President Nana Akufo-Addo says Ghana is working at growing its economy to open up opportunities to all citizens to curb illegal migration.
Speaking at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York on Thursday, he said, “no longer should Ghanaians have to subject themselves to the inhuman conditions of crossing the Sahara and drowning in the Mediterranean in the hope of making a living in Europe.”
While still committed to improving the lives of Ghanaians, the president said there may still be some Ghanaian adventurers who would seek greener pastures abroad.
He pleaded with other countries around the world to be hospitable to Ghanaian adventurers who want to seek challenges in different parts of the world and treat them with dignity.
“We want to build a Ghana which looks to the use of its own resources and their proper management as the way to engineer social and economic growth in our country. We want to build an economy that looks past commodities to position our country in the global marketplace.
“We are not disclaiming aid, but we do want to discard a mindset of dependency and living on handouts; we want to build a Ghana beyond aid. It is an easier platform on which to build sustainable relationships,” he added.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “long and bitter experience has taught us no matter how generous the charity, we would remain poor.”
He said it is time for the new generation of African leaders to take their rightful place on the world stage and not be a scar on anybody’s conscience.
“This Africa will neither be poor or a victim. This Africa will be honest to itself and to the world. This Africa will shed it clothes of poverty and become prosperous.
“We are not under any illusions about the hard work it will take to achieve our stated goals, but we are not afraid of hard work,” he stressed.
President Akufo-Addo said Africa is aware that the critical ingredient in making sustainable economic progress is to ensure a democratic system of governance- something he believes Ghana has succeeded in doing.
“After years of political turmoil and the accompanying economic chaos, a consensus has emerged in our fourth republic. We have had political stability for the last 25 years under a multi-party democracy where regular elections are now an accepted feature of our government.
“We continue to be the beacon of democracy and stability in Africa our institutions of state are growing stronger and we have made more progress with our economy than any time since independence,” he added.
He said although Ghana is nowhere near where it wants to be, there is every determination to realize its potential to make the country a prosperous nation.
The President spoke about the new Free Senior High School (SHS) programme which aims to guarantee secondary education for all Ghanaian children who have passed their basic school exams.
“This has already led to an increase of over 90,000 children, who have entered secondary school this academic year, who would otherwise have dropped out at this stage. SDG 4, which aims at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all, will be within our reach by the target date,” he said.