President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo has underlined the need to move quickly to effectively harness and creatively deploy the nation’s resources for rapid socio-economic transformation.
He indicated that it should not be business as usual and that things needed to be done differently.
He was addressing a colourful parade of the security services and school children laced with spectacular military displays at the Independence Square in Accra to mark Ghana’s 61 years of nationhood.
“Ghana beyond aid” was the theme chosen for the event.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was on hand to give added importance to the day’s cerebration.
Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, two former Presidents – Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor, the First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the Second Lady, Mrs. Samira Bawumia, former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, and former Vice President, Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, were among the tall list of high profile personalities present.
Also there were Ministers of State, Members of Parliament (MPs), Members of the Diplomatic Community, leaders of the various political parties, religious and traditional rulers.
President Akufo-Addo touched on the theme and said “it is doable and we must believe that what others, with less resources, have done, we can do”.
He, however, pointed out that it was going to require hard work, enterprise, creativity, and a consistent fight against corruption in public life.
He spoke of the need to add value to the nation’s raw materials, something he said was the key to industrialisation, prosperity and job creation.
“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 industrialization.”
The President said to become self-reliant Ghanaians should break away from a mentality of dependency and adopt a confident, can-do spirit, fuelled by love for the country.
“We cannot subordinate the common good to build a prosperous nation to the selfish interest of a few.”
He added that “even though underachievement may have been a major part of our history thus far, it should no longer be part of our destiny”.
“The only nation we are destined to become is the one we choose and decide to be. We do not have to accept someone’s definition of Africa or of Ghana. We must define and craft our destiny,” he declared, drawing rapturous applause from the crowd.