STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS - 2012
”STILL BUILDING A BETTER GHANA”
BY: H.E. JOHN EVANS ATTA MILLS
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16th, 2012.
I thank you for the opportunity to be here to perform my
Article 67 of the Constitution requires the President at the
beginning of each session of Parliament to deliver a message
on the state of the nation.
I intend to do just that; to deliver a message on the state of
the nation which I daresay is stable and in reasonably good
The economy is full of promise and in terms of development; we
are making substantial progress even though there is still a
lot of work to be done.
The Global Economy
Over the past three years that I have been President, much has
been achieved in pursuance of our “Better Ghana” Agenda.
Even though we have experienced internal and external
constraints, we have reason to be hopeful of Ghana’s future.
A recent report by the World Bank has alerted developing
countries of further economic shocks this year and the need
for contingency planning.
We are therefore watching developments in the global economy
with hope and apprehension.
Hope, because the easing of the global crisis is likely to
give rise to economic stability and expansion that will impact
on our economy; apprehension, because further weakening of the
Highly Indebted Rich Countries (HIRCs) and of the global
economy will have serious economic consequences not least on
Notwithstanding the global economic uncertainties, this
administration has continued to make progress in the
management of the national economy.
Under my watch, Ghana has recorded the highest ever growth
rate in the annals of our nation’s history with a provisional
growth rate approaching 14%.
In my 2011 State of the Nation Address, I described inflation
as the worst economic nightmare any country can go through
because it breeds economic and financial difficulties and
imposes hardships on the most vulnerable.
I stated then that our success in confronting inflation in the
previous year was notable; the challenge was to remain on
I am happy to report that indeed we remained on course.
We recorded the most sustained single digit rates of inflation
in decades, with the rate of inflation of 8.55% for 2011 being
the lowest in 42 years since 1970.
As at the end of September, the budget deficit was 2% of GDP
as compared to 14.5% of GDP in 2008.
With the exception of the level of the budget deficit which
was higher than anticipated, we have managed to attain the
macroeconomic projections contained in the 2008 NDC Manifesto
for a Better Ghana.
The credit belongs to all Ghanaians and to the Government as
the direct managers of the economy as well as Parliament as
The positive economic indicators we have achieved have
resulted in increased investor confidence in the economy.
A fortnight ago the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre released
figures showing an increase in projects registered at the GIPC
amounting to over $7billion in foreign direct investment.
That said, I expect the recently established Inter Agency Task
Force to ensure full compliance of provisions of the GIPC Act
especially relating to Immigration and tax.
On the revenue side, let me recommend, CEPS, IRS, and VAT, for
the good work being done.
There is still a lot of work to be done and I am confident
that these Organisations will not let the nation down.
Our achievements in managing inflation, budget deficit and
realizing high GDP growth rates have reflected in the progress
made in many key areas of national development.
A snapshot of the education sector provides a good example of
how far we have come within the short time span of 3 years.
In the city of Accra for example efforts have been made to
bring an end to the school shift system which has been a
drawback in the fight for quality education.
Several classroom structures have been constructed providing
accommodation for hundreds of pupils who now benefit from a
full day classroom teaching.
Contracts for the construction of over 1,700 classroom blocks
for schools under trees have been awarded throughout the
On completion, the 4,320 schools under trees that existed in
2009 would be reduced by about 40%.
We are on course to eradicating the schools under trees
We have distributed over 3 million school uniforms to needy
This means that with a basic school population of about 5.2
million, we have supplied school uniforms to three out of
every five children in basic school.
Under our free exercise books scheme, over 40 million exercise
books have been supplied to all pupils in basic public
On the average, 8 exercise books have been supplied to each
pupil per year in both 2010 and 2011.
In respect of the school feeding programme, we have
rationalized selection to target more needy communities.
In all, coverage has been expanded.
As regards the second cycle level of the educational strata,
about 672 emergency classroom blocks and dormitories are in
various phases of completion nationwide.
Indeed, on my nationwide tour last year, I commissioned many
of such completed projects.
In line with our social democratic principles, we aim at
making secondary education accessible to every Ghanaian child
of school going age by 2016.
The completion of the emergency classroom blocks will make it
possible to increase second cycle enrolment.
Between 2013 and 2015, we intend establishing additional
community second cycle schools throughout the length and
breadth of the country, particularly in under-served
As far as this Administration is concerned, education is the
key to giving the youth the skills they need to make the most
of their lives.
Investing in the right education and addressing youth
unemployment are two sides of the same coin.
Thus, besides emphasizing on formal classroom education, we
are using the National Apprenticeship Programme, LESDEP, and
other programmes for the teaching of employable skills.
So far, these programmes have made a great impact on youth
employment in the informal sector of the economy.
It is expected that the shift of the NYEP focus from
traditional paid modules to trade and vocation modules will
Madam Speaker, pursuance to a pledge made last year, the
School of Fisheries at Anomabo, a satellite college of
University of Cape Coast, is underway.
Also, a head office building for the Ghana Academy of Arts and
Sciences is under construction.
Science, Communication Technology and Innovation
Important changes have taken place in the communication
industry in Ghana.
In July last year, Mobile Number Portability was introduced
offering choice to mobile phone subscribers.
A lot of preparation on digital broadcasting migration has
been going on and we are on course to switch over from
analogue to digital in December 2014 ahead of the 2015
deadline set for all countries.
Related to this and in line with the imperatives of today’s
digital world is the importance of giving Ghanaian youth and
students opportunities to gain skills in information and
These are the tools for future employment and economic growth.
Under our Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy,
provision is made for the distribution of free laptops to
schools and students nationwide.
So far close to 60,000 laptops have been distributed and it is
expected that by June this year, the number would have
This surely is good news for our students who hitherto had to
write their Basic Education Certificate Examination ICT papers
without having ever seen or touched the key pad of a computer.
Before Parliament rose from its third and final meeting last
year, the bills on the establishment of the University of
Health and Allied Sciences in the Volta Region and the
University of Energy and Natural Resources in the Brong Ahafo
Region, were passed.
Work is seriously in progress as regards putting in place the
needed infrastructure for staff and students.
Indeed, the Governing Councils of the two universities have
been inaugurated and it is expected that admissions will begin
when the new academic year begins sometime in September.
A lot has also been achieved in terms of improved
infrastructural facilities for effective teaching and learning
in the existing public tertiary institutions.
In the particular case of the University of Development
Studies, we have made available funds for the expansion of
infrastructural facilities and procurement of laboratory
equipment and other projects.
Human Resource Training And Development
In the area of Human Resource Training and Development in
foreign universities since 2009, the GETFUND has been
providing funding in anticipation of employment in the