Your Excellences, Distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corp, Distinguished Guests, Our cherished Ghanaian citizens, Ladies and Gentlemen.
6th March 1957 is the day engraved in gold in the history of Ghana where through the toil and sweat of our fore fathers our beloved country got liberated from British Colonial rule. As pace setters Ghana was the first black African country to gain independence
There is much, for us to celebrate as Ghanaians, and we are very grateful that on such a happy day, all of you have joined us in the celebration of our 61st anniversary and it is my pleasure and singular honor to warmly say AKWAABA! ---which in our parlance means WELCOME !!!!!.
The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘BUILDING GHANA BEYOND AID’. In simple terms Ghana is seeking to become economically independent, we want to build a powerful private sector in Ghana.
The foundation has already been laid with free and fair elections, peaceful transition of power as well as the respect for human rights. I can confidently say that as a country we continue to demonstrate as a model for Africa in democratic governance. It therefore came as no surprise when Ghana was recently named the best country in Africa for Rule of Law by the World Justice Project’s newest Rule of Law Index report.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished guest, ladies and gentlemen, the theme for this year’s celebration has become more compelling with the attainment of a lower middle-income status as a country and the need to concentrate more on economic diplomacy than ever.
We however wish to reiterate that we are not shunning away from AID but we cannot depend on AID forever.
To quote our President Nana Akuffo Addo ‘we are not disclaiming AID but we do want, to discard a mindset of dependency, it is unhealthy both for the giver and for the receiver’.
It is against this backdrop that we now seek economic prosperity. Our President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo noted in last year’s Independence speech that “After sixty years, we have run out of excuses and it is time to set Ghana right and get our country to where it should be. The challenge before us is to build our economy and generate a wealthy, progressive and dignified life for the mass of our people. Hard work, enterprise, creativity and a consistent fight against corruption in public life would bring the transformation we seek”.
The government is working hard to build the foundations for economic takeoff by creating a congenial atmosphere for businesses to thrive and also position the Private Sector as an engine of growth. This hard work is paying off as we are seeing some positive results in the economy.
The government has abolished the “nuisance’’ taxes, ended the frequent power cut also known as ‘DUM-SOR’, digitized the business registration process, introduced paperless Port among others. These have seen a rapid economic growth from 3.6% in December 2016 to 7.9% in 2017 and inflation declined from15.4% in 2016 to 11.8% in 2017.
For the first time in a long while, the macroeconomic fundamentals are looking good and the critical indices are pointing in the right direction. Earlier in January, the World Bank forecasted Ghana’s economy to grow by 8.3% making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Also, recently, Bloomberg described Ghana’s Stock Exchange as the best-performing Stock Exchange in the world for January 2018.
One major challenge that continues to plague many countries is the canker of corruption. In addressing this the government has appointed an independent Special Prosecutor to deal with issues of corruption and fraud by public officials.
The President believes that, key to economic growth is the development of the Human Resource capacity of Ghana. As a result, he recently launched and implemented the Free Senior High School Education policy.
What we have achieved cannot be compared to the challenges ahead. The job ahead is indeed enormous and we continue to call on all our friends and stakeholders to join us to achieve this vision especially in the field of trade and investment.
To achieve rapid industrialization, the President continues to invite investors everywhere he goes on his flagship Projects “One District, One Factory” and ‘Planting for food and jobs’
I extend that invitation to all and declare to you that Ghana is open for business, Ghana is committed to economic growth.
Pass by the Embassy and have a chat with our able officers about the various opportunities in Agriculture, Power and Energy, ICT, infrastruture and many more.
This invitation is also extended to the Ghanaians in the Diaspora as well. We need your talents, skills and the various expertise you have accrued outside Ghana. Our doors are always open to you – come share your innovative ideas, technologies and techniques that will help move our great nation forward.
At this juncture, I would also like to mention that our relations with the Nordics continue to flourish and we are proud to be your partners in this transition from AID to TRADE. In this transition, it is noteworthy that our Danish counterparts have demonstrated incredible support – epitomizing the strong Ghana-Denmark relations which has and continues to exist over the years.
A key highlight of this was the monumental visit of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II with over 40 Danish businesses to Ghana last year. We look forward to more of such visits from our other Nordic partners in the coming years.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and gentlemen, on this note, may I invite my officers to join me cut our anniversary cake whilst the rest raise their glasses in a toast to the prosperity and good will of the Republic of Ghana.
May GOD bless us all and the people of Ghana and the Nordics and make our home land great and strong.
------ H.E. Mrs. Amerley Ollennu Awua-Asamoa
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