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Africa Must Industrialise So As To Fund & Implement SDGs” – President Akufo-Addo

Africa Must IndustrialiseThe President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that African countries would have to change the structure of their economies, from raw material dependent economies to industrialised, value-added economies if they are to fully finance the implementation of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to President Akufo-Addo, several countries on the continent, including Ghana, are taking steps towards converting the 17 SDGs into concrete outcomes for their peoples, with the conviction that they cannot expect others to do it for them.

With the implementation of the SDGs agenda set to cost between 3.5 trillion to 5.0 trillion dollars per year, and with the news that aid to Africa will be cut significantly by the current US administration, President Akufo-Addo stressed that “Africa must be efficient and effective not only in mobilising resources, but also looking beyond the benevolence of others to finance implementation of the SDGs agenda.

He noted that “We are a continent reliant on foreign aid, despite economic growth in parts of Africa significantly outpacing the global average. Truth be told, the full implementation of the SDGs in Africa cannot be done with a mindset of dependence.”

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Monday, September 18, 2017, when he delivered the keynote address at the 5th International Conference on Sustainable Development, at a packed auditorium of the Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York.

The President stated that the first priority of African countries, to this end, must be to change the structures of the economies on the continent, which are dependent largely on the production and export of raw materials, adding that it is this reliance on raw material exports that feeds our dependence on foreign aid, and subjects us to the politics of the West.

Citing the example of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, which produce nearly 60% of the world’s cocoa and yet earned, in total, in 2015, only $5.75 billion out of the $100 billion chocolate market, the President stressed that such scenarios can no longer continue.

“We certainly cannot finance the vision of building sustainable development on the continent with such scenarios. There can be no future prosperity for our peoples, in the short, medium or long term, if we continue to maintain economic structures that are dependent on the production and export of raw materials,” he said.

The President continued, “We must add value to our resources, and we must industrialise. Unless we do so, we cannot finance on our own the full implementation of the SDGs. The agenda surely has to be an Africa Beyond Aid.”

Ghana, a case study

It is for this reason that President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that his government has introduced measures to stimulate the private sector, through the introduction of a monetary policy that is stabilising the currency, reducing interest rates, and reducing significantly the cost of borrowing, in addition to a raft of tax cuts to bring relief to and encourage businesses.

It is the competitiveness of Ghanaian enterprises, particularly in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, he added, that will determine Ghana’s capacity to create wealth for her youth and women, and wealth in our society, and the sustainable development of the country.

“The competitiveness of Ghana’s private sector is key to addressing issues of inclusion, economic development and growth of Ghana. That is the way to building a self-reliant Ghana, with a strong economy, capable of generating jobs and prosperity for the mass of her people,” he added.

This process of economic and industrial transformation, he added, is going along with the most basic elements of social justice are met, i.e. Free Senior High School education, and the revitalization of the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Africa must follow suit

In a similar vein, President Akufo-Addo noted that “we need to build an Africa that is able to look after her peoples through intelligent management of the resources with which she has been endowed, and embark on a new path. This path offers a new Africa. It is an Africa that will be defined by integrity, sovereignty, common belief, discipline, and shared values. It is one where we aim to be masters of our own destiny, and establish an Africa Beyond Aid.”

The success of the Continental Free Trade Area on the African continent, he was confident, will present immense opportunities to bring prosperity to the continent with hard work, enterprise and creativity, stressing that “a working, common continental market has to be a very fundamental objective of all peoples and governments on the continent.”

To guarantee an Africa Beyond Aid, President Akufo-Addo noted that Africa must breed a new generation of leaders who, amongst others, “are looking past commodities to position their countries in the global marketplace; leaders who are determined to free their peoples from a mindset of dependence, aid, charity and hand-outs; leaders who are bent on mobilizing Africa’s own immeasurable resources to resolve Africa’s problems.”

This new generation of African leaders, the President added, must “help bring dignity and prosperity to our continent and its peoples.”

President Akufo-Addo Calls for Urgent Reform of UN

UN must reformThe President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has drawn attention to the urgent need to reform the United Nations.

According to President Akufo-Addo, UN reforms have been talked about and scheduled for a long time; but somehow the courage and the will have never been found to reform the United Nations.

“Ghana supports the process of UN Reform, especially of the UN Security Council, as set out in Africa’s Common Position on UN Reform, based on the Ezulwini Consensus. The time is long overdue to correct the longstanding injustice that the current structure and composition of the UN Security Council represent for the nations of Africa,” the President said.

He continued, “We cannot continue to preach democracy and fairness around the world, we cannot insist on peace and justice around the world, when our global organisation is not seen by the majority of its members as having a structure that is just and fair. It is, indeed, seen by many as helping to perpetuate an unfair world order.”

