President Nana Akufo-Addo says Ghanaians should be proud of the liberal democratic path the country is treading, and acknowledge that good things are happening in the country.
Speaking at the 63rd Independence Day celebration at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium Friday, he acknowledged that, at 63, Ghana has squandered many opportunities that, properly utilised, would have brought the country to the economic breakthrough to which it aspires.
“We lament, and rightly so, the infrastructure deficits that plague all sectors of our lives, and the considerable number of our people who still live in poverty.
“But, if truth be told, we have a solid reason to rejoice and be thankful to the Almighty, for this is a blessed nation,” the President.
With Ghana having been spared the ravages of civil war that have racked some of her neighbours and other nations on the continent, he said that “it certainly must count for something that we have been able to keep out terrorist activities from our country, and we can take for granted the peace and stability that define Ghana.”
Despite many of the countries that have made miraculous economic transformations doing so, more often than not, through authoritarian regimes, he urged Ghanaians never to forget that development through the democratic process, the path the country has chosen in the 4th Republic, is not exactly the easiest governance option.
Nonetheless, President Akufo-Addo noted that, with 81% of people in Ghana, presently, having access to safe water, and with the supply of electricity having reached 85% of Ghanaians in the country, Ghana is making progress.
Again, he added that no child has died from measles in the past 17 years in Ghana, a far departure from the situation where measles used to be the leading killer of children aged under 5.
“No longer do mothers have to sell off their most treasured fabrics and jewellery, and fathers go to money lenders, to be able to see their children through senior high school. Today, senior high school education is free for every child. We are making progress,” President Akufo-Addo said.
The President continued, “There are more children in secondary school now, especially young girls than we have ever had. We are changing the curricula and focus in education to meet the needs of the modern economy, and prepare our young people to compete on a global scale.
We are making progress. More and more people are embracing the need to preserve the beauty of our environment and the purity of our waters and oceans. We are making progress.”
With some 41 million mobile subscriptions currently, as opposed to 90,000 some 25 years ago, he indicated that “the digital revolution is changing the face of our society and our country, and, soon, we will take a deserved place as a modern economy. We are making progress.”
Describing the fashion scene in Ghana as vibrant, he told the gathering made up of tens and tens of thousands of Ghanaians that, it unearths new talent every day.
“Take a look around this stadium today, and feast your eyes on the riot of colours and the wide variety of styles that our kente weavers can conjure. Every day, this ancient, royal, eye-catching, beautiful fabric is reinvented to win over new generations. The kente, of course, has crossed over our borders and is no longer exclusively Ghanaian, but the symbol of identity for peoples of African descent everywhere,” he said.
Let’s not shirk our responsibility
President Akufo-Addo stated that the consensus in Ghana is to work towards the prosperous, peaceful and happy Ghana the citizenry wants.
Recognising the responsibility of Ghana as the first sub-Saharan colonial country to gain independence, he stated that “we owe it to the rest of the continent and the black race to demonstrate that, indeed, we can build and run a successful, prosperous and happy country. This is a task we do not shirk, and which all Ghanaians accept.”
He told the gathering that Ghana’s pan-African vocation remains on course, “as we continue to be in the frontline of the effort to forge a united Africa, and our peers have honoured and conferred on us the duty to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area. We are making progress.”