President Akufo-Addo, the Timely President of our Time

Once again, the President has proven to the citizenry, that he is the leader who is determined to lead the country on the trajectory of socio-economic transformation, personal liberties and economic freedoms. Addressing the media at the Jubilee House, the Presidential Seat, on 18th July, 2017, he made it clear of his resolve and drive to bequeath to the current and successive generations, a very robust economy and a prosperous nation. As has been the custom of previous presidents of the country over the years, especially under the Fourth Republic, the President, who was overwhelmingly, voted into office by the electorate in the December 7 polls, and also a firm believer in responsible governance, rendered an account of his stewardship to the people.

Once again, the President has proven to the citizenry, that he is the leader who is determined to lead the country on the trajectory of socio-economic transformation, personal liberties and economic freedoms. Addressing the media at the Jubilee House, the Presidential Seat, on 18th July, 2017, he made it clear of his resolve and drive to bequeath to the current and successive generations, a very robust economy and a prosperous nation. As has been the custom of previous presidents of the country over the years, especially under the Fourth Republic, the President, who was overwhelmingly, voted into office by the electorate in the December 7 polls, and also a firm believer in responsible governance, rendered an account of his stewardship to the people.

Since taking office six months ago, the President, together with his team has discharged their duties excellently, achieving significant gains in the economy. Inheriting an economy that was virtually on its knees due to mismanagement by the prior administration, he and his team are leaving no stone unturned in bringing the economy back on the path that will make the country the envy, not only in the sub-region, but the world at large. Admittedly, the obligation on the President is a huge one considering the high expectations the populace has in his individual ability and that of his government in building the broken walls of the economy. Many a citizen of our nation has come to a conclusion that the presidency of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is the last hope in leading the charge towards the anticipated economic transformation we have all been yearning for over the years—a hope that need not be an illusion or a disappointment, but a reality. And I firmly believe that, the President, with his good intentions, passion for a positive and progressive change in the fortunes of the country, and his appreciation and commitment to excellence, will be equal to the responsibility of burden on his shoulders; he shall deliver!

At the encounter, aside his excellent delivery, coupled with his candid responses, he outlined some notable feats his administration has chalked upon assumption of office, and his relentless resolve to ensure that he leaves behind a solid economic foundation, and an enduring legacy to the benefit of all. Listening to his presentation and responses to the questions from the audience, the following are worthy of note:
First, the recognition of the media in our democratic governance—In realizing a peaceful, democratic, and responsible governance, the role of the media cannot be downplayed. Every successful nation, or those that seek success should encourage, protect, and support responsible, professional and ethical media practice; that is one of the surest ways of making our governments accountable to the citizenry, and also ensures that impunity, excesses and lawlessness committed by sections of the citizenry are unraveled and dealt with according to the law. The President, after applauding the media for its vibrancy, and showing gratitude to the presidential press corps, indicated that he “will prefer the noisy, boisterous, sometimes scurrilous media of today to the monotonous, praise-singing, sycophantic one of yesteryear.” He continued, “The Ghanaian media has, in fact, enriched the nation’s governance by its persistence, curiosity and investigative skills.” These observations clearly show the importance the President attaches to the role of the media in today’s governance. He is fully aware that a plural media, which is also responsible, is a catalyst of both freedom and progress, and their acceptance should be preferred to a deliberate attempt to subdue, gag and restrict their activities. This notwithstanding, it is expected from members of the media to be ethical and professional in the discharge of their mandate. This great nation can break as a result of unacceptable journalistic practice, thus it is expected that journalists raise the bar, eschew journalism of convenience, and put the nation’s development at the apex of their noble objectives.

Second, the progress made in the economy—Since the inception of the current administration, the macroeconomic indicators are picking up steadily. This is important to propel the economy, create confidence among businesses, foreign investors and entrepreneurs. The stability of the economy, coupled with the strength of the various macroeconomic indicators such as inflation, interest rate is critical in improving the fortunes of countries. As observed by the President, since taking over the reins of government, there have been some gains on the macroeconomic front. For example, the monetary policy rate of the Bank of Ghana has fallen by 300 percentage points from 25.5% to 22.5%, inflation has dipped from 15.4% in December 2016 to 12.1% in June, 2017, and the 91-day Treasury Bill has seen a similar fall from 22.8% in January 2016 to 11.9% presently. Again, the increase in banks credit to the private sector by about 6% in the first quarter of this year as juxtaposed to a reduction of nearly 7% in the same period in 2016 is very encouraging. Finally, the other interventions put in place by the government such as the $ 50 million stimulus package to distress businesses, the $10 million seed capital to support the National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan (NEIP), the planting for food and jobs program, the agricultural modernization program, the $2 billion to support the 1-district-1 factory project, among others are meant to stimulate growth in the economy leading to employment opportunities for the numerous unemployed youth in the country. These are positive signs, and show the government’s proper management of the economy. It is hoped that the fiscal discipline and consolidation being undertaken by the government are pursued and monitored in order for the country to continue to reap their benefits.

Third, the rule of law—The rule of law is the pivot upon which peace, progress and prosperity are achieved in organized countries. When the rule of law is threatened, or the rule of the mob (ochlocracy) becomes the order of the day in any society, then the survival and development of that nation is threatened. The President, in his encounter with the media made it very clear that the rule of law will be the anchor and guide in his administration. While admitting the excesses of some voluntary groups in his party, especially the Invincible and Delta Forces, he indicated that the law must take its course without fear or favor. According to him, he has made his views clear to the law enforcement agencies to the effect that, “the best way of dealing with such incidents is to let the law take its course.” This position of the President is refreshing, encouraging and ensures that the country is not compromised on the altar of indiscipline, arbitrariness and impunity. Also, in his quest to allow the rule of law to take its course, he indicated that his administration is not going to witch-hunt appointees under the previous Mahama-led administration, but will follow due process to ensure that financial wrongs committed by any such appointees are righted. According to him, the fight against corruption is a fight against crime, and not political opponents.

Finally, the fight against illegal mining (Galamsay)—There is no denying the fact that illegal mining activities are wreaking havoc to our land and property, and if not addressed will have dire consequences on our society, affecting both present and future generations. Although, previous leaders have sought to address this canker, there is no doubt, that the effort of President Akufo-Addo has been very unyielding, and deserves commendation. His resolve to fight this menace by putting his presidency on the line shows his commitment to contribute his bit in protecting our society. It is very rare for a president or leader to think more about the welfare of their subjects than the crave for power. This exemplary leadership being exhibited by the President underscores his good intentions to help in restoring dignity to the good people of this country, and also making us an enviable member among the comity of nations.

In sum, I plead, we all rally behind the President to succeed; with his good intentions, and commitment to make a mark during his reign, the best we can do for him is to support him and wish him well. This notwithstanding, we need to be critical about his governance, raise salient and legitimate issues of concern responsibly, offer constructive criticisms where and when necessary, inter alia. The President is not a saint, but a mortal fallible soul like us all; however, with his good intentions, candid and patriotic nature, and commitment to lead our transformational agenda, let us give him the needed support and goodwill. When he succeeds, we all succeed, and the reverse holds true. God bless Ghana!

Source: Dr. Kingsley Nyarko
Executive Director, Danquah Institute (DI)
Senior Lecturer, University of Ghana

Established in January, 2008 is named after Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah, one of Ghana’s founding fathers who established Ghana’s first political party, the United Gold Coast Convention, in 1947. Read more

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