NEWS

Akufo-Addo lauds workers’ efforts to post-Covid economic recovery

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commended the immeasurable contributions and commitment of Ghanaian workers that ensured a rapid post-Covid economic recovery in the country.

He said it is through their efforts that Ghana witnessed the days of high growth rates, made the best place to do business and the most attractive destination for investment in West Africa.

He gave the commendation when he delivered his solidarity message for this year’s International Workers Day, May Day Celebration yesterday at Bolgatanga, Upper East Region.

The President also expressed the optimism that Ghana will emerge stronger from this difficult period, stressing “by dint of hard work, prudence and creativity, we will turn things around”.

“We will work to help return our economy to the days of high growth rates, and make our country, again, the best place to do business and the most attractive destination for investment in West Africa, like we were in March 2020, prior to the onset of COVID-19. We are confident of a rapid economic recovery, and my government will not relent in this regard. It is a solemn pledge I am making to you, my fellow Ghanaians, and one which I am determined to fulfil,” he assured.

Democracy

He stressed the need for every Ghanaian to be committed to democratic values and democratic institutions, to resist the claims of nation wreckers and adventurers.

He urged the populace to employ all legitimate means in a democracy to maintain free, open system of governance, which is respectful of human rights, the rule of law and the principles of democratic accountability.

The President also pledged to uphold the respect for fundamental human rights, which are guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution, includes respect for the right of association, which entitles every citizen to join any lawful association of his or her choice.

“That includes the right to join trades unions, and, so long as I am President, we will continue to uphold that right. And I will do my part to ensure the completion of the review of the Labour Law. I need the active co-operation of Organised Labour to ensure that the right is respected,” the President intimated.

Peace

In response to the appeal by the Secretary-General to intensify efforts at bringing peace to Bawku, the President gave the assurance that there is no higher priority for Government on the agenda of national security than the resolution of the Bawku conflict.

He revealed that government is currently intensifying the efforts to find a solution to the customary tensions that underline the Bawku conflict. He said this ensure that hopefully, a final resolution of that conflict can be attained, just as it has been attained in Dagbon.

“Nothing will give me greater pleasure, in the concluding days of my presidency, than to help bring lasting peace to Bawku. May God grant me the wisdom to achieve that outcome. I celebrate you, our gallant workers, once again, for your hard work, selflessness, sacrifice, patriotism and commitment to the development of our beloved nation. Your contributions will be duly recognised and rewarded, and I urge you to remain steadfast and focused in your pursuit of excellence,” he stated.

IMF status

Touching on the status of the IMF programme negotiations, the President said after achieving a Staff Level Agreement with the IMF in December, 2022 in record time, six months after beginning the negotiations in July 2022, government had continued to work tirelessly to complete all prior actions required to present Ghana’s Programme to the IMF Executive Board for approval.

“We have also made substantial progress on the debt exchange programme, as well as on our engagements with bilateral creditors to secure financing assurances required for the IMF Programme. We are assured that the next round of meetings of the Paris Club will result in the formation of Official Creditor Committee, inclusive of China, and the provision of financing assurances,” he added

The IMF and the World Bank, he acknowledged have been very supportive in this journey, revealing that “with the progress made so far, we expect the IMF Board to consider Ghana’s programme for imminent approval, after the financing assurances are provided”.

He commended the Organised Labour for the role they have played in this journey, especially their inputs into the preparation of the government’s Post COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth, which underpins the IMF-supported Programme.

“We are very confident that the approval of the IMF Programme will contribute significantly to revival of confidence required to drive the successful implementation of the Post COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth and the key structural reforms for economic recovery and sustained inclusive growth.

“Already the progress we have made in securing the IMF Staff Level Agreement, in the debt exchange programme, and the implementation of key structural reforms, are yielding benefits. Inflation is decelerating, interest rates on government treasury notes are declining, the depreciation of the cedi is slowing down, and GDP growth for 2022 has performed beyond expectations,” he stated.

Appeal

The President further appealed to all Ghanaians, including Organised Labour, to continue to “build on the good rapport and excellent relations that exist among us”.

“The peace we enjoy today should never be taken for granted, and we should cherish every single moment that allows us to advance our development, progress and prosperity, in conditions of peace and stability. I assure you of Government’s utmost support and co-operation,” the President added.

 

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