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GHANA'S PRESIDENT PROF. J.E.A MILLS' SPEECH AT THE AU RECENT SUMMIT IN LIBYA PDF Print E-mail
Written by NAPRM-GC   
Friday, 24 July 2009 09:49

President MillsYour Excellency,  

President Muammar al-Gaddafi my brother and Chairperson of the African Union,

Your Excellency, President Meles Zenawi, My Brother and Chairperson of the APR Forum,

Brother Heads of State and Government,

The Chairperson and Members of the APR Panel

Honourable Ministers of State,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen: 

I want to first of all thank my Colleague and Brother Leader Muammar al- Gaddafi, Chairperson of the African Union, for the warm reception and the hospitable arrangements made for me and my entire entourage since our arrival in Libya.  

Let me also extend fraternal salutations to colleague Heads of State and Government assembled here at the Eleventh Summit of the Africa Peer Review Forum.   

I wish to also acknowledge the commendable work of H.E. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, my brother Chairperson of the APR Forum and all others who have since the institution of the APRM in 2003, provided leadership and successfully steered the conduct of its affairs.

View of AU Summit in LibyaMr Chairman, Ghana has always been a firm believer in the quest of our founding fathers to forge African Unity in pursuit of our Development goals.   

We have supported that search in order to halt the marginalization of the Continent and also to enhance the dignity, respect and wellbeing of our people.  

We take pride above all, in the fact that we have been called upon to continue the unfinished business of the founding fathers; including Ghana’s First President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

Incidentally, September 21st marks the 100th birthday of Dr.  Kwame Nkrumah and Ghana is gearing up to appropriately remember a true son of the soil who lived for the total liberation and economic emancipation of the African Continent.  

My fellow Africans, It goes without saying that as we seek solutions to the problems confronting the 21st century, we find ourselves still hampered by serious weaknesses that have obstructed our progress since attaining political independence.

It is therefore significant that at this point that we see in the APRM the opportunity to entrench democracy, freedom, good governance, peace, stability and popular participation, as critical objectives to be championed as part of the development paradigm. 

Indeed, in Ghana, we have accepted through experience gained over the years that, without these core values the aspirations of the founding fathers will continue to be only a pipedream.

 

It is in this respect that the government of Ghana is firmly committed to the ideals and principles of the APRM to foster the development and wellbeing of our people. 

We believe the APRM underscores the new political will and leadership to serve our people and not to lord it over them.  

Also, our commitment to the APRM demonstrates our commitment to popular participation, development dialogue and accountable government as prerequisites for A Better Ghana.  

AU members at LibyaFurthermore, it brings to the fore, the opportunities that could be unleashed amongst the Nations of Africa to create the critical mass that can turn around the fortunes of the continent, and then with the rest of the world to secure a dignified participation in a globalized world.

It is in this regard that I welcome the working visit paid to Ghana by Benin, Burkina Faso, Togo, Sierra Leone and the Pan-African Parliament and later in the year Uganda to foster collaboration and to deepen the effective implementation of the APRM across the continent. 

Mr Chairman, the APRM echoes the voice of the people and as such even before my assumption of Office; my Party took serious consideration of the recommendations of the APRM and incorporated a number of them into our Party manifesto. 

With this interest and commitment to the tenets of the APRM, I am happy to report that since coming into office in January 2009, we have already implemented a number of recommendations raised in the Ghana National Programme of Action. 

These include:

  • Abolishing the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs which blurred the line between the Executive and the Legislature
  • Reducing the number of Ministries from 27 to 24; and Ministers from 88 to 75
  • Instituting a Peer Review between the main governance institutions and Parliament so as to determine their budget instead of this being done by Executive fiat.

We have also initiated legislative processes to ensure:

  • The Passage of the Freedom of Information Bill;
  • The development of a Code of Conduct in Government which includes key information disclosure, ethics and anti-corruption measures;
  • The conduct of a National Constitutional Review Conference to address issues raised among others by the APRM
  • Establishment of Savannah Accelerated Development Authority aimed at bridging the socio-economic gap between the north and south as recommended in our APRM Country Review Report.

Mr Chairman, notwithstanding the implementation of these measures, we admit that there are still outstanding issues to be dealt with in the National Program of Action and we are working assiduously to address them. 

I have also observed that it is five years since Ghana initiated her last National Self-Assessment Report.   

Mr Chairman, in Ghana we acknowledge the benefits the country has derived from signing on to the APRM.

I wish therefore to call on the Panel of Eminent Persons to take the necessary measures that will lead to a fresh round of National Self- Assessment to enable us build on the progress made by the previous assessment.

At this point, let me extend sincere congratulations to my colleague Presidents of, Mali, Mozambique and Lesotho for the conduct of their peer review, the President of Uganda for the presentation of the first Annual Progress Report and the President of Cape Verde for acceding to the APRM. 

Mr Chairman, I thank you for the opportunity.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 July 2009 10:30