The UN, President Akufo-Addo stressed, provides the best vehicle for the world to manage its many varied problems, adding that “we would undermine its credibility and fail in our duty if we do not reform the United Nations. We dare not let ourselves and future generations down. The time for reform has come.”

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Thursday, 21st September, 2017, when he delivered his address at the 72nd Session of the United General Assembly, currently ongoing at New York. 

In talking about sustainable relations, the President noted that Africa, and, indeed, Ghana, remains committed to remaining a nuclear weapon-free continent.

It is for this reason, he said, that three weeks ago, highly-enriched uranium was flown out of Ghana back to China, signalling the end of the removal of all such material from the country.

“Our nuclear reactor has, subsequently, been converted to use low-enriched fuel for power generation. A world, free of nuclear weapons, must be in all our collective interest,” he added. 

President Akufo-Addo reaffirmed Ghana’s commitment to maintaining friendly and cordial relations with all the countries and peoples of the world.

“The full engagement of Ghana, through the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in the process of West African integration, and through the African Union (AU), in the process of African integration, remains a goal of my government. Regional and continental integration are in Ghana’s interest, as they represent one of the surest ways towards establishing the conditions for prosperity in our region and on the continent in the decades ahead, as well as helping to ensure peace and security and combating the scourges of terrorism, extremism and intolerance,” he noted.

The conflicts that continue to plague our continent in Libya, South Sudan, Congo DRC, and Mali, the President said, would be more effectively resolved if the international community was to support, not undermine, the efforts of our regional and continental organisations to deal with them.

President Akufo-Addo assured further that “Ghana will also continue to be active in the multilateral organisations to which we belong, such as La Francophonie, the Commonwealth of Nations, and this United Nations, because we believe multilateral action and international co-operation are in the interest of all of us.”

Address Delivered by The President Akufo-Addo, At The 72nd Session of The United Nations’ General Assembly

President at the UNMr. President, Your Excellencies.

It has been sixty years since my country, Ghana, became a member of this Organisation. We joined at our independence some twelve years after the first meeting of the Organisation in San Francisco, and Ghana has been an active participant in the United Nations since then.

I want, Mr President, to thank the United Nations for the honour done Ghana by my appointment, by the Secretary General, as co-Chair of the Group of Advocates of Eminent Persons of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to continue in the position that was held by my predecessor as President, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama. This mark of trust in Ghana’s leaders is a matter of justifiable pride for the Ghanaian people, a trust I pledge to uphold.

On 25th September, 2015, when the SDGs were adopted, there were sceptics who feared that the goals were too many and too complex to be successfully tackled, even with concerted effort.

The lesson that we have learnt, however, from the experience of this Organisation is that, once the world puts its collective mind to something, the chances are we would get it right.

And, every day, something happens to bring home to us, the inhabitants of this planet, that we are in it together. There is no better dramatic indication of this truth than the images that have recently dominated our television screens of devastation caused by floods in Houston Texas, in Dhaka Bangladesh, in Mumbai India, in Palpa Nepal, in Dominica, Puerto Rico, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Martin, all in the Caribbean, and in Niamey Niger.

One of the most modern cities in the richest, most powerful nation on our earth, was suffering the same fate as Niamey in the Sahel region of Africa, one of the poorest parts of the world. At the height of the raging waters, one thing has become clear: it does not matter if you are in the richest or poorest part of the world, the awesome power of nature was on display, and we, humans, came across as the same sad creatures at the mercy of nature.

As I watched and listened, along with the rest of the world, it occurred to me that, all put together, the SDGs are, indeed, a worthwhile set of goals for the world. They bear repeating: no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, life below water, life on land, peace, justice and strong institutions and topped up with partnerships for the goals. We should work hard to achieve these goals. The world will be a much better place.

Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain her freedom from colonial rule. This year marks the 60th anniversary of that independence, and it is auspicious that I am addressing this Assembly for the first time on the birth date of our historic first President, Kwame Nkrumah, a day we have set aside to commemorate him.

We believe it is time Africa comes of age and holds its rightful place on the world stage. This Africa will be neither a victim nor a pawn. This Africa will be honest to itself and to the world, and this Africa will shed its cloak of poverty, and become prosperous.

We are not under any illusions about the hard work that it will take to achieve our stated goals, but we are not afraid of hard work. We know that a critical ingredient in making sustainable economic progress is to ensure a stable democratic system of governance.

