The United States Congress has acknowledged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as an exceptional African leader, and commended his greater push for trade and investment for Ghana and the African Continent.
A Congressional Record of the US’ House of Representatives presented to President Akufo-Addo by Karen Bass, Member of Congress, at an awards gala organised by the Whitaker Group in Washington D.C. praised his role in reworking the Ghanaian economy, and for making the country a beacon of hope and a model for democracy in Africa.
The gala was to commemorate 15 years of the Whitaker Group’s establishment – a premier transaction advisory, project facilitation and development firm specialising in Africa and founded by Rosa Whitaker, the first-ever Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa under the Administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
The event, which celebrated the unlimited possibilities on the African continent, brought together a cross-section of American society from politicians to investors and notable non-governmental organisation and people from various walks of life.
A citation on the Congressional Record read: “Ghana tops many lists of Africa’s most peaceful and stable democracies, boasting an uninterrupted series of free and fair elections since 1992 that have seen power change hands between the two major parties three times.
“Freedom House ranks Ghana first on the continent for political and civil liberties; it was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve the United nations Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of its people in extreme poverty, achieving this milestone well ahead of the 2015 target. The World Bank places Ghana first in its West Africa sub-region for ease of doing business.
“Since his election, economic growth has surged from 3.6 percent to 7.9 percent. The World Bank projects an additional increase of 8.3 percent in 2018, making Ghana one of the fastest-growing economies. At the same time, Ghana’s budget deficit as a proportion of GDP has been slashed from 9.3 percent to 5.6 percent even as government has cut taxes – which would become an international cultural landmark,” it read.
“Underpinned by a rich endowment of oil, gold and cocoa, Ghana’s 43 billion dollar economy is becoming increasingly diversified. Expansion outside the commodity sector, and renewed confidence in government’s ability to manage its finances, are seen by analysts as key drivers of the country’s current performance and growing attractiveness as a destination for US and other investors,” the Report read.
President Akufo-Addo said the Congressional Record was a special gesture he would always treasure.
He said there is a lot to celebrate as a Ghanaian, and he is determined to build a confident and united Ghana that holds opportunities for the prosperity and well-being of its people.
The President said the time has come for Ghana to move even further to deepen its democracy, saying: “We must trust the individual and collective good sense of our people; we must create wealth and provide happiness to our nation.
“But, we can only do this when we have a private sector with a strong sense of enterprise innovation and creativity, and then an educated and skilled population that is capable of competing in the global market place,” he said
This, the President said, is the reason his administration has insisted and made basic education free in all public schools to guarantee access to quality basic education for Ghana’s children, irrespective of the circumstances of their birth.
“In doing so we must expand our horizons and embrace science and technology as a critical part of our development… we want to create a society of opportunity and incentives…we have to build a confident Ghana, which is united and at peace with herself, which continues to pursue its historic pan-African vocation
“It will not be easy, we have no illusions about the nature of the task we face, but I know Ghanaian would rise to the occasion…they always do…the black star is going to shine and shine and shine. And we are going to build a Ghana without aid,” he said to applause from the gathering.
President Akufo-Addo called on Africans everywhere to stay determined because the 21st century belonged to Africa.
“The achievements of Africans in America despite the nuances of their being there, tells of their determination to survive and excel no matter the odds …Africans here, Africans in the Americas, Africans in the continent, together we shall overcome…the 21st century is going to be our time… we are going to realize unlimited possibilities and establish conclusively our greatness. That is my deep seethed and utmost belief,” he said.