of the Nation Address
“RAISING GHANA TO THE NEXT LEVEL”
BY H.E. JOHN EVANS ATTA MILLS
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2011
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
One of the highlights of the document is the
establishment of Special Development Zones which is
an initiative to reduce spatial and income
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
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
c. The Forest Belt Development Authority comprising
the forest zones in the Eastern, Ashanti and Brong
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
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
Past failures seem to have created a mentality that
has restricted national ambition.
It is time for this country to think big and think
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
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
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
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
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