– President Cries To Ghanaians in France
President Akufo-Addo, has replied those calling him ‘lord of lies’ and insisted his administration is on course fulfilling the many promises it made to the Ghanaian electorate, in the run-up to the 2016 elections, adding on December 7, 2020, he will be vindicated by voters through re-election.
Addressing members of the Ghanaian community resident in France last Monday, July 8, 2019, as part of his official visit to that country, President Akufo-Addo indicated that, over the course of the last two and a half years in office, his government has fulfilled a considerable number of the promises made, adding he did not come into office to deceive Ghanaians.
“We are two and half years into a 4-year mandate, and what I continue to insist and tell the people of Ghana is that, by the end of my mandate, they will see that I came to tell them the truth about what I wanted to do. I didn’t come to deceive anybody,” the President said.
He said, although he was certain that the opposition will accuse him of doing otherwise, he will be vindicated in the 2020 general elections.
“I know that my opponents will be saying something else, but that is their right. God willing, on the 7th December 2020, the day of accountability, we will know who is telling the truth”.
President Akufo-Addo, made the comments on the back of the announcement made by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union that Ghana, has been chosen as host country for the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Describing the AfCFTA as “one of the most important things that the AU has done”, the President explained that Ghanaians who have been resident in France for some time can appreciate the significance of what was achieved at the 12th AU Extraordinary Summit, held in Niamey, the capital of Niger, on Sunday, 7th July, 2019.
“Maybe some of the greybeards can remember 30 years ago, at the beginning of the common market, what France was like, and what it is like today… there is no doubt about the massive impact that the European Union has had on the lives of European people, in terms of increasing their economic circumstances. And we believe that the African Continental Free Trade Area is going to do the same for us,” he explained.
The president, was confident that the AfCFTA will “give us the opportunity to bring the 1.2 billion people on our continent into active play in developing our continent. We have to find a way of developing our continent ourselves. We can’t continue to depend on foreigners to develop our continent for us.”
The AfCFTA, he noted further, will increase considerably intra-African trade, create millions of jobs for African youths, and help the continent develop its enterprises.
The siting of the AfCFTA Secretariat in Ghana, according to President Akufo-Addo, is a great opportunity for the country, especially as Ghana has been at the centre of pan-African matters.
“It is going to mean that all the ancillary activities of AfCFTA are going to be Accra- and Ghana-centered. It is also a recognition of the contribution we have made to the struggle of pan-Africanism, and for the decolonization of the continent,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo also paid tribute to the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, who first moved the motion for the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area in 2011.
“Every country should have its goals and policies that it follows successfully, leader after leader. When the national goals are set, all of us who come to occupy the seat of office should then be obliged to follow it,” the President noted.
Additional information to The Herald indicates that the road for Ghana to host the AfCFTASecretariat started in November 2011 in Accraunder the late Prof. Atta- Mills.
According to sources close to the then Ministry of Trade and Industry and also Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ghana hosted the meeting of Ministers of Trade that recommended to the Authority of Heads of State and Government, at the AU summit in January 2012 that, they create the AfCFTA.
Ghana, represented by the two Ministries, this paper gathered participated in the negotiations of the AfCFTA agreement which has now been ratified by a good number of the AU member states.
This paper’s sources familiar with the subject of AfCFTA Secretariat in Ghana, said what is being celebrated today is as a result of “painstaking” negotiations started by Ghana years ago having been one of the leading champions of the AfCFTA.
Though the final decision has been reached now, the sources said credit should appropriately be given to the late President for agreeing to the meeting of the Trade Ministers in November 2011 and also giving the go ahead to develop a consensus towards adopting the initiative and being an advocate and seeing the need to persuade his peers to adopt it too.