Francis Ameyibor, GNA
Accra, March 6, GNA – President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday said it is time for Ghana to pursue a path to prosperity and self-respect.
He said: “A Ghana Beyond Aid is a prosperous and self-confident Ghana that is in charge of her economic destiny; a transformed Ghana that is prosperous enough to be beyond needing aid and that engages competitively with the rest of the world through trade and investment. It is possible.
President Akufo-Addo said this at the Black Star Square in Accra to mark Ghana’s 61st Anniversary, which is on the theme: “Ghana Beyond Aid”.
“It is not a pie in the sky notion, because 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,” he said.
The President noted, however, that; “We are not going to achieve the transformation in our economy, which is necessary for a Ghana Beyond Aid by just talking about it. We have to DO something about it!
“As a start, we have to do things differently to realise this goal of a Ghana Beyond Aid. Business as usual will not do it. It cannot happen by waving a magic wand. And it cannot be achieved overnight.”
He said the most rapid cases of economic and social transformation in history, those in South East Asia, generally spanned a period of about 30 years; about a generation but Ghana could not wait that long.
“We have wasted enough time already. It is time to get on with it, and the time is now,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said: “You have heard me say on a number of occasions, I am a man in a hurry, but I am also a realistic man. To get to a Ghana Beyond Aid, we will have to harness effectively our own resources and deploy them creatively and efficiently for rapid economic and social transformation.
“As I said in the Independence Day address last year, this will 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”.
The President said moving “Ghana Beyond Aid” meant ensuring that future generations had a healthy environment to inherit and there was the need to be determined to protect the environment and water bodies by joining hands in the fight against illegal mining, also known as galamsey, to bring an end to the devastation of the landscape and the pollution of water bodies.
“We have to win that fight to keep our environment clean, and protect our heritage for our descendants. We have started on the right path towards a prosperous future with the concrete steps we are taking to restore macro-economic stability and economic growth,” he said.
The 61st Independence Anniversary Parade was reviewed by President Akufo-Addo, accompanied by his two aides de camp, the Chief of the Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa and the Inspector General of Police, Mr David Asante-Appeatu.
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria was the Special Guest of Honour for the occasion, with Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia also present.
Other high profile dignitaries who graced the occasion include the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo; Mrs Samira Bawumia, wife of the Vice President, the Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo; former President John Agyekum Kufuor; former President Jerry John Rawlings and his wife Nana Konadu, and former Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur.
The rest are Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, Convention People's Party Elections 2016 Presidential Candidate, Hajia Hamdatu Ibrahim, CPP first Vice Chairperson; Mr Bernard Mornah, Chairman of the People's National Convention; and Dr Nii Allotey Brew Hammond, the National Chairman of the Progressive People's Party.
Ministers of State, parliamentarians, traditional rulers, members of the diplomatic community, religious leaders and sections of the public were also present.
Fifty-nine officers from the security forces mounted the Parade with 1,134 men and women from the Ghana Armed Forces, the Ghana Prison Service, the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Immigration Service, the Ghana National Fire Service and the Custom Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority.
Participating in the Parade also were 758 teachers, students, and pupils drawn from basic and senior high schools in the Greater Accra Region.
The Mass Band was composed of men and women from the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ghana Police Service.