General News of Tuesday, 21 February 2017
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was statesmanly during the delivery of his maiden State of the Nation Address on Tuesday, 21 February, Professor Ransford Gyampoh, Head of the Centre for European Studies at the University of Ghana, has said.
Mr Akufo-Addo on Tuesday February 21 fulfilled his constitutional duty as president of Ghana by presenting the State of the Nation Address.
Among other things, he told parliament: “I have heard it said that I am behaving like a man in a hurry. Mr Speaker, I am, indeed, in a hurry.
“The times in which we live demand that we all be in a hurry to deal with the problems we face. We are going to have to implement some tough, prudent and innovative policies to get out of this financial cul-de sac.”
According to him, he must be in a hurry to fix Ghana because the reality of the state of Ghana’s public finances today is “quite stark”.
“Ghana’s debt stock now stands at 74% of GDP, after all the previous denials to the contrary,” Nana Akufo-Addo said, adding: “As of the beginning of 2009, Ghana’s total debt stock was GHS9.5 billion. By the end of 2016, the debt had ballooned to GHS122 billion.”
Commenting on the president’s address on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme a few hours after the address, Professor Gyampoh said: “If you look at the way he did his presentation, you will see that there is a bit of difference between his delivery and that of the past presidents in the Fourth Republic. This was very short, straightforward and straight to the point. I think these are the major differences in his address.
“He looked and sounded more statesmanly, acknowledging the role of the Mahama administration and the transition process. I have seen governments taking over from other governments, at least JA Kufour took over from Rawlings, Atta Mills took over from JA Kufuor, but consistently I think President Akufo-Addo has always acknowledged the role of the previous administration led by John Mahama in the whole transition process, and this is commendable. It shows that he is a statesman.
“He is gifted with oratory and has excellent control of the language. He is always erudite in communicating his plans in a manner that sustains listener interest. There are some speakers whose audiences begin to doze off the moment they begin to speak. Leaders should have excellent communication skills in order to be able to sustain the interest of their listeners and also for listeners to understand and document what you say to demand accountability. This our president is gifted with oratory and like I said has command over the language and he is always erudite in communicating his plans in a manner that sustains the interest of public and the audience.”