Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday said the West African nation had run out of excuses for failing to end poverty and corruption 60 years since it attained its independence.
Ghana was the first sub-Saharan nation to win its independence from colonial rule in 1957.
Akufo-Addo said Ghana must however not sacrifice its environment as it pursues development, in his first Independence Day celebration as president of Ghana.
Akufo-Addo beat his predecessor John Mahama in December and his advisors say he must implement his election promises quickly to retain the support of voters who have ejected the government of the day three times since 2000.
The 72-year-old vowed to stabilize national finances, help create private sector jobs, cut taxes and promote development with a dam in every village and a factory in every district. Last month, he appointed a special prosecutor for corruption cases.
“We assumed … rapid economic development would follow the political freedom that we had won. Sadly, the economic development that was meant to accompany our freedom has still not materialized,” Akufo-Addo said.
The president also urged Ghanaians to work hard and be creatigve in order for the country to realize the transformation needed.
“The challenge before us is to build our economy and generate a prosperous … and dignified life for the mass of our people. Hard work, enterprise, creativity, discipline and a consistent and effective fight against corruption in public life will bring the transformation that we seek,” he said.