Accra, Ghana - Ghana’s 57th independence celebration, commencement of school blocks for free senior high school education and the arrival of opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo, after more than six months’ stay abroad after he lost the 2012 presidential election and a court suit to overturn the results, were some of the stories reported in the media this week.
“Let’s believe in ourselves – President Mahama challenges Ghanaians', was the headline of the state-owned Ghanaian Times on President John Dramani Mahama’s speech at Independence Square in Accra on 6 March that was marked by a rainstorm.
The newspaper quoted the president as saying the country’s greatest resource was its people and not gold, bauxite and other resources it is endowed with.
Stressing that Ghanaians were one of the most enterprising and talented people, he said there was more the nation could do than to be dependent on imports and be exporters of raw materials. He implored the citizens to reduce their preference for imported products and patronise products manufactured locally to accelerate socio-economic transformation.
“For the love of this country, let’s start thinking of ways we can transform our society and our economy through ‘made in Ghana’ goods,” he said.
The state-owned Graphic had the headline “Patronise ‘Made in Ghana’ everyday – Prez Mahama'.
It said President Mahama proposed that everyday should be made a ‘Made-in-Ghana’ day in an attempt to transform the society and the economy.
President Mahama said the time had come for Ghana to be moved to the next level and this could be achieved through unity and hard work.
“Rains disrupt independence day celebrations in Accra”, was another headline on the Independence Day celebrations.
The rain, which started at 0905 (GMT) did not, however, deter President Mahama from lighting the perpetual flame in remembrance of the unknown fallen soldiers.
Although some security services were able to march past in the rain, students from both first and second cycle schools as well as some organised bodies could not take their turn.
President Mahama, ascribing the downpour to the effects of climate change, said “What it means is that we must implement climate change adaptability to better able predict the weather. We must sharpen our ability to predict how the weather will behave so we can adapt to it.'
The Ghanaian Times, in another story on the Independence Day celebrations with the headline “President tells Ghanaians: Nation’s destiny in your hands”, reported that President Mahama advocated a reawakening of the sense of patriotic and nationalistic spirit among Ghanaians.
He said unless the citizenry took keen interest in the destiny of the nation, the economy would not make any meaningful progress.
“As citizens, we have rights and responsibilities but more often than not, we exercise our rights...we have a responsibility to also work hard to make our nation what we want it to be,” President Mahama said at the presentation of awards to 20 selected students as part of the country’s 57th independence day commemoration.
“Community SHS projects take off”, was the headline of the Ghanaian Times on the government’s step to fully implement free senior high school education.
It said the quest to expand access to quality and affordable secondary education in Ghana took a giant step on Monday when President Mahama cut the sod to mark the commencement of work on the first 50 of the 200 community day senior high schools.
The projects, to be undertaken by Ghanaian contractors with ‘Made in Ghana’ materials, are scheduled for completion by August 2015 and will kick-start the progressive free senior school concept, set to begin in 2015/2016 academic year.
Currently, the existing senior high schools have the capacity to absorb only 60 per cent of the students who qualify from junior high school. The community SHSs will therefore come in handy to address the shortfall.
The Graphic headline on the event read “President cuts sod for 50 SHS and declares Ghana has no time for trivia”.
It reported that the President on Monday began the process leading to the fulfilment of a major electoral promise when he performed the joint sod-cutting ceremony for the construction of the first batch of 50 community day senior high schools (SHSs) at Nyanoa in the Upper West Akyem District in the Eastern Region.
The first set of schools is expected to be handed over to the government by 15 August, 2015, and pioneer students will have the privilege to start SHS under the free SHS education policy as announced by the government.
The President said the fact that education continued to take about one-third of the national budget attested to the importance the government attached to the sector.
Regrettably, in spite of all the efforts to advance education, examination results fell below expectation.
President Mahama said 'Ghana is a country in hurry' and that there was no need for arguments over trivial issues.
The Graphic reported the arrival of opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo under the headline “Akufo-Addo back home”.
It said the 2012 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday night arrived in the country from the United Kingdom where he had been on vacation.
An Accra-based radio station, Radio XYZ, reported on its website that twice-defeated presidential candidate of the main opposition NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says God has told him all that he wants to know concerning the next step to take in his political career.
He told reporters on arrival that he would publicly announce his decision once he had consulted the elders of the party.
Thronged by hordes of party supporters, the former Attorney General said: “I thank you for the enormous love you have showed me. I told you I needed time to rest and consult God on my next line of action before leaving for the UK. I have done so. And God has told me all that I need to know. I however need to consult my elders before making that announcement public.”