fore of the
national productivity agenda.
The Party’s concern about harmonious industrial relations and a sustainable pension scheme must compel a fast-track approach to a review of the Industrial Relations Act of 1965 and the Social Security Law of 1991.
The NDC’s housing policy objective is that every Ghanaian must have a home, though not necessarily own a house, as a concrete expression of the right to shelter.
The housing policy allows for a private ownership of houses but places emphasis on the provision of rental units and single family homes. Affordable housing in the metropolitan and municipal areas must be a Central Government
and private sector responsibility, whilst District Assemblies are empowered to either provide or act as catalysts or facilitators in the provision of houses in the secondary cities and urban areas.
The Party is committed to offering special tax and land concessions to investors to provide rental housing and low-income housing for workers and low income earners.
Rural housing rehabilitation schemes must be considered to facilitate rural renewal and promote wall protection, re-roofing and drainage and erosion control measures.
Summary of the Social Sector
The Party is committed to social justice, social equity and social welfare.
Basic education must be free, compulsory and universal. Tuition and textbooks at second cycle institutions must also be free, as must tuition at tertiary level, with provision made for loans, scholarships and bursaries. Special attention ought to be paid to vocational and technical education, non-formal education and life-long learning.
Health is considered a government obligation. The Health Insurance Scheme must be established and the Primary Health Care Scheme must be strengthened. Private sector participation in health care and traditional medicine ought to be promoted.
Water must not be sold for profit.
District Assemblies may run intra-city and intra-urban public transport that must include school bus services.
The employment objective is zero or minimum unemployment.
Incomes and pensions policies must be reviewed, as must the Industrial Relations Act and the Social Security Law.
Emphasis is the housing sector must be on rental units, single family homes and rural housing rehabilitation.
Culture and Morality
The Party aims to ensure an integrated national culture, build a national consciousness, engender national cohesion and attain national stability, the objective being unity in diversity.
Culture must contribute positively towards Ghana’s political, economic and technological development.
Culture should also be used to inculcate in the youth values of patriotism, self-confidence and the concept of African personality. The youth are the motive force behind the Party and national development. The Party is therefore committed to the effective mobilization of the youth, the productive engagement of their talents and energies and the creation of an environment that will enable them to realise their full potential and contribute effectively to the Party’s growth and national development.
The NDC recognises that “women’s rights are natural rights” and intends to work towards the realisation of the objectives of the Party’s “Affirmative Action for Women” policy adopted in 1998.
Increased female access to education, increased political representation for women, the rejection of negative socio-cultural practices that discriminate against women and the promotion of legislation to safeguard the dignity of women and create the conditions for their advancement are aspect of the affirmative action policy that the NDC is committed to.
A New Morality
Given the NDC’s origins and history, it is inevitable that a renewed commitment to anticorruption will be a part of the Party’s philosophy. Respect and acknowledgement must also be given to integrity, not only by requiring the highest standards of conduct of officeholders, but also by the provision of appropriate rewards and incentives for those who uphold the tenets of accountability and morality.
All the major weapons of public education, including moral and religious education and an insistence on the Party’s own code of ethics and discipline, must be utilised in the battle against corruption and immorality. There must also be an insistence on the people’s performance of their civic duties and obligations whilst respecting the rights and dignity of others.
Summary of Culture and Morality
The NDC aims at an integrated national culture.
It seeks to inculcate in a mobilised and motivated youth the values of patriotism, confidence and the concept of African personality.
The Party’s commitment to the theme of “women’s rights are natural rights” sums up its determination to push and affirmative action agenda to promote the cause of women.
The Party’s new morality emphasis its anti-corruption stance and recognition of merit and integrity.
International Relations and National Security
The NDC shares an affinity with progressive forces of Africa who are committed to a Pan-Africanism that promotes the concept of African personality and that works towards the attainment of African unity.
Our geo-political situation and the economic realities of the times also make it imperative that we push the cause of West African sub-regional integration as hard as possible and reenergise our relations with France and francophone Africa.