I believe we are making this progress in Ghana. After years of political turmoil and the accompanying economic chaos, a consensus has emerged in our Fourth Republic. We have had political stability for the last 25 years under a multi-party democracy, where regular elections are now an accepted feature of our governance.

I am here, today, because of elections last December in which the people of Ghana voted out an incumbent government, and gave me and my party the mandate and honour to govern our nation for the next four years. We continue to be a beacon of democracy and stability on the continent, our institutions of state are growing stronger, and we have made more progress with our economy than at any time since independence.

Mr President, we are nowhere near where we want to be, but we are determined to realise our potential and make Ghana a prosperous nation.

There will always be adventurers amongst us Ghanaians who would want to seek challenges in different parts of the world, and we would wish them well, and expect that wherever they go, they would be welcome and treated with dignity.

But we are working to grow our economy and open up opportunities for all our citizens. No longer should Ghanaians feel they have to subject themselves to the intolerable and inhumane conditions of crossing the Sahara, and drowning in the Mediterranean, in the hope of making a living in Europe.

We have just started the Free Senior High School programme, which aims to guarantee secondary education for all of Ghana’s children. The programme will ensure that all our children will be educated to at least secondary level, and money, or the lack of it, will no longer mean a denial of education. This has already led to an increase of over 90,000 children, who have entered secondary school this academic year, who would otherwise have dropped out at this stage. SDG 4, which aims at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all, will be within our reach by the target date.

We do not want to be a scar on anybody’s conscience. We want to build an economy that is not dependent on charity and handouts. Long and bitter experience has taught us no matter how generous the charity, we would remain poor.

We want to build a Ghana which looks to the use of its own resources and their proper management as the way to engineer social and economic growth in our country. We want to build an economy that looks past commodities to position our country in the global marketplace. 

We are not disclaiming aid, but we do want to discard a mind-set of dependency and living on handouts; we want to build a Ghana beyond aid. It is an easier platform on which to build sustainable relationships.

In talking about sustainable relations, Africa, and, indeed, Ghana, remains committed to remaining a nuclear weapon-free continent. Three weeks ago, highly-enriched uranium was flown out of Ghana back to China, signalling the end of the removal of all such material from the country. Our nuclear reactor has, subsequently, been converted to use low-enriched fuel for power generation. A world, free of nuclear weapons, must be in all our collective interest. 

Mr. President, I wish to reaffirm my country’s commitment to maintaining friendly and cordial relations with all the countries and peoples of the world. The full engagement of Ghana, through the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in the process of West African integration, and through the African Union (AU), in the process of African integration, remains a goal of my government. Regional and continental integration are in Ghana’s interest, as they represent one of the surest ways towards establishing the conditions for prosperity in our region and on the continent in the decades ahead, as well as helping to ensure peace and security and combating the scourges of terrorism, extremism and intolerance. The conflicts that continue to plague our continent in Libya, South Sudan, Congo DRC, and Mali, would be more effectively resolved if the international community was to support, not undermine, the efforts of our regional and continental organisations to deal with them. Ghana will also continue to be active in the multilateral organisations to which we belong, such as La Francophonie, the Commonwealth of Nations, and this United Nations, because we believe multilateral action and international co-operation are in the interest of all of us.   

We want to build a Ghana that will enable our people deal with the rest of the world on an equal basis. I say nothing new, when I draw attention to the urgent need to reform this Organisation.

It has been talked about and scheduled for a long time, but, somehow, we have never found the courage and the will to reform the United Nations. Ghana supports the process of UN Reform, especially of the UN Security Council, as set out in Africa’s Common Position on UN Reform, based on the Ezulwini Consensus. The time is long overdue to correct the longstanding injustice that the current structure and composition of the UN Security Council represent for the nations of Africa.

We cannot continue to preach democracy and fairness around the world, we cannot insist on peace and justice around the world, when our global organisation is not seen by the majority of its members as having a structure that is just and fair. It is, indeed, seen by many as helping to perpetuate an unfair world order.

This Organisation provides the best vehicle for the world to manage its many varied problems, and we would undermine its credibility and fail in our duty if we do not reform the United Nations. We dare not let ourselves and future generations down. The time for reform has come.

I thank you very much for your attention.

President Akufo-Addo Congratulates German Chancellor Angela Merkel

The Ghanaian people and I extend warm congratulations to Mrs Angela Merkel on her re-election, for a fourth term in office, as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, in the elections of Sunday, 24th September, 2017.

We congratulate also her Christian democratic political alliance (the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU)) for maintaining control over the German Parliament, the Bundestag.

It is my sincere hope that Chancellor Merkel will continue on the path of delivering unity, security, progress and prosperity to the German people. It is also my overriding hope that the already strong Ghanaian-German relations will grow from strength to strength, on a shared agenda of freedom, development, progress and prosperity.

