Ghana's democratic proclivity is expected to be deepened as government seeks to build a prosperous and a wealthy nation with equal opportunities, where all of its citizens will feel they have a stake, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Addo has stated.
The President, who was delivering a speech on "Democracy and Development" at the Cambridge Union Society of the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, said: "The democracy that we seek to build does not end in casting votes, and electing a President and a Member of Parliament once every four years. "We seek to build a prosperous nation with equal opportunities, where all citizens feel they have a stake," adding "Never again should a Ghanaian citizen feel he has to join the desperados that cross the Sahara and drown in the Mediterranean Sea, because their own country holds no promise or hope."
President Akufo-Addo explained that even though there would always be some who would want to try and seek their fortunes in foreign lands, it should never be because there were no opportunities in Ghana.
He said Ghana's infant democracy had put the country on the path to sustainable development, which should improve the way the natural and human resources of the country were managed.
"We are on the path to creating wealth and improving the lives of our people. We are determined to do that by transforming the structure of our economy. The neo-colonial economy, based on the production and export of raw materials, cannot form the basis of a new era of prosperity for our people," the President emphasized.
The President said Ghana was moving towards an economy of processed agricultural and engineering goods and services as a means of job creation on a mass base and improvement in the incomes of ordinary Ghanaians.
He said the widespread unemployment among the youth was the greatest threat to Ghana's democracy and stability and that the only remedy to the situation was a rapidly expanding economy that generated jobs.
He said in the short pace of 10 months when his government took office, the country's macro-economy had been stabilizing.
"The fiscal deficit, which stood at 9.5% at the end of 2016, has been reduced to 6.3%. Inflation, within the same period, has declined from 15.4% to 11.6%. Our economy has grown from 3.3% last year, the lowest in 22 years, to 7.9%. Interest rates are declining, and we are now witnessing a more stable cedi, our national currency. We are creating a business-friendly environment that should encourage significant investments in the development of our economy," President Akufo-Addo expatiated.
On Ghana's multi-party constitutional democracy, the President noted that the determination to which Ghanaians wanted to build their democracy was anchored in their deep-seated belief in the concept of the separation of powers as an active principle for the promotion of freedom and an accountable governance, free of corruption.
He re-emphasized the point that Ghanaians had agreed on a multi-party constitutional democracy and a guarantee of individual freedoms under the rule of law, within these past 24 years of the 4th Republic which had turned out to be the longest period of stability and economic growth in sixty years of Ghana's nationhood.
President Akufo-Addo noted that even though Ghana was nowhere near where she ought to be, Ghana could not afford to undermine confidence in her young democracy.
Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)