The Ashanti Region attracted thousands to witness Ghana’s 63 Independence Anniversary Celebration at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on Friday 06 March 2020.
The event which was under the theme “Consolidating Our Gains” brought true contentment to the Ashanti’s in particular, a feeling they could not articulate literally but rendered loud standing ovation to the performance. It was a grandeur embellished with a range of beautiful Ghanaian culture coupled with military dexterity, precision and resilience. The occasion assembled a selection of Basic and Second Cycle schools within the Metropolis as well as all the security agencies that formed the parade.
The President and the Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, commended the military and other security personnel who put their lives on the line to safeguard the peace and security of the country.
He admitted Ghana had difficulties and stumbled in the search to reach her potential, but had never lost hope in her position as the inspirational leading light on the African continent. He was of the view that Ghana had wasted many opportunities that would have brought economic breakthrough. To this end, he promised that, as far as the economic goals had not been achieved, Ghana would not relax and be complacent.
He was emphatic that good things were happening in the country, and entreated all to be proud of the liberal democratic path the country had chosen in order to bring people out of poverty. Declaring that mothers no longer had to sell off their most treasured fabrics and jewelry, while fathers went to money lenders to be able to see their children through Senior High School. “Today, senior high school is free for every child. We are making progress,” he added.
The president indicated that digital revolution was changing the face of the Ghanaian society and would soon take a deserved place as a modern economy. Politics he said might not always be most edifying because most developments through democratic process were not the easiest governance options and it was the reason most countries had their economic transformations through authoritarian regimes.
President Akufo-Addo predicted the decibel levels of political arguments to rise as Ghana was gearing up for presidential as well as the parliamentary elections. Ghana he reiterated owes it a duty, a task it cannot shirk to demonstrate to the rest of the continent that it could build and run a successful, prosperous and happy country.
The C-in-C described the coronavirus outbreak as a medical crisis that has brought in its wake deaths and economic difficulties, spreading fear and panic throughout the world. Strict and rigorous screening procedures were conducted at the various entry points. He recommended personal hygiene and urged all and sundry to avoid shaking hands.
For his part, the Guest of Honour, who is the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Keith Rowley, said his country and Ghana had a common interest in the area of agriculture which provided food and income security and expressed his desire for collaboration. Also, he applauded the government for the just-ended year of return programme which was a major birthright journey inviting all diaspora brothers and sisters to visit Ghana after 400 years of the first enslaved Africans arrive in Jamestown Virginia. This he said had made Ghana a beacon for African descendants to trace their ancestry and identity.
The ceremony ended with the firing of 21 gun salute, the highest collective mark of respect for the Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces. The ceremony was attended by Service Chiefs, members of the Diplomatic Corps and over three hundred traditional rulers notable among them was the overlord of the Ashanti Kingdom Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.