Mahama invites international community
By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh
President John Mahama has invited the international community to come and monitor the December presidential and parliamentary elections. According to him, though the stakes are very high, the elections would be free, fair and peaceful, but he still wants the international community to monitor it.
Addressing the well-attended 67th Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, President Mahama also assured the world leaders that Ghana would not be used as the storehouse of any resources or weapons to destabilise any of its neighbouring countries.
“We will not harbour any individuals or groups whose intent is to utilise Ghana as a base of operation to undermine the safety and security of another nation,” he said.
President Mahama stressed that Ghana would work under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol, and utilise whatever other tools of diplomacy are at their disposal to ensure that security is restored to Mali and Cote d’Ivoire, and that they find a place alongside their fellow African countries in the continent’s forward march towards prosperity.
“Ghana has a strong belief in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Under the principle of self-determination of people, Ghana was the first sub-Saharan country to emerge from colonial domination,” he told the world leaders.
Touting the country’s economic performance, President Mahama said out of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world last year, six were African, including Ghana.
He gladly stated that Ghana posted one of the highest domestic product (GDP) growth rates, with a final outturn of 14%. Foreign direct investment inflows into the country amounted to some $1.5 billion in various sectors.
On social development, President Mahama stated: “Ghana is on track to achieve the targets set under the Millennium Development Goals. Significant progress has been made in the following areas: reducing extreme poverty, gender parity in school enrolment, universal primary education, provision of safe drinking water and the fight against HIV/AIDS.”
The President, however, lamented over the toll of unemployment hitting the global economy, including Ghana. As he put it “nearly all nations, be they developed or developing, are grappling with finding ways to tackle this potential threat to their economic stability.”
In Ghana, he indicated, the government was attempting to deal with this problem as aggressively and as effectively as possible, by finding solutions that are long-term and sustainable.
This includes a programme which the country will launch to encourage young people become entrepreneurs, and through that become employers, rather than employees.
Read the President’s full speech on pages 14 and 15.
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