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01.01.2007 General News

Good governance enabled Ghana to withstand challenges

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Ghana was able to withstand major challenges in 2006 because of the openness of social discourse and increasing understanding of the governance mechanism, President John Agyekum Kufuor said on New Year's Eve.

In a nationwide radio and television broadcast to the nation he said the maturation of the diverse institutions, both public and private; the improving efficiency of macro-economic management, and incipient partnership between the public and private sectors for growth contributed the resilience.

He also attributed the nation's strength to "the gradual but steady improvement in the law and order situation, as well as the acknowledgement and support by the international community and development partners for the country's good governance practices".

President Kufuor identified the challenges to include the sky-rocketing crude oil prices which hit the country from the very beginning of the year adding; "equally troubling were the many industrial actions that assailed the economy and society from otherwise stable sectors such as education, health and the public sector generally".

He expressed regret about the ghastly accidents on roads and water courses most of which were caused by reckless driving, defective vehicles and overloading of boats.

President Kufuor said "the menace of drug-trafficking became exposed as never before. Apparently regular and decent individuals were alleged to be implicated in this dehumanizing trade, and the fear is that we have not seen the bottom yet.

"The good news, however, is that the Narcotics Control Board is being re-constituted and equipped to find solutions to this problem on a sustained basis, he said. He said "the incidence of violent crimes increased within the society.

Sadly, the perpetrators were of all ages, including some minors, who apparently were driven by a need to secure items like mobile phones and other electronic gadgets. These young people also tended to be under the influence of drugs".

President Kufuor said: " yet another challenge occurred during the second half of the year, in the form of unfavorable weather conditions, which affected the major source of our energy, the Volta. This led to load shedding which impacted negatively on electricity supply for both domestic and industrial uses.

"The cumulative impact of these setbacks naturally led the populace to wonder whether the economy which had been performing creditably, could withstand the shocks. "Thankfully, as serious as all these challenges were, they failed to destabilize the society and economy to the extent that was feared, he said.

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