President John Mahama has praised Ghana as a nation that continues to inspire other Sub-Saharan African countries to strive for better democratic practices.
He was speaking at Ghana’s 59th Independence Day on the theme “Investing in the Youth for Ghana’s Transformation”.
The 59th anniversary was graced by the Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta and the president of Guinea Bissau, José Mário Vaz.
President Mahama, said Ghana’s independence played an inspiring role to other nations to also seek independence saying, “As the first Sub-Saharan nation to be independent, Ghana inspired other nations to seek independence.”
President Mahama also cited the peace and security Ghana currently enjoys as inspiration to other African countries like Guinea Bissau to aspire to better democratic practices in equal measure.
“Despite the political difficulties they have traveled through generations, the citizens of Guinea Bissau also still hold fast to the hope of a continuation of security and continuation of many more peaceful transitions of power.”
“We are the ones that must ensure there is liberty in our lands. Every year school children are included in the Independence Day parade, not for the purposes of entertainment but as a representation of our nation’s future.
“These children are the future of Ghana… it’s our responsibility to safeguard our independence so that the nation that we leave for our children to inherit will also be free, peaceful and democratic,” Mahama told a parade of school children, service personnel, and other political leaders.
Adding that: “The future we are building is situated on the grounds that our forebears broke. In the future these children who marched here today will be depending on our attitudes and actions. The successes and failures of these nations belong to all of us. We have to provide today’s children with a solid foundation. We must invest ourselves not only in the achievements the nation has chalked but also in the challenges because each of us is the face of Ghana. We must use discussions to strengthen who we are as one nation. We can’t encourage conversations that will discourage us and weaken our morale.”
For his part, Kenya President, Uhuru Kenyatta urged Ghana not to lose sight of the vision of a unified continent because of acts of terror that are eroding the efforts geared towards democracy.
He also reiterated his country’s commitment to a border-less Africa in line with the Pan African spirit championed by Ghana’s Founder, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
He praised Ghana’s leadership and commitment to Pan-Africanism and also expressed his commitment to breaking down barriers and ensuring trade between Kenya and Ghana.
“Today’s ceremony is a mark of Ghana’s leadership and a mark of Ghana’s belief in Pan-Africanism and an inspiration for self-determination for all of us. This also unveils an opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved and what needs to be done.”
Terrorism must not erode Africa’s democracies President Kenyatta spoke about the terror threat in the sub region and urged Ghana not to lose sight of the vision of a unified continent because of terrorism which is eroding the efforts geared towards democracy.
“As we continue to cooperate and heighten our counter terrorism efforts, let us remind ourselves of the challenges we must confront and those we must overcome if we are to preserve the gains of our independence and the values of our democracy.”
President Kenyatta said, overcoming the terror threat is key to sustaining economic growth and development.
“Peace and security play a key role in the economic growth and sustainable development of both our countries and the African continent as a whole. Thus we must come together to defeat the enemy that this threatening our people’s way of life.”
Kwame Nkrumah’s vision lives on President Kenyatta noted that the Pan-Africanist vision of founding fathers like Kwame Nkrumah continued to live on particularly with the launch of Agenda 2063 by the AU as a global strategy to optimize the use of Africa’s resources to the benefit of all Africans.
“This Pan-Africanist vision also shared by the founding fathers of our nations is steadily being realised in Africa particularly with the launch of agenda 2063. The agenda is an expression of our determination to bring the people of African closer together to amalgamate their ideas and ensure integration for sustained social economic and political development of Africa.”
“Let’s continue to work together to enhance the trade between our two countries, lets continue to interact among ourselves to forge more partnerships. Let’s work to breakdown the artificial barriers placed in our ways and work together. Kenya is open for business.” He said.
Presidents’ Uhuru Kenyatta and Jose Mario Vaz joined President Mahama to review the national parade of school children, voluntary organisations and security services.