President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday said Ghana would leverage on the alliances and friendships built over the past six decades “to grow our economy and nation.”
“Our common humanity requires that we forge partnerships with the developed world that would lead to the transformation of the lives of the Ghanaian and African peoples, a transformation that would bring the mass of our people out of poverty into a marked enhancement of the quality of their lives,” President Akufo-Addo said when he addressed the diplomatic community at the annual New Year Greetings and Reception for members of the diplomatic community at the Flagstaff House in Accra.
The event affords the diplomatic community the opportunity to deliver goodwill messages from their governments to host governments.
President Akufo-Addo assure the international community that during his tenure as Ghana’s leader, all the alliances and friendships entered into over the last sixty years would be maintained and develop, as Ghana sought to transform its economy by emulating the successes of developed economies.
He said his government was resolved to make Ghana a leader on the continent through entrenching democracy and the rule of law and positively transforming the structure of the African economy.
“We are determined to get Ghana once again to lead our continent on two fronts: in entrenching democracy and the rule of law, and in transforming the structure of the African economy to a modern, manufacturing kind that has the capacity to generate jobs for our people, and create and spread wealth across the length and breadth of our vast continent.”
President Akufo-Addo stressed that his government would not shy away from making the critical choices that were necessary for the long-term interest of our people, saying, “ We are going to invest heavily in building up the most important ingredient of development: the intellectual property of the people – the mind – education, education, education – our sure key to success.
“We want to add value to our human capital, add value to our governance, add value to our public services, add value to our infrastructure and add value to our economy. We will govern honestly,” he affirmed.
“It was not for nothing that Ghana was the first black African country to break free from colonial rule. We are determined to show that we can emulate the successes of the Asian nations, and, thereby, create a modern, prosperous nation.
“We believe that a world dominated by a handful of rich nations, with the majority of nations in the south languishing in poverty and misery, is not a prescription for global security,” He stated.
President Akufo-Addo told the diplomatic community that Ghana was now facing a promising future having enjoyed the longest period of stability since independence, adding that there was a new wind of optimism and revival blowing across the country, and that his government was determined to harness to bring about the progress, prosperity and happiness of the Ghanaian people.
“We are, arguably, the most stable, flourishing democracy in our region and continent, who showed, on the 7th of December last year, dignity and serenity in the exercise of our sovereign franchise. We have a large pool of educated Ghanaians, both in Ghana and in the Ghanaian Diaspora, and a hardworking population from which we can draw to drive our economic development,” he said.
The President said despite the economic decline in the last few years, Ghana had been able to sustain economic growth over the last two decades, continuing to lead in the production of gold and cocoa in the world, and was now an oil producing economy.
He said he had been in office for five weeks during which time he had taken a number of decisions and made appointments aimed at the formation of his government for work to commence.
“I expect that, by the middle of next month, God-willing, the full complement of the Akufo-Addo administration will be in place, so we can mobilise all our forces to deliver on the mandate entrusted so emphatically on our shoulders by the Ghanaian people on December 7, 2016,” he said with optimism.
President Akufo-Addo stressed that Ghana’s foreign policy would continually be moulded by the country’s commitment to the values of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law, committing his government to renewing Ghana’s collaboration with countries and international organisations to advance the ties that bind them.
“Our commitment to the values of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law will continue to shape our foreign policy. I would, therefore, like to renew my commitment to Ghana’s continued collaboration with your respective countries and international organisations in this symbolic year and in the many years ahead, in order to advance further our common pursuit of greater co-operation, and to deepen and strengthen our ties of friendship,” he vowed.
Ghana’s engagement with other African countries, President Akufo-Addo, said would be the prime focus of its foreign policy, saying that Ghana would be very active members of ECOWAS and the AU.
He said the decisive election of Mr Thomas Kwesi Quartey, a professional diplomat, who acted as Secretary to his predecessor, President John Dramani Mahama, as Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and the election of Kathleen Quartey Ayensu and Daniel Batidam onto two legal organs of the AU, at the just ended 28th Summit of the AU in Addis Ababa, points to Ghana’s determination to retake her pride of place amongst the comity of nations on the continent.
The President pledged Ghana’s commitment to standing firmly with all civilized nations to repudiate terrorism as an instrument of political action and to support all regional, continental and global efforts to defeat the scourge of terrorism that threatened the growth of democracy.
He said Ghana was equally committed to the reforms of the global political order, insisting that the inability of the United Nations to undertake the reforms of its institutions to “reflect the realities of our times, and not the realities of the post-war world, represents a manifest injustice against the peoples of Africa.”
“We, on this continent, are an integral part of the global order, and global institutions should reflect this fact. For a handful of states who emerged as the dominant powers in the world after the Second World War of the 20th century to continue, in the 21st century, to be the sole arbiters of international security remains, to us, a structural deficit, which the world community should no longer tolerate.
“I had the privilege as Foreign Minister of chairing the colloquium of Foreign Ministers that fashioned the Ezulwini Consensus -–Africa’s common position on UN reforms. I continue to subscribe to the goals of that consensus, and would use this occasion to call for the reform of the Security Council to reflect the realities of our time,” he said
Mrs Pavelyn Tendai Musaka, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Zimbabwean Ambassador to Ghana, on behalf of her colleagues congratulated the President and the people of the country for successfully achieving another democratic milestone that saw the swearing in of a new president and extended wishes of success and good health from their respective governments.
She said Ghana continued to be a shining example of democratic governance not only on the continent but the world over, saying, “We can only hope that the Black Star will shine once again under your leadership.”
Present at the evening reception were the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, Speaker of Parliament, Michael Aaron Oquaye, Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, senior government officials and political party leaders.