Warm congratulations once again to Chancellor Merkel, and to the people of Germany. Best wishes for her and the country’s continued success.

 

 

AfDB Lauds President Akufo-Addo’s Management of Ghanaian Economy

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, has commended the significant strides chalked in the management of Ghana’s economy by the 7-month old government of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Mr. Adesina also congratulated President Akufo-Addo for the clarity of his vision and direction in which the country’s economy is headed, which, according to him, has enhanced the image of the country and its standing with the global, international financial community.

“I must commend you for the growth that I am beginning to see. The economy is going to grow this year at 6.3%, and next year at 7.4%. The medium term outlook is great, at about 9.2%. You (President Akufo-Addo) have always said you wanted Ghana back, and a Ghana Beyond Aid. This kind of growth trajectory is exactly what is needed for a Ghana Beyond Aid,” he said.

The AfDB President also commended the Akufo-Addo government for the efforts at stabilising the country’s macroeconomy.

World Bank leads search for funds to develop Pwalugu Dam

THE World Bank is leading three state institutions, including the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), to source for funds to develop the Pwalugu Dam in the Upper East Region into a multipurpose facility that can generate electricity, control flooding and irrigate some 20,000 hectares of land.

Earlier this year, the bank, together with the SADA, the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Ghana Youth Employment and Development Agency (GYEEDA) commenced a financial feasibility study into the project that is expected to pave the way for actual work to begin.

The development of the dam is one of the turnkey projects under SADA’s master plan, a medium term development agenda that the authority is using to transform the zone into an investor destination.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SADA, Mr Charles A.  Abugre, said in a media interview that the feasibility study was to explore the sources of funding for the development of the dam into a multi-purpose dam.

The dam is a strategic infrastructure and its successful construction is expected to unlock the agricultural potential of the savanna zone, including managing the perennial flood menace in the area.

“When we complete it, the irrigation part will be able to grow all the tomatoes we need to make it viable for Pwalugu Tomato Factory to open again,” he stated.

President Akufo-Addo Meets The Ghanaian Community in Belgium

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, 6 June met and interacted with the Ghanaian community in Belgium. Addressing the Ghanaian community in Brussels, Nana Akufo- Addo said even countries without natural resources have made it – focusing on human resource development. He said that youth education and skills training are cardinal pillars for national development. He also told the Ghanaian community about his government’s plans for the country and his commitment to implement all policies and programmes promised during the electioneering campaign in 2016.

President Akufo-Addo was in Belgium to attend the meeting of UN Advocacy Group in his capacity as co-chairperson of the group. While in Belgium, President Akufo-Addo also met with the Norwegian Prime Minister, Ms Erna Solberg, who is also a co-chair of the UN Advocacy Group on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The President also held separate meetings with the Belgian Prime Minister, Mr Charles Michel; and President of the European Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker. At the opening of the 2017 European Development Days (EDD), Europe's leading forum on international co-operation and development, he delivered an address on the theme “Making Gender and the Youth the Private Sector’s Business”

H.E. Novisi Abaidoo Attends Her Maiden ACP Committee Of Ambassadors Meeting As Ghana's New Ambassador to the Group

H.E. Mrs. Novisi Abaidoo was on Thursday, 21st January, 2016 formally introduced to the Committee of Ambassadors of the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), as Ghana's new Ambassador to the Group, at a brief but impressive ceremony held at the ACP House in Brussels. The ceremony heralded the first meeting of the Committee of Ambassadors for the year 2016.

The Committee of Ambassadors is one of the most important bodies of the ACP governing structures, comprising one representative from each of the 79 member countries of the ACP Group. It meets at least once a month in Brussels to monitor the implementation of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement and carry out any mandate assigned to it by the ACP Council of Ministers. Much of its work is carried out through sub-committees and working groups.

Addressing the august Body, H.E. Novisi Abaidoo reiterated the commitment of the Government of Ghana, under the visionary leadership of H.E. President John Dramani Mahama to offer unalloyed support to the ACP for the ongoing efforts and initiatives to fashion out comprehensive and cohesive positions to advance the collective aspirations of the Group.

H.E. Novisi Abaidoo was emphatic in her speech about the relevance of the ACP Group as a trusted forum for mobilizing the voice and shared aspirations of the developing world, particularly, in advocating for a more free, fair and mutually beneficial international trading system.

To this end, she stated that "Ghana will continue to actively participate in all activities of the Group as we work together to chart a path of a free and fairer trading system and development framework to guarantee our future within the global arena”.

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