President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that he remains optimistic about the future of Ghana, and that with a spirit of reconciliation, fairness, integrity and hard work, the best days of the country are yet to come.
In working to attain that end, he said “our goal has to be constant, which is, to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of Ghanaians, who yearn for improvement in their living standards, for peace, security and solidarity and to put Ghana onto the path of sustained progress and prosperity”.
He said with that in mind and embedded in our hearts, Ghana could hope for a brighter future because the country had been blessed with enormous wealth and human capital.
President Akufo-Addo said this in his address at an inter-faith thanksgiving service to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the establishment of the Fourth Republic at the Independence Square in Accra on Sunday.
It was on the theme: “Twenty-five years of the Fourth Republic: Celebrating the goodness of the Lord.”
Ghanaians deserve the credit
He said the achievements chalked up in the Fourth Republic were to the credit of the Ghanaian people — the ordinary men and women who make up the fabric of the Ghanaian nation.
According to the President, 25 years ago the Ghanaian people resolved to build under God a united nation grounded in democratic values and the rule of law and had, largely, gone a long way towards realising it.
He said with the country cumulatively experiencing the longest uninterrupted period of stable, constitutional governance in its history, the period had banished the spectre of instability that disfigured the early years of Ghana’s existence and that the benefits were showing.
He catalogued some of the benefits, saying the country had witnessed sustained growth in the size of the economy, rising levels of per capita real income, systematic expansion of the private sector and, in addition, it had taken strong measures to try to protect its lands, water bodies and environment from the menace of environmental degradation.
Additionally, President Akufo-Addo said, in the last 25 years, there had been efforts to meet most basic elements of social justice with regard to education from kindergarten through to secondary school and accessible health care for all citizens, which were still ongoing.
Gains made under the Fourth Republic
He indicated further that under the Fourth Republic, media freedoms had been entrenched and that attachment to the rule of law, probity and accountability, respect for individual liberties, human rights, the principles of democratic accountability and social justice had been deepened.
Additionally, he said, an environment in which the government and regulatory policies attempted to enhance, instead of inhibit or frustrate trade, commerce and investments, was being created.
Democracy, equality of opportunity and respect for human rights, ideals that had stood the test of time, President Akufo-Addo said, had now found firm anchor in the country’s body politic.
That, he added, was evidenced in the election of five Presidents in the history of the Republic, and “even when there was disagreement with the outcome of an election, it was the Supreme Court, rather than the streets, that determined results”.
Challenges still persist
The President posited, however, that in spite all those gains, the country was yet to reach the potential it ought to achieve.
“The biggest challenge we face continues to be eradicating widespread poverty. We still have challenges in the performance of our public services; we face threats, traditional and contemporary, to our nation’s security and social stability in the form of chieftaincy and land disputes, ethnic conflicts, vigilantism, cyber security issues, youth unemployment, economic hardships and corruption in our public life,” he said.
As a way of addressing those challenges, he told the gathering, “we have begun to take a deep look at the structure of our economy in order to transform it from a raw material producing and exporting one to a value-added, industrialised economy with modernised agriculture to serve our needs better”.
“The era of Ghana’s industrialisation has dawned, so that we can trade in the global marketplace, not on the basis of raw materials but on the basis of things we make, inspired by our sense of enterprise, creativity and innovation. It is the most effective way we can generate jobs and wealth for the masses of our people and join the ranks of the developed, prosperous nations of the world,” he said.
On the unionisation of the continent, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana remained obligated to the unity and integration of the sub-region and the continent and that achieving functioning common regional and continental markets would help consolidate the process of structural transformation of the economies of various African countries and thus help open up the space for accelerated development.
Source: Graphic Online