Time to pursue path of prosperity is now – President

Pressident Akufo-Addo lighting the perpertual flame

Pressident Akufo-Addo lighting the perpertual flame

At the 61st independence anniversary observation in Accra yesterday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo declared that Ghana’s time to pursue the path of prosperity is now.

In an address to the nation from the Independence Square to mark the anniversary on the theme ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’, President Akufo-Addo said the mantra is doable with the belief of the citizenry.

“It is time to pursue a path to prosperity and self-respect for our nation. A Ghana beyond Aid is a prosperous and self-confident Ghana that is in charge of its economic destiny.

“Ghana beyond Aid is not a pie in the sky notion, other countries, including some of our peers at independence have done exactly that.  It is doable and we must believe that what others, with less resources, have done, we can do,” President Akufo-Addo noted.

According to the President, the most rapid cases of economic and social transformation in history, with those in South East Asia in particular, generally spanned a period of about 30 years but “we cannot wait that long; we have wasted enough time already. We have to hurry but we must be realistic.”

For a start, however, he said things needed to be done differently because business as usual would not do it and cannot be achieved overnight.

For that dream to be realised, he said the resources of the country needed to be effectively harnessed and creatively deployed for rapid economic and social transformation.

This, he said, would require “hard work, enterprise, creativity, and a consistent fight against corruption in public life. It will also require that we break from a mentality of dependency and adopt a confident can-do spirit, fuelled by love for our dear country, Ghana.  We cannot subordinate the common good to build a prosperous nation to the selfish interest of a few.”

His government, he said, has started on the right path with steps being taken to restore macro-economic stability and economic growth adding that after a year of “disciplined and innovative” economic management, the results have been remarkable.

“We will continue to manage the economy in a disciplined and sound framework so that we maintain fiscal and debt sustainability” for “this in the long run is fundamental to moving Beyond Aid,” he envisaged.

Despite the country being  well endowed with many natural resources such as gold, bauxite, diamonds, oil, timber, cocoa, water, fertile land amongst others, the truth is that “the state of our nation does not bear out that we have these natural endowments,” President Akufo-Addo stated.

He said his government will pursue an agenda to add value to the country’s many raw materials in order to industrialise for prosperity and the creation of jobs.

In his view, “it is unacceptable that, even though we produce in West Africa 65 per cent of cocoa beans in the world, we earn only between 3.5 per cent and six per cent of the final price of a chocolate bar. Value addition is, therefore, imperative if we are to maximise the potential to pursue resource-based industrialisation.”

He mentioned the untapped prospects in the bauxite sector which he said government is committed to, to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.

President Akufo-Addo rededicated his government’s commitment to infrastructure development, the private sector and human resource; which in his view is the biggest asset of the country.

“Fellow Ghanaians, Ghana beyond Aid is meant to be more than a slogan. It is meant to propel us into the frame of mind that would quicken our pace of development. It is meant to change our mindset from one of dependency to one of achieving our destiny.

“It is meant to put us in charge of our own affairs and make us truly independent. Above all, Ghana Beyond Aid will give us the respect and dignity we deserve,” he said to loud applause from the hundreds who have travelled from far and near to the square.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI & JONATHAN DONKOR

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