President Akufo-Addo has stated that with a spirit of reconciliation, fairness, integrity and hard work, the best days of “Mother Ghana lie ahead of us.”
According to him, “our goal has to be constant – to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of Ghanaians, who yearn for improvements in their living standards, in conditions of peace, security and solidarity, and to put Ghana onto the path to sustained progress and prosperity.”
“We can hope for a brighter future, because we are blessed with enormous wealth and human potential,” he declared.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Sunday, 7th January, 2018, at the Independence Square, at an inter-faith thanksgiving service held to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the establishment of the 4th Republic.
“With the country experiencing the longest, uninterrupted period of stable, constitutional governance in our history” he said “this period has banished the spectre of instability that disfigured the early years of Ghana’s existence, and the benefits are showing.”
Cataloguing some of the benefits gained after over two decades of democratic dispensation, the President noted that Ghana has witnessed sustained growths in the size of the economy; rising levels of per capita real incomes; systematic expansion of the private sector; and taken strong measures to try to protect our lands, water bodies and environment from the menace of environmental degradation.
He continued that additionally, over the last 25 years, efforts to meet the most basic elements of social justice, i.e. education from kindergarten through to secondary school, and accessible healthcare to all our citizens, are ongoing.
The President indicated further that under the 4th Republic, media freedom has been entrenched; attachment to the rule of law, probity and accountability, respect for individual liberties, human rights, the principles of democratic accountability and social justice have been deepened; and an environment in which government and regulatory policies attempt to enhance, rather than inhibit or frustrate, trade, commerce and investments is being created.
Democracy, equality of opportunity and respect for human rights, ideals which have stood the test of time, President Akufo-Addo said, have now found firm anchor in the country’s body politic.
This, he added, is evidenced in the election of 5 Presidents in the history of the 4th Republic, and “even when there was disagreement with the outcome of an election, it was the Supreme Court, rather than the streets, that determined its result.”
Despite all these gains, the President indicated that Ghana has not reached the potential she should have.
“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 conflicts, land disputes, ethnic conflicts, vigilantism, cyber security issues, youth unemployment, economic hardships, and corruption in our public life,” he said.
In addressing these challenges, the President told the gathering that “we have begun to take a deep look at the structure of our economy, and transform it, from a raw material producing and exporting one to a value-added, industrialised economy, with a modernised agriculture, to serve better our needs.”
He continued, “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.”
With Ghana’s obligation to the unity and integration of the region and the continent as a whole, President Akufo-Addo stressed that achieving functioning, common regional and continental markets will help consolidate the process of structural transformation of “our economy, on which we are engaged, and will, thus, help open up the space for accelerated development.”