Mahama meets Ghanaian students in Iran
President John Dramani Mahama has asked Ghanaians to accept the “political rhetoric” that is polluting the election year as a normal development.
Speaking at a meeting with Ghanaian students in Iran last Monday to wrap up his three-day state visit to the Islamic Republic, the President said the development must, therefore, not be seen as a recipe for disturbances.
“We are in an election year and, of course, there is a lot of political rhetoric and you must know that it is normal. In an election year, a lot of the political agitation and debates heighten, but I can assure you that we will have peaceful and successful elections and Ghana will continue to be the beacon of democracy in Africa,” he told the meeting held at the Azadi Hotel in Tehran.
A number of Ghanaians are studying medicine, the sciences and Islamic Studies in Iran on scholarship.
President Mahama used his visit to strengthen cooperation between Ghana and Iran and sought for new economic opportunities.
He briefed the students on developments back home, particularly how the government was working to turn the economy round.
He stated that the IMF programme was going on very well, with Ghana achieving all the targets.
“All the figures show that we are on track in terms of reducing the deficit and ensuring fiscal consolidation. Indeed, we appear to have performed better than the target,” President Mahama said.
Explaining, he said while expected growth to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) this year was 7.3 per cent, current figures were between seven and 7.1 per cent to GDP.
On inflation, he said, “We are expecting that by mid-year inflation will start declining and that will mean looking for a possible 10 per cent by the end of the year.”
President Mahama underscored the need for a stable economy to promote investment, saying that was why the government took some tough but necessary economic decisions.
He also spoke about power generation and mentioned the progress that had been made so far by the government in fixing the problem.
He also talked about the government’s determination to expand the processing of agricultural produce to cut down on the cost of imports.
It was on that score that the President said Iranian investment was being sought.
He described his visit to Iran as very successful and expressed the hope that all the discussions and agreements reached would bear fruits.
He said Iran had been a close friend of Ghana and Africa.
He urged the students to take their studies seriously so that they would return home well qualified to serve the nation.
Speaking on behalf of the students, the leader of the Ghana Students at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Mr Emmanuel Adutwum, said 12 Ghanaians were studying in that university, adding that the quality of education at the place compared favourably with that in any notable university in the world.