For young people like me, there's only one choice as #Ghana Decides

Story highlights

  • Debbie Juha is a student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism
  • She explains why she is backing Nana Akufo-Addo in Ghana's presidential election

Debbie Vuha is a student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism who is supporting Nana Akufo-Addo in Ghana's presidential election. She is also a blogger and an author. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)A few days ago, I drove over the brand-new Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, aspirationally nicknamed Dubai, for the first time. I was sitting in the middle seat of a tro-tro minibus, so I didn't see much as the bus flew over the roundabout. It, like much of the new construction we see all over the country, is a symbolic of the mess that is Ghana at the moment—big, beautiful, but out of touch.

It makes me wonder if our so-called Dubai isn't a big (corruption-tainted) white elephant. In the last few years, my life has not changed. I grew up riding cramped, unreliable buses, and my fear is if we keep President John Mahama in power I'll still be on the same cramped bus 10 years from now.
I have watched the skylines of Accra, Tema, and Kumasi change beyond recognition with the spread of glass and concrete office buildings, consequences of the oil boom, but many of these spaces lie empty. There are no businesses to rent them or hire the people to work in them. Like many of these infrastructural projects there seems to be a disconnect between the projects, both public and private, and the people.
    As a student, life is very, very hard. Student nurses and teachers had their allowances cut by the government, who only promised to reinstate them after public pressure.
    Decent jobs are hard to find, so for us who are on our way into the job market, it's a scary place. Many of our facilities are out of date, and while it's nice our president is opening ICT centers, there's no point paying money to attend them when there are not firms to hire you once you've finished.
    Nana Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate for the opposition, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has spent the last two years travelling the country, visiting communities and listening to what the people have to say. I started off skeptical of his campaign. He's not young, this is his third time running for president and his party was mired in a nasty public fight earlier this year.
    There's the constant message from the incumbent party saying the NPP is violent, and the biggest question still lingers: what does he have to offer? For me, his biggest selling point is his integrity. He has proven himself to be a man that the people trust. He is already independently wealthy, and has demonstrated he has no interest in getting rich by stealing from the government. In the age of political bribery scandals and flagrant corrupt practices, a leader who sets an example is sorely needed as president.
      I believe with Akufo-Addo and his team leading the nation, we can get the country back on track and back to work, because they have a plan. He won't be irresponsible with our resources, and hopefully he will get our public sector in shape and move our country in the right direction. The simple promise of reserving 30% of locally tendered government contracts for businesses headed by young entrepreneurs opens up so many possibilities for young people like myself.
      My country Ghana is at a crossroads and we have a big decision to make. This will be the first election I choose to vote in, and though I have "rocked on" with President John Mahama's free concerts, I have chosen Nana Akufo-Addo and I can't wait for December 7. My vote will hopefully be for a future that will allow me to fly to the real Dubai, not just fly over it.