President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Saturday rallied Ghanaians to remain resolute in the face of COVID-19, and with unity, optimism and determination work to ensure that the country comes out of the pandemic speedily and favorably.
Noting the country’s recent covid-19 case count increase, he urged every Ghanaian to help ensure its decline, saying: “We did that before, and we can do it again.”
“Yes, the first vaccines have arrived in the country and are being deployed and I appeal passionately to each one of you to take the vaccine when it is your turn. But, however, we cannot afford to let go of the enhanced hygiene and mask-wearing protocols, which have defined our way of living.”
“If we are to be successful in building a resilient Ghana capable of withstanding in future external shocks such as covid-19, then we must all put our shoulders to the wheel.”
President Akufo-Addo made the call when he delivered an address to mark the 64th Independence Day Anniversary held at the forecourt of the Jubilee House, Accra.
The annual national event, usually held at the Independence Square with a traditional march past of security services and selected schools, was this year scaled down as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions on large gatherings.
This year’s event was simplified and modified with a special parade of only eight officers and 29 men and women, involving personnel drawn from the Ghana Armed Forces and other security services. No school participated.
The President, before his address, lighted a perpetual flame mounted at the precincts of the Jubilee House and reviewed a drill display by the special contingent on parade.
There was a flying past of the Ghana flag by a Ghana Air force helicopter, and a 21 gun salute by the Ghana Navy.
Telecasted live nationally, the event was attended by the Vice President, the Speaker of Parliament, the Chef Justice, Chairman of the Council of State, ministers of state and some members of Parliament, security service chiefs and their commanders, members of the diplomatic community and senior officials of the Presidency.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that Ghana, being the first to attain independence in sub-Saharan Africa, much was expected of her.
He noted that over the course of time; “We have sought to express a deep consciousness of love for our country and the importance of ensuring that we realise our potential as the Black Star of Africa”.
“Year after year, we commit ourselves to ensuring that we work to live the standard of living of the Ghanaian and help construct an economy that is capable of creating a society of opportunities for all. It’s taken quite some time for us to get there, but I believe there is far more self confidence among us Ghanaians today than there has been since the very early days of self-government, that we can make it if we work at it.”
“Today freedom and the cultivation of democratic values are strengthening our determination to bring into being a new Ghana that is neither pawn nor victim of the world order. Attachment of the rule of law, respect for individual liberties, human rights, the principles of democratic accountability and the dictates of social justice have deepened for our common benefit,” he said.
The President said though the biggest challenge confronting the nation was putting it on the path of sustained progress and prosperity, and enhancing the well-being of every Ghanaian, his Administration, since 2017, had put in a considerable amount of work to achieve that objective.
He said for three consecutive years, since 2017, Ghana had one of the fastest growing economies in the world and became the largest destination of foreign direct investment in West Africa, with global automobile giants setting up plants in Ghana, and others committing to do so.
“The basic tenets of social justice; that is access to education and health care, are being guaranteed for all our people. We have become self-sufficient in food production and, for the first time in a long while, exported our surpluses to our neighbours,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“Sustained efforts through digitisation are being made to formalise our economy and we have hastened our critical journey of industrialisation and value addition activities, whose result would be to create jobs for the teeming masses of Ghanaians”.
The President said government was taking the required steps to revitalise and transform the economy, assuring that the benefits of the country’s economic recovery would begin to show a year from now and move Ghana to a situation beyond aid.
“We should begin to take our pride of place as one of the fastest growing economies, not only in Africa, but also in the world. Yes, from now we should be processing more and more of our raw materials to help create jobs for the millions of Ghanaians.”
“A year from now, more and more children should be having access to education. A year from now every district and region should have a hospital while residents will be able to have decent affordable health care.”
“Fellow Ghanaians, this is not beyond us if we put our hearts and minds to it. We can make it and protect our heritage and environment. Let us not allow our energies to be sapped by either the failures of the past or the challenges of today.”
“Let us embrace today’s challenges as opportunities for a brighter future. Let us redefine our sense of national responsibility and remove any doubt some may continue to have about our ability to manage our own Affairs.”
“Let us devote ourselves to the freedom and welfare of mother Ghana. Albeit it an arduous task, I am confident that with dedication, hard work, honesty and integrity we can fulfill the dreams and aspirations of the founding fathers of our nation, who envisaged us to be a dynamic, progressive, prosperous and united nation.”
“We must all step up and play significant roles in the development of Ghana our motherland,” the President said.