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Akufo-Addo to Ghanaians: We have capacity to build a modern, progressive nation

President Akufo-Addo says Ghana owes the entire black race the duty to build and grow into a successful, prosperous and happy country

President Akufo-Addo has stated that the current generation of Ghanaians has the capacity to build a modern, developed, and progressive nation, noting that the responsibility of doing same must be seized by all the citizenry.

In his statement at a senior citizens’ banquet held at the Jubilee house to celebrate founders’ day today Friday 4 August 2023, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana owes the continent and the entire black race the duty to build and grow into a successful, prosperous and happy country.

Building Ghana

“The consensus nonetheless is holding for all of us to work towards the prosperous peaceful and happy Ghana we want. We all recognize that the responsibility we carry as the first sub-Saharan colonial country to gain independence, is not simply to build an independent country.

“We owe it to the rest of the continent and the black race to demonstrate that indeed, we can build and run a successful, prosperous and happy country. This is a task we do not shirk and which all Ghanaians accept” President Akufo-Addo said.

“I want us on this occasion when we are celebrating the founders of our nation to believe in our capacity to build a modern, developed, progressive nation” Akufo-Addo added.

The President further noted that the country “can overcome [its] current difficulties and challenges, build a new Ghanaian civilization where there is fair opportunity for all, where there is unlimited access to educational system that embraces science and technology, particularly, the digital revolution”.

“Where healthcare is a function of need not news, where hard work, enterprise and creativity is rewarded as the basis for individual wealth, where there is an abundant of decent, and good paying jobs especially for our youth” the President remarked.

“Where there is a dignified retirement for the elderly, where there is a social safety net for the vulnerable and disadvantaged, where we have a governance system based on the separation of power which is free from corruption and is respectful of the rule of law, individual liberties, human rights and the principles democratic accountability” he further stressed.

Founders’ Day

Founders’ Day (4th August) holds historical importance in Ghana as it marks the contributions of successive generations of Ghanaians who played pivotal roles in liberating the country from colonial rule.

The decision to designate this day as a public holiday was part of a broader initiative by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who proposed amendments to the Public Holiday Act in 2018.

The Public Holidays Amendment Bill, 2018, which was presented by Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery, led to the cancellation of three existing public holidays and introduced two new holidays.

As a result, Founders’ Day was designated on August 4, while September 21 was set aside as a memorial day for Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, in recognition of his significant role in the fight for Ghana’s independence on March 6.

The three holidays affected by this amendment were the Republic Holiday, previously observed on July 1, the African Union (AU) Holiday, observed on May 25, and the original Founders’ Day, which fell on Kwame Nkrumah’s birthday, September 21.

According to the bill’s explanation, August 4 was chosen to replace Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day because it holds historical significance as the day when Ghana’s independence movement began in 1947.

On this date, Ghanaian patriots such as George Alfred Grant, J.B. Danquah, R.A. Awoonor-Williams, Edward Akufo-Addo, Ebenezer Ako Adjei, and various chiefs formed the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC).

The UGCC was founded on the principles of the Fante Confederacy of 1868 and the Aboriginal Rights Protection Society of 1897, with a shared mission of achieving Ghana’s independence.

While Founders’ Day has been established as an official public holiday, two opposition political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP), have indicated that they might consider scrapping the holiday if they come into power.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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