President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday stated, emphatically, that his government’s determination to rein in corruption in Ghana is non-negotiable.
He said Ghanaians had entrusted him with the responsibility to better their lot, and he would not waver in his commitment to enhance accountability in the nation’s public life, as corruption had become the bane of Ghana’s development and progress.
“Words can no longer defeat the canker of corruption…concrete actions must,” he said, giving the assurance that the Office of Special Prosecutor, which would be enacted in the next Session of Parliament, would boost the anti-corruption drive of his administration.
President Akufo-Addo made the pledge when he addressed the opening of the 2017 Advocates Africa Convocation in Accra.
The four-day programme is being hosted by the Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Ghana. The event brings together various Christian lawyers networks from Africa to discuss pertinent issues to the Continent.
The Concovocation is under the theme: “Awake, Awake Africa and put on Your Strength and your Beautiful Garment”.
The President urged Christian lawyers, in their work and advocacy, to be at the forefront of championing government’s commitment to building a modern, developed, prosperous and progressive Ghana, and free her from a mindset of dependence, aid, charity and handouts.
He noted that with their help, “we will build a new Ghanaian civilization, where there is fair opportunity for all in education and health, where hard work, enterprise and creativity are rewarded, where there is an abundance of decent jobs with good pay, where there is a dignified retirement for the elderly, and where there is a social safety net for the vulnerable and disadvantaged.”
President Akufo-Addo told the lawyers that the Ghanaian people voted him into office because they were dissatisfied with their living conditions and the direction in which the country’s economy was headed.
“I pledged to help build a prosperous society, which creates opportunities for all its citizens, a society where there is discipline and fairness, where people go about their lives in a free and responsible manner, a society where there are safety nets for the vulnerable and decent retirement for the elderly, an open society protected by well-resourced and motivated security services, and where the rule of law works,” he said.
The President said his administration had set to work and was building a business-friendly economy that would enable the country to get to the stage where the opportunities that were available would help it build an optimistic, self-confident and prosperous nation – A Ghana beyond Aid.
He said the Government was taking steps to ensure and maintain a stable macroeconomic environment in the context of a growing economy and, thereby, attracting private sector investment.
“Our industrial regeneration, through our policy of One District- One Factory, our agricultural revival, through the programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, targeted infrastructural development, especially of our roads and railways, and promoting access to digital technology are going to be the main avenues for job creation,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He pledged to develop Ghana’s healthcare system and make it accessible to the poorest in the society through an improved National Health Insurance system.
He said government had begun the process of clearing the arrears of debts that had saddled the smooth operation of the health insurance scheme.
President Akufo-Addo said starting from September 2017, his Government would redeem its pledge of providing free Senior High School Education in the public schools, stressing that it was an important tool for the development of the country.
“We have begun to clear the arrears of debt that were strangling the National Health Insurance Scheme, Kufuor’s great legacy to our nation, so that we will have, again, a buoyant health delivery system to which even the poorest in our society can have ready access,” he added.
The modern, prosperous society that his government aims to build, he said, is hinged on a foundation of good governance and the rule of law, and “that is where you come in, firstly as Christians and secondly as Christian lawyers.”
“Together, let us also promote a spirit of reconciliation amongst all of us for the sake of our beloved Ghana and Africa, her progress and prosperity,” he said.