Ghana: President Mahama's New Year Message

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The following is the full text of President John Dramani Mahama's New Year message broadcast yesterday.

"Good evening my fellow countrymen and women.

It is a great privilege for me to deliver this first New Year message to you as the President of our dear nation, Ghana. I would like to begin by offering a wish, from my family to yours, for joy, prosperity, and good health in 2013.

The year we are leaving behind will be remembered as one of the most eventful in the history of our nation. 2012 was a year of several trials and tribulations; it was also a year of many victories.

Ghana experienced loss and grief of a nature it had never known before with the sudden death of our former President, John Evans Atta Mills, and our former Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama.

But Ghana also experienced a level of patriotism and unity that has not been seen since the days of our independence. 2012 was the year in which we rediscovered hope.

Ghana displayed strong economic growth, one that attracted the world's attention. Through the Better Ghana Agenda, we made sure and steady progress in critical areas of development.

Our most impressive growth as a country, however, was demonstrated in our ability during times of great difficulty and pain to come together, and to stand together as one people, one nation.

2012 also marked Ghana's sixth successful election since our return to democracy and constitutional rule. Like most elections the world over, this was a hard-fought contest yet by and large, all the debates, disputes and differences of opinion were handled peacefully, and with a respect for the rights of others, and the rule of law.

This, in itself, is proof that Ghana's democracy is true and is flourishing. It is the healthy practice of democracy and the constant application of its ideals that moves a nation closer and closer to the perfection of its democratic system.

Every challenge to Ghana's democracy is an opportunity to strengthen it. I believe in Ghana's institutions and in the good men and women who labour to bring integrity, efficiency and modernity to those agencies.

I believe in the dedication of our government--the executive, parliamentary and judicial branches--to maintaining transparency and to working for the advancement of the will and wellbeing of the people of this country.

More than anything, I have confidence in the people of Ghana. Even during Africa's darkest days, through sheer determination, Ghana managed to keep shining its now legendary light.

I am certain that with the continued grace and protection of God Almighty, that resilience and that light will guide us through whatever difficult situations or turbulent times the future may have in store.

I am proud and humbled to be your President, to have been chosen by you as the leader to usher in this next season of purpose and accomplishment. As we welcome this New Year, with its infinite promises and possibilities, we also welcome the now blank page that it offers us.

I call on all Ghanaians, especially our youth, to be an active part of nation building: take ownership of this country, and join in the authorship of its story, our story. I call on you to leave your mark on that page.

Let us, together--one people, one nation--write a chapter that future generations will consider the most pivotal and inspirational of them all.

This is our moment, Ghana's time, once again, for greatness.

Thank you.

May God continue to bless Ghana, and may our coming years be our best ever yet.

Happy New Year."

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