President John Dramani Mahama on Monday stated that Ghana was moving forward, despite the economic and power challenges the country was currently experiencing.
He said if for nothing at all, the country had over the years witnessed massive socio-economic improvementsl and wondered why critics preferred to say the country was moving backwards.
President Mahama who was interacting with the Ghanaian community in Gaborone, Botswana, as part of his three-day state Visit, said Ghana since independence had improved in amenity development such as water, health, roads, transport and education and it was therefore unfair to christen the country as retrogressive.
He said although health facilities were still inadequate, almost all the old districts were boasting of hospitals and polyclinics, while plans were underway to step up the construction of more in the new districts and other major towns.
The President said the telecommunication and electricity sectors had over the years also received massive improvement.
On the economy, President Mahama said government was adopting permanent workable solutions that would bring the economy firmly on its feet.
He mentioned the intervention of the International Monetary Fund, the improvement in technology in all aspects of financial management, and the reduction of the wage bill, as some of the strong measures that were underway to stem the high government expenditure.
He explained that, while government was instituting the regime of fiscal discipline by maintaining a balanced expenditure, the reduction of the wage bill from 73 percent to 49 percent was an ample demonstration that government was determined to reduce expenditure and to stabilize the economy.
With the cooperation between Ghana and Botswana, President Mahama said apart from signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Political consultations, Ghana would also learn a lot from Botswana in the area of livestock rearing that the latter had a comparative advantage.
He said Ghana was also ready to collaborate with the Southern African country in Mining, since Botswana had rich experience in Diamond Mining and processing.
“Botswana will also continue to benefit from Ghana in the area of human resource development especially in the areas of education and health,” President Mahama added.
Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Haruna Attah, Ghana’s High Commissioner to Botswana, urged Ghanaians to be disciplined in the discharge of their democratic rights and freedoms.
He said: “You can disagree with somebody, but not to resort to insults and violence in the media…we also need to help the government of the day to succeed by avoiding negativity.”
Mr Solomon Opare Kumi, Honorary Counsul of Ghana to Botswana, called for the establishment of biometric centres in Botswana, to reduce the burden of Ghanaians living in the country from traveling to Ghana to acquire t new passports.
The programme was attended by over 500 Ghanaians in the capital and beyond.