Ghana Celebrate's its 59th Independence Anniversary
The 6th of March every year serves as an opportune moment for Ghana to recall her rich historical background, passage through the diverse challenges of nationhood and nation-building and her success as a democratic country, said His Excellency Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, High Commissioner of the Republic of Ghana to South Africa at a reception held at the residency in Pretoria, South Africa to commemorate Ghana’s 59th Independence Anniversary.
Ghana, today, is recognized as one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, a dynamic business hub for West Africa and as a peaceful, democratic nation.
High Commissioner Ahwoi(centre), Mrs Ahwoi and Minister Bathabile Dlamini of Social Development for South Africa pictured cutting the Independence cake.
“President John Mahama is progressively moving our dear nation towards a sure target of sustainable economic and social development, whilst committing Ghana’s support to common values in the furtherance of nation states,” acknowledged HC Ahwoi in his remarks.
High Commissioner Ahwoi stated that as Ghanaians their mantra has always been Ubuntu as endorsed by Dr Kwame Nkrumha in a statement in his independence message of 1957, “Independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa”.
SPEECH DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR. KWESI AHWOI, HIGH COMMISSIONER OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA TO THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AT A RECEPTION HELD AT THE RESIDENCY ON MONDAY, 7TH MARCH 2016, TO COMMEMORATE GHANA’S 59TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY
Hon. Bathabile Dlamini, Minister of Social Development
of the Republic of South Africa,
Ambassador Lois Brutus, Deputy Dean of the Diplomatic Corps,
Your Excellencies, High Commissioners, Ambassadors,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Representatives of Government Departments,
and Corporate Bodies,
Friends of Ghana,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Last year, we met under similar circumstances. Do accept our appreciation for being with us at this year’s 59th Independence Anniversary Celebration of Ghana, which fell on Sunday, 6th March, 2016, but which we are celebrating today. Sanibonani!
The 6th of March every year, serves as an opportune moment for Ghana to recall her rich historical background, passage through the diverse challenges of nationhood and nation-building, and also her success as a democratic country.
This date is also a point of reference for in-depth reflection on the way forward, consideration of the various policy options, and determination of which strategies to adopt. In doing so as a nation, we bring to bear the values and passion of our founding fathers and legendary leaders, notable amongst them being His Excellency Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President.
On 6th of March, 1957, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah declared the freedom and independence of Ghana, and established that the path of Ghana’s independence was one of Pan-Africanism, communal development and prosperity.
These values have guided successive Presidents, and today, His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama holds high that mantle, and is progressively moving our dear nation towards a sure target of sustainable economic and social development, whilst committing Ghana’s support to common values in the furtherance of nation-states.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ghana, under the dynamic leadership of President John Mahama, is recognized as one of Africa’s fast growing economies, a business hub for West Africa and a peaceful country with notable high democratic credentials.
Social Development is the hallmark of our Government which is concerned about and committed to the prosperity of its people. In this connection, the Governments’ development agenda is guided by a commitment to put people first, build a strong and resilient economy, expand infrastructure for growth, and promote transparent and accountable governance.
To this end, over the past six years, 11,823 educational institutions at all levels, representing a 26% increment over the existing infrastructure has been added. Health facilities have been significantly upgraded for speedy, improved and quality healthcare delivery to Ghanaians, and indeed the West African Region.
Government’s commitment to the provision of affordable residential accommodation, synced with empowerment of the private sector, has positively been rewarded with a tremendous boost in the real estate and housing market of Ghana, which is growing exponentially.
The debilitating energy crisis that has challenged Ghana over the last three years which I brought to your attention last year has been brought under control with an additional 1,025 MW by the installation of gas, thermal and solar power plants and power barges into the supply mix, thanks to investors from some of your countries. More investment is however needed in the sector to achieve the objective of being a net exporter of energy to the sub-region.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ghana’s thriving economy encouraged appreciable levels of Foreign Direct Investment inflows in the past year. A total number of 170 projects were registered with the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) in 2015, with the FDI component of the registered projects amounting to US$2.33 billion.
Total number of jobs to be created by these projects is 14,948, an increase of 13.93% over 2014 figures.
In 2015, Ghana’s fourth Eurobond was over-subscribed with orders exceeding US$2 billion, compared to a target of US$1 billion. This represented an over-subscription of more than 100 per cent, and is a demonstration of the confidence garnered across the globe in Ghana’s favour.
Ghana is positively poised to undertake its seventh successive Presidential and Parliamentary elections on 7th November, 2016 and the entire populace is committed to once again attest to, and uphold our high reputation as a peaceful democratic country. As a beacon of Africa’s political advancement, we cannot and dare not disappoint our African brothers and sisters and the International Community.
Our mantra as Ghanaians has always been “Ubuntu”, as endorsed by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in his very famous Independence statement that the ‘Independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa”.
In this direction, Ghana, has since independence, favoured International and Regional political and economic co-operation, and has remained an active member of the United Nations, the African Union, Common Wealth, and the Economic Community of West African States.
Ghana’s engagement with South Africa, marked by the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1994, has been laced with beautiful and lasting memories of true friendship, and a devoted commitment to the cooperation of our two countries, to the mutual benefit of our Peoples.
We have over the years exchanged high-level visits, which culminated in the State visit to Ghana of His Excellency President Jacob Zuma in November 2013, during which several agreements and MOUs in, for example, transport and related services, bilateral air services, mutual recognition of standards and in electricity generation, were signed.
Our two countries continue to engage in regular consultations to advance mutual interests and address challenges that confront our two countries. In this connection, serious preparations are underway for the convening of the Fourth Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC) to be held in Accra in the first quarter of this year, after the success of the Third Session in South Africa in 2013.
A Ghana Investment Forum was successfully held in Johannesburg on 18th June, 2015, with a follow-up Breakfast Meeting held in Accra on 19th October, 2015 to afford prospective South African investors the opportunity to explore and ascertain, the viability of business prospects in the country.
South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Mr. Mzwandile Masina also led a DTI delegation of business people on a trade mission to Ghana in August 2015. WESGRO also organized similar missions to Ghana in 2015 with the objective to pursue economic collaboration and partnership, increase trade and investment, and effectively deepen bilateral relations between South Africa and Ghana.
These trade missions have been very fruitful and I wish to use this platform to invite more South African businesses to explore Ghana, invest in Ghana and reap the benefits of Ghana’s conducive investment climate.
On the multilateral front, Ghana and South Africa continue to uphold universal laws and avow common positions on International Peace and Security, reconstruction and development.
Ghana is proud of her partnership and friendship with South Africa, and on this occasion, may I relay greetings from His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama to you, as the Representative of the South African Government at this occasion. We are honoured by your presence this afternoon.
To the members of the Diplomatic Corp, please accept the deepest appreciation of the Government and people of Ghana for your commitment to stand side by side with Ghana in her quest to build a nation consistent with the expectations of the international community.
To the Ghanaian Community in South Africa, I wish to convey fraternal greetings from the highest level at home and urge you to excel in all your undertakings, and to promote our motherland in our South African homes, job places and communities.
To my work colleagues at the High Commission, I say “Ayekoo”, for a job well done. There is nonetheless a lot more work, still to be done.
To my dear wife, Mrs. Ewura-Abena Ahwoi, I say thank you, for your unfailing love and support throughout my years of service to the motherland.
Honourable Minister, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I kindly invite you to raise your glasses and drink to the health, prosperity and success of the President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Jacob Zuma, the Government and People of South Africa, and to the strengthening of bonds of friendship between the Republic of Ghana and the Republic of South Africa.
Long Live Ghana-South Africa relations!
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