Consequently, the priority of the NDC must be focussed on working towards the
operationalisation of the African Union and ECOWAS integration as well as the
strengthening of bilateral relations with France and francophone African countries.
International Inter-Party Relations
In the promotion of the programme of Pan-Africanism, the NDC must pursue the building of ties with progressive political parties on the continent and in the Diaspora.
Relations with other non-African progressive and social democratic political parties worldwide must also be cultivated for the purpose of sharing common experiences in partybuilding and in defining clear perspectives and strategies for the struggle for national democracy world-wide.
Ghana and the World
The NDC remains committed to “south-south” solidarity, including support for the Non-Aligned Movement, for the purposes of trade, cultural and technological exchange and development, and to intensify the struggle for a fair and just world economic order in this era of globalisation.
The Party is similarly committed to continuing its active role in the United Nations, the Commonwealth and in order world fora devoted to peace and the true interest of all the peoples of the world.
The Party is committed to the country’s traditional defence policy of maintaining national sovereignty, territorial integrity and internal security through the strategic principles of deterrence, non-alignment and active participation in international peace-keeping operations.
Priority attention ought to be given to disaster management and humanitarian relief as well as the involvement of the security agencies in selected areas of national socio-economic development.
Summary of International Relations and National Security
The Party’s international relations are guided by Pan-Africanism, West African sub-regional integration, African unity, south-south cooperation, solidarity and development and world peace.
Relations with progressive political parties world-wide also remain an urgent agenda item.
The Party remains committed to safeguarding the country’s national sovereignty, territorial integrity and internal security.
The final Chapter of the Party’s 2000 Manifesto’s provides an apt conclusion to this statement of the NDC’s political philosophy:
“Our transition from a revolution tradition to a constitutional era, though problematic at times, is surely on course. The NDC has successfully ushered our country into a new democratic era with the firm hope that our conduct of national politics will reflect a new culture both in rhetoric and in practice.
The fact that we, from our revolutionary origins, created a new and more meaningful
grassroots democracy is a matter not only for self-congratulation, but also, more important, a clear indication of our commitment to true democracy as the long-term destination of our dear country. And that commitment on our part remains firm. - - - - - - - - For the NDC, the welfare of the people shall always remain our supreme concern. From this fundamental commitment, we shall never flinch”.
Source: Undated document on NDC
Reproduced / Publicised by: Kwesi Dzirasa for the purpose of Party Education, October 2013.
1. It is my hope that this document helps the reader appreciate the principles underpinning the efforts of the NDC under the leadership of President John Mahama in continuing to deliver a “Better Ghana” for all Ghanaians.
2. As Ghana approaches another Presidential and Parliamentary Election in December 2016 the NDC would need the support of Ghanaians to enable President John Mahama continue the process. A majority vote for President John Mahama and a majority vote for NDC Parliamentary candidates will make this possible.
NDC attends Socialist International meeting
Three members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have returned home afterattending a meeting in Athens, Greece organized by Socialist International.
General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, Director of International Relations, Mr Kofi Attor and Special Advisor to the International Relations Committee, Professor Kofi Awoonor also attended a meeting in Spain.
The meeting in Athens confirmed that the party is a full member of Socialist International. A statement signed by Mr Baba Jamal, NDC Deputy General Secretary (Finance and Administration), said the delegation attended the 23rd meeting of Socialist International (SI) hosted by the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) of Greece where the party was admitted as a full member of the SI.
It said, in 2003, the party was admitted to SI as a consultative member at a meeting held in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
The statement said the delegation continued to Spain at the invitation of the ruling Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) to attend their 37th Congress.
According to the statement, the NDC delegation delivered a special message from Flag bearer Professor John Evans Atta Mills to the leadership of the PSOE after which high level consultations were held with top leaders of the party, during which a number of bilateral issues were discussed.
Story from Modern Ghana News:
Published: Wednesday, July 09, 2008
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