FULL TEXT: Akufo-Addo’s Independence Day speech at Adaklu Sports Stadium READ FAST

Mrs Beauty


His Excellency Umaro Sissoco Embaló, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau and presently Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and members of his delegation to Ho, the capital of the Volta Region, and to Adaklu, the location of this ceremony, are my first order of business. President, you are welcome from Gana.

I am pleased that President Embaló has taken over as Chairperson of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS. Ghana is proud of the strong ties of friendship and cooperation that exist between our two countries. I have high hopes that our two nations will continue to collaborate in order to construct a long-term future of progress and prosperity for our respective populations and countries, as well as to maintain healthy relations.

We are delighted that you accepted our invitation to celebrate this special day with us, Your Excellency. Even though you have visited our nation numerous times, the majority of your time has been spent in Accra, our nation's capital. Today, you are among people who take pride in their sense of hospitality. You are in Adaklu, which I dare say is one of the most serene and beautiful parts of our country. I hope you will agree with this assertion by the end of the visit.

I thank the cultural groups for their spectacular performances, which exemplified the best aspects of Ghanaian culture, and I express my gratitude to the children from all over the country who participated in the march. Additionally, it is always a joy to observe personnel from our security services performing spectacular drills during a parade. This year's parade and drill display are both a highlight of our independence day celebration and are not to be missed. Bravo to them!

Ladies and Gentlemen, this region of Ghana is arguably home to the country's two greatest composers: Phillip Gbeho, who wrote Ghana's vibrant and beloved national anthem and Ephraim Amu, who wrote that great anthem, Mia denyigba lorlor la (Yen ara asase ni), which taught us to take pride in our culture. One of Ghana's most prominent administrators, Daniel Chapman Nyaho, who helped ensure a smooth transition after the British left during independence; the powerful speaker, the Reverend Ametorwobla, who demonstrated that one could be both a priest and a politician; and Esther Ocloo, also known as Nkulenu, a pioneer and extraordinary industrialist whose entrepreneurial spirit endures. This region of Ghana also produced Komla Agbeli Gbedemah, the nation's first Minister of Finance and one of its founding fathers, and Jerry John Rawlings, the charismatic first president of the Fourth Republic and Ghana's longest-serving head of state.

The consolidation of various ethnic groups into a single nation is our independence's greatest accomplishment. Even though the Gold Coast was our independent Ghana's forerunner, it was made up of disparate groups. Our common identity as Ghanaians was established when we achieved independence.

The fact that only the Volta, Oti, and a portion of the current Northern Regions had the unique opportunity to choose to join the territory that became Ghana at independence is an important historical fact. Of all the various peoples that have contributed to the formation of our modern nation, these three groups were the only ones who did so. Naturally, I am referring to the plebiscite that took place in 1956. On May 9 of that year, the people of then-British Togoland cast their votes for their country's accession to the Gold Coast upon her independence a year later. Ghana would not be what it is today if not for that significant historical event.

Today is the anniversary of when we became the first nation in sub-Saharan Africa to be free of colonial rule. With this honor came the heavy responsibility of being a permanent indicator of the continent's progress.

Even though we acknowledge that we have not fully realized our potential or the dreams and aspirations of our forefathers, who fought for the independent Ghana we have today, we have worked hard to fulfill this responsibility 66 years later.

Our ancestors waged war to free our nation from the shackles of imperialism and colonialism for well over a century. The numerous wars that the Ashantis fought against the British, the most recent of which featured the renowned Yaa Asantewa; the Aborigines Rights Protection Society's successful mobilization of public opinion against the British sequestration of our lands, led by Jacob Sey, Joseph Casely-Hayford, John Mensah Sarbah, and Kobina Sekyi; the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the nation's first political party, which was established in 1947; through the boycott of European traders' goods, Nii Kwabena Bonney (Boycott Hene) sparked widespread resistance; the nation-wide riots that followed the senseless shootings of unarmed ex-servicemen at the Christiansborg Crossroads on February 28, 1948, along with the deaths of Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe, and Private Odartey Lamptey; the subsequent arrest by the colonial authorities of the UGCC leaders, JB Danquah, Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey, Edward Akufo-Addo, Ebenezer Ako Adjei, William Ofori-Atta, and Kwame Nkrumah, who were held accountable for the disturbances and have gone down in history as the legendary "Big Six"; the establishment of the Watson Commission, which in 1957 contributed to the planning of the road to independence; and Kwame Nkrumah, K.A. Gbedemah, and Kojo Botsio's founding of the Convention Peoples' Party in 1949, which later served as the primary vehicle for advancing the nationalist agenda.

