President John Dramani Mahama has urged Ghanaians “to be truly independent” and place value on their talents in order to boost the progress of the economy.
Delivering a speech at the 57th Independence Anniversary at the Black Star square on Thursday, March 6, he admonished the nation not to leave their destiny in the hands of Westerners.
According to him, Ghanaians should utilize local talents to the benefit of the economy.
President Mahama noted that though his predecessors fought to attain independence for the country, the nation’s independence is hindered by the over-reliance of Ghanaians on foreign assistance.
He therefore insisted that the era when Ghanaians value foreign imports and corporations than local ones should stop because “Ghanaians are some of the most enterprising people in the World. We’re smart. We’re creative. We’re crafty. We have a good business sense and when put to the test, we’re indeed very hard working…God has blessed us even more richly with talents, innovation and industriousness. Let us use these God-given gifts to transform this great nation of ours.”
“Just as we purchase products that are proudly Italian, proudly Chinese, proudly Turkish or proudly South African; there’s no reason why we cannot manufacture goods that are proudly Ghanaian. If we’re to be truly independent, we cannot allow our destiny to be determined by corporations, industries or individuals who exist beyond our national borders.”
As part of his commitment to promote locally manufactured products, President Mahama disclosed that on his trip to the World Economic Forum, held in Switzerland this year, he swore never to “spend 1 single pesewa on chocolate in that country.”
According to President John Mahama, a friend of his asked him to purchase Swiss Chocolate for him when returning because to his friend, the Swiss have the best chocolate industry in the world but he refused to do the friend’s bidding.
In his candid view, Ghana has the best cocoa beans and manufactures the best chocolate in the entire globe, so, he bought his friend a locally produced chocolate to encourage Ghanaians to follow suit.
“On my return, I sent my trusted friend a box of Golden Tree Chocolate proudly made in Ghana the best chocolate in the world.”
“Why should the Swiss have the reputation of being the best chocolate makers in the world when they don’t produce cocoa and they don’t produce sugar? More than half of the cocoa beans used to make Swiss chocolate come from Ghana and yet the Swiss chocolate industry is one of the most reputable and successful in the world…” he said.