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17.01.2007 General News

Countdown to 50th Anniversary Launched

By Daily Graphic
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The Deputy Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mrs Oboshie Sai-Coffie, has called on Ghanaians to actively participate in the country's Golden Jubilee celebrations, on the theme, “Championing African Excellence”.

That, she said, was necessary because Ghana had excelled as a nation and had every cause to celebrate.

Mrs Sai-Coffie made the call at the official launch of the “Countdown of 50 days to 50th anniversary” organised by TV3 Network Limited in Accra yesterday.

Story By Bella Frances Nkansah

Giving a background to Ghana's post-independence period, she indicated that Ghana and Africa in general were not spared the agony of the suppression of political dissent by post-independent rulers.

“This led to military interventions and military rule. For a long time many people believed that the military could fill in where the politicians failed,” she added.

She made reference to countries such as Malaysia and Singapore which gained independence at the same period as Ghana but were now ahead economically and said different countries had had different experiences, with many travelling along different development paths.

Mrs Sai-Coffie cautioned that the mere existence of the Constitution, freedom of association and the free and fair elections the country enjoyed did