LOCAL STORIESNEWS

Consensus critical for prosperous Ghana – President urges on Founders’ Day

Senior citizens of between 62 and 92 years joined President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and other government officials at a banquet to mark the Founders’ Day celebration in Accra on Friday.

The merrymaking event, addressed by just one speaker, was characterised by song renditions by two vintage musicians, Gyedu-Blay Ambolley and Pozo Hayes, backed by the Police Band.

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia; the Chief Justice, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo; the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare; former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings; members of the Council of State, current and former government functionaries, and retirees from various institutions, among others, were also present at the fourth Founders’ Day celebration introduced in 2019 to replace the July 1 Republic Day holiday, which the country had marked since 1960.

Addressing the event, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo called for a consensus to build a prosperous, peaceful and a happy nation.

This, he said, was crucial while government worked to address the economic challenges facing the country.

“As I have stated before, I want us, on this occasion, when we are celebrating the founders of our nation, to believe in our capacity to build a modern developed progressive nation,” he said.

Responsibility

President Akufo-Addo urged Ghanaians to recognise the responsibility as the first sub-saharan colonial country to gain independence not to simply build an independent country, but 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”.

He expressed confidence that the country would soon overcome the current challenges and build a new Ghanaian civilisation marked by fair opportunity for all and unlimited access to the educational system that embraced Science and Technology, but, particularly, the digital revolution.

He said the new civilisations would also include affordable and accessible healthcare where hard work, enterprise, and creativity were rewarded as a basis for individual wealth, and also a country with abundance of decent, good paying jobs, especially for the youth.

He said the new era would be marked by dignified retirement for the elderly; social safety net for the vulnerable and the disadvantaged; a governance system based on the separation of powers which was free from corruption and respectful of the rule of law, individual liberties, human rights and the principles of democratic accountability.

Debate

President Akufo-Addo said it was heartwarming that this year’s Founders’ Day celebration did not attract intense and needless debate.

This, he explained, was due to the fact that majority of Ghanaians had come to acknowledge that the process of liberating the country from the shackles of colonialism and imperialism was borne across many decades by many Ghanaians, some of whom had to pay dearly with their lives.

President Akufo-Addo traced the liberation from the days of the Aborigines Rights Protection Society, which protected the country’s lands from the grasp of “imperialists” to the fight for independence.

He said the country was in a second struggle to free the nation from the economic arrangements designed by the former colonial power to serve its particular purpose at the time, which, he said, continued to bind the country.

“We must make concerted efforts to break away from the neocolonial structure of the raw material producing and exporting economy, which has largely been our lot, and take decisive steps to reach our goal of building a Ghana beyond aid,” he stressed.

He indicated that he had preoccupied himself, since assuming office as President, with the laying of the foundation of the transformation of the economy from the export of raw materials and retailing of imported goods to a modern value-adding industrialised one.

Work

President Akufo-Addo said before the onset of COVID-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the country made modest but important gains in every aspect of the economy.

He added that in spite of the difficulties, the goal of the government remained the same; to enhance the integrity of the Ghanaian and lift the standard of living of the citizenry

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