President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday charged Ghanaians to put in the spirit of togetherness and willingness as they support the government to implement measures for the rebound of the economy.
Delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament, the President said the government had initiated bold steps to overturn the economic downturn, adding, however, that it won’t be an easy task.
“The road to recovery will be hard and long, Mr Speaker, but we have started on a good footing by accepting that we are in a difficult place and are taking the difficult decisions that will get us out,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo made a passionate appeal to all Ghanaians to join the efforts in getting the country back on track.
“Mr Speaker, there are many problems, and we have to overcome them to get back to where we ought to be. I need your support; no President, no government could undertake this all by themselves; I need all Ghanaians to pull and push together,” he added.
Making allusion to the solid character the citizenry demonstrated during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the President said: “I saw the sense of enterprise and innovation of the Ghanaian. I saw our manufacturers quickly adapt their plants to produce sanitizers and our tailors, equally, quickly displayed the innovation they had always been known for, by turning face masks into fashion items,” he said.
“Let us, more than ever, hold our heads up high, and face the future with courage, hope and assurance. Let us recall our age-old Ghanaian values of hard work, enterprise, solidarity, dignity and hospitality. Look around you, believe in Ghana, and be inspired by Ghana. We will bounce back together,” he stated.
Accommodate each other
The President urged the country’s political parties to find ways of accommodating each other’s differences for the benefit of the nation.
“Both the major political parties of the country, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), have made positive contributions to this development. There is work to be done on building our institutions, but our democracy is worth fighting for. It is up to us to find a way to accommodate each other and our differences to make things work for the benefit of the Ghanaian people,” he said.
President Nana Akufo-Addo bemoaned recent development where the West African sub-region is suddenly back in the international headline news for all the wrong reasons such as political instability and coups.
He indicated that the long and bitter experience of coups d’état compelled ECOWAS to reinforce its current stance of zero tolerance for military coups, saying “we, in Ghana, know the cost of instability; it leads to the exodus of our artisans and professionals, and the emptying of teachers from our schools.”
“We do not want to be an island of peace and stability in a region of turmoil. We do not aspire to be prosperous in the midst of want and poverty. We want a stable and prosperous Ghana in a stable and prosperous region. We should use our Chairmanship of ECOWAS, our membership of the AU, and as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council to work towards achieving these goals,” President Nana Akufo-Addo said.
On education, the President stated that construction of five new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) universities would start in the coming months to help meet Ghana’s industrialisation goals.
He mentioned that the government is in the process of securing funding for the tertiary institutions, which would be built in the newly created Western North, North East, Savannah, Ahafo and Oti regions.
Taking into account resources channeled into technical and vocational education by the New Patriotic Party government, the President further stated that nine other Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) campuses would be established soon.
According to him, the nine campuses, which will have modern workshops, laboratories, hostels, staff accommodation, among others, will be located at Bosomtwe, Akyim Awisa, Boako, Kenyasi, Tuda, Dambai, Larabungah, Buabuliga and Tulibri.
Free Senior High School and TVET education, he said, are the best tools to lead the country’s developmental efforts. He disclosed that, least, 34 TVET institutions had been refurbished and due for commissioning soon.