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State of the Nation Address


Part One


Madam Speaker, Vice President, Honourable Members of the House, I have the honour to appear before you this morning to discharge the constitutional mandate given to the President of the Republic of Ghana to annually present a State of the Nation report to Parliament.

Madam Speaker, as with the Presidency, Parliament is also into its third year of its four-year term.

Working together over the past two years has been a rewarding experience and I urge members on both sides of the House to approach the work that lies ahead with a sense of common purpose.

Let our debates and discussions continue to be stimulating and constructive in the interest of a Better Ghana.

Madam Speaker, right behind us, work is progressing on Job 600 to provide offices for our Honourable Members of Parliament.
The on-going work is a statement that slowly but surely we are making progress.

And in this year of action, we will continue to fund the project for it to be completed so that our lawmakers can have functional offices to operate from.

Madam Speaker, last year when Parliament reconvened on the 26th of January, you called on Honourable Members to be time conscious.

I hope the Honourable Members heeded to your call.
In this Action Year, our time consciousness must move notches higher because as the saying goes, “time is money”.


Madam Speaker, my first appearance before you was in February 2009 barely two months upon assumption of office as President.
Even with limited knowledge of the national situation available at the time, I provided a far-sighted view of our nation’s development agenda.

By the time I presented my second State of the Nation address in February 2010, we had a clearer picture of the state of affairs bequeathed to us by the previous administration.

The challenges were indeed more daunting than we had imagined.
That address spelt out measures this Administration was going to take to deal with issues to restore the economy to good health, improve governance of the nation while consolidating and sustaining our democracy.

Madam Speaker, I am happy to report that as a result of prudent policy measures and with understanding and support of Ghanaians, we were able to sustain macroeconomic stability in 2010 with year-on-year inflation declining further from about 16% in 2009 to a single-digit figure of below 9%, the lowest inflation figure in about two decades.

Why do we stress on this historic achievement?

Madam Speaker, inflation is the worst economic nightmare any country can go through. It breeds economic and financial instability and imposes hardship on the most vulnerable.

To be successful in tackling it is to create conditions for economic growth.

What we achieved for ourselves last year in confronting inflation was therefore notable. The challenge now is to remain on course.


Many Honourable Members of the House who participate in International conferences both within and outside can confirm the positive view the international community holds of Ghana’s economic progress.

I know the question they often ask you is whether we have the courage and resolve to sustain the economy on this road to growth and prosperity.

My simple answer is yes; this Administration intends to stay the course because there are no short cuts.

Madam Speaker, in addition to the successful efforts at curbing the rate of inflation, we also note with satisfaction that the global economic downturn notwithstanding, Ghana managed to maintain a respectable growth rate in 2010 and is poised to attain a higher level this year.

Indeed, much beyond our own expectations, the World Bank predicts that Ghana would post the highest GDP in the world for the year 2011.

Madam Speaker, in compliance with Article 36 clause 5 of the Constitution, I presented to Parliament last December Government’s Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies for 2010-2016.

As I note in the preface, the main thrust of this programme is to transform the economy for accelerated growth and job creation.
We aim to achieve this through accelerated human resource development, agricultural mechanization and value-added processing of our national resource endowments on the back of the new oil and gas resources.

One of the highlights of the document is the establishment of Special Development Zones which is an initiative to reduce spatial and income inequality.

The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) which is one of the NDC 2008 manifesto pledges has already commenced work.


Madam Speaker, a donor’s conference is in the offing to commit funds for SADA’s operations.

The additional special zones we propose all of which will be under the Office of the President, will include;

a. Western Corridor Development Authority which will subsume the Central Region Development Commission (CEDECOM);

b. Eastern Corridor Development Authority which will have a mandate covering the Volta Region and Afram Plains;

c. The Forest Belt Development Authority comprising the forest zones in the Eastern, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions.
Madam Speaker, our development partners have continued to offer development assistance and in some instances indicated their readiness to increase levels of assistance.

We are grateful to them for recognizing the capacity, readiness and democratic integrity of this Administration to be reliable partners.
Madam Speaker, this Government has achieved appreciable success in its effort to diversify the range of development assistance.
During my visits to Japan and China in September last year, we received pledges of substantial support especially towards infrastructural development.

A special team has been working to ensure urgent follow up actions because as the old saying goes – we must strike while the iron is hot.


Madam Speaker, the quantum of funding for infrastructure development that should be available to the economy following our visits to the Far East, appears to have caused a stir among those who think the economy of Ghana is too small to absorb such substantial investments as if we are destined to remain a small economy.

Let us have confidence in ourselves.

Madam Speaker, I have had occasion to state that too much has passed us by as a nation and we need to move as fast as we can; of course at calculated speed.

Past failures seem to have created a mentality that has restricted national ambition.

It is time for this country to think big and think positive.
Of course we should not raise unrealistic expectations or set our sights too high but there is nothing wrong in being ambitious and daring.

Madam Speaker, on our visit to the Far East last September we carried with us our blueprint for the rehabilitation and expansion of rail network in Ghana.

We also had our blueprint for roads covering the Eastern Corridor spanning Ho all the way to Nkwanta, Kadjebi, Worawora, Yendi and beyond.

We had the blueprint for the Western corridor stretching from Elubo through Enchi, Juaboso and all the way to Wa in the Upper West Region and beyond.

These and other extensive road projects envisaged in the oil enclave namely Takoradi, Mpataba, Bonyere and elsewhere and economic roads in Tarkwa and Bogoso etc. are a statement of intent on where this Administration wants Ghana to be within the foreseeable future.


Madam Speaker, Agreements covering these projects will be laid before the House shortly and I count on the ready support of Honourable Members so that we can get going because as the old adage goes : Time and Tide wait for no man.


Madam Speaker, following the rebasing of the economic indices of our nation, we are now at least in theory – a middle-income economy.

I use the phrase in theory advisedly because when we compare the levels of development in other middle-income countries it would seem we have a lot of catching-up to do.

The substantial investments we secure will take us closer to the levels achieved by other middle-income countries in road and rail construction, in the oil and gas industry, education, health, provision of water, electricity and even waste management.

The provisional results of the 2010 census put Ghana’s population at a little over 24million compared to the 2000 population figure of around 18 million.

While awaiting the final figures for the 2010 census, it is clear that we have a lot of planning to do to raise living standards commensurate with our middle-income status.

Madam Speaker, the year 2010 certainly ended on a high, with the pumping of our oil in commercial quantities.

As we join the ranks of oil-producing countries and thank the Almighty for the many gifts he has bestowed upon this nation, I assure Ghanaians that this Government will account for every pesewa of the oil revenue.


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