President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged Ghanaians to celebrate the festive season safely and responsibly to prevent post-holiday surge in COVID-19 cases.
In a nationally televised Christmas message, he called on all and sundry to “act and live responsibly” and continue to adhere to the protocols of social distancing, enhanced hygiene and mask wearing to curb the recent rise in the number of active cases.
“We have, for nearly two years, been wearing masks, avoiding shaking hands and using sanitizers, which have been uncomfortable experiences for us all, even though they have helped keep us safe,” he said.
The President also urged unvaccinated Ghanaians to take the COVID-19 jabs, as that was the surest way to defeat the virus and put the economy back on track.
“The science tells us that getting vaccinated is the most effective way to defeat the virus and go back to our normal way of life, re-open fully our economy, and return our nation onto the path of progress and prosperity,” he said.
“So, I entreat all those who have not been vaccinated to do so. Our responsibility to one another requires that we be vaccinated.”
Whilst acknowledging that 2021 had been a tough year for everyone and economies around the world as a result of the COVID-19, President Akufo-Addo said but for the bold and timely measures put in place by the Government to cushion Ghanaians against the worst effects of the pandemic, “our situation would have been more precarious.”
He said his Administration was determined to pull the country out of the situation, with government’s solid programme for the recovery and revitilisation of the economy – the one hundred-billion-cedi Ghana CARES ‘Obaatampa’ Programme.
“We have completed the implementation of the Stabilisation Phase in 2021, which saw the economy grow at 6.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2021, with a projected overall growth of 4.4 per cent for 2021. 2022 and 2023 will be the years of Recovery and Revitilisation and faster economic growth,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“Already, there are clear signs that the economy is bouncing back strongly, just as there are welcome indications that the global economy is also recovering.”
He urged Ghanaians not to lay heed to naysayers who said government was doing little to get the country out of recession.
“The work undertaken by my government, over the last five years, in education, healthcare delivery, agricultural and industrial transformation, infrastructural enhancement, especially in the road sector, the empowerment of the security services, and the development of the digital economy, amongst others, is evident.”
“I appeal to you to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my government in these trying times…we will emerge from this difficult patch stronger and even more resilient. Let us not see the economic difficulties of today as the blueprint for tomorrow.”
“I am a firm, passionate believer in our national potential. We have it in us to rise up and revive our fortunes. There are brighter days ahead for Mother Ghana.”
President Akufo-Addo urged Ghanaians to bear in mind the true meaning of the life of Jesus Christ on earth as they celebrate the season.
“He was born to reconcile man to God, and, in so doing, demanded that we love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind… and love our neighbours as our ourselves.”
“The cardinal principles of Christianity – charity, faith, humility, love and reconciliation – should guide us in this festive season and beyond.”
“And please, in the name of Christian charity, remember to help those who are less fortunate in this festive season.”