Our ancestors were strengthened and united in achieving a single objective: independence. It made no difference where they had come from; It made no difference to them which tribe they belonged to; it didn't make any difference which strict influence they bought into; and it was unimportant what their social standing was. They were determined to put an end to colonialism because they were aware that it did not serve the collective interests of our nation. They did, in fact.

Kwame Nkrumah, our nation's first leader, made the historic proclamation of Ghanaian independence at the Old Polo Grounds in Accra on that historic night on March 6, 1957, after decades of agitation by pioneers and members of the nationalist movement. Every year, we celebrate this momentous occasion with joy.

This year's celebration's theme, "Our Unity, Our Strength, Our Purpose," should inspire us to always strive for Ghana's progress, prosperity, and development regardless of the circumstances.

The longest period of constitutionally governed stability in our history can be traced back to the Fourth Republic. We should all work toward protecting it because only its free, democratic form of government and smart economic management will give Ghanaians what they want and deserve.

The revolutionary and transformative Free SHS policy was implemented to ensure that no Ghanaian child is denied access to high-quality education. By continually improving the National Health Insurance Scheme, expanding healthcare infrastructure, and enhancing general health delivery, we should continue to ensure that everyone in our country has access to affordable healthcare; We should keep working toward modernizing our agriculture and ensuring food security; We should keep working toward becoming an industrialized, value-added economy that does not rely on the production and export of raw materials but rather on what we make; Through the construction of roads, rail lines, ports, and airports, we should keep working to make all parts of our country accessible; We should keep working to make public service delivery more accountable, efficient, and transparent; We ought to continue the digitalization process; We should continue the difficult but necessary task of eliminating the galamsey threat from our environment; likewise, we ought to continue paying our taxes and demand that our leaders make good use of them.

Most importantly, we should continue to vigilantly guard our nation's security and integrity against threats from within and outside its borders.

Those who seek to divide us based on our religion or ethnicity cannot succeed. Let us wear the badge of being called Ghanaian with pride and strengthen our existing sense of unity. Dedicating this 66th independence anniversary to working even harder for Ghana's unity, strength, and purpose is the best way we can pay tribute to the lives of those who fought to free us from colonialism and imperialism.

As fellow Ghanaians, I am well aware of the current challenges facing our nation and the efforts we are making to address them. However, perhaps we ought to also consider our blessings in the manner in which we are collectively resolving the issues. The images are seen by everyone worldwide. There have been no fuel queues, food and other essentials shortages, or dumsor-related catastrophes in Ghana.

Our domestic economic performance has undoubtedly been negatively impacted by major global developments. Food prices and global inflation have reached all-time highs; global interest rates rising as a result of central banks tightening their monetary policies in several advanced economies to contain inflation; a crisis in the energy industry as crude oil prices reached all-time highs, once exceeding 120 dollars (US$) per barrel; the rise of the US dollar in comparison to all other currencies; the deterioration of global financing conditions, particularly for developing economies and emerging markets; and the global supply chain's extensive disruption.

The depreciation of our currency, the decline in gross international reserves, high inflation, an elevated debt burden, significant fiscal stress, constrained domestic and external financing, and reduced GDP growth are all manifestations of these phenomena in Ghana. Our people have endured hardships as a result of these.

Ghanaians have received assistance from the government through a number of fiscal interventions, and I am optimistic that we will soon see significant relief and recovery results. In two days, on Wednesday, March 8, I will deliver a Message on the State of the Nation in the Parliamentary Chamber. In it, I will discuss the entire package of policies that the Government is putting into place to restore rapid growth.

Fellow Ghanaians, one thing I want all of us to remember is that when I took office on January 7, 2017, I was given a severely troubled economy with the lowest rate of growth in over two decades. We were able to turn things around thanks to perseverance, foresight, and ingenuity. In the years prior to the onset of COVID-19, 2017, 2018, and 2019, our economy was one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa and the world, with an annual GDP growth rate of 7%.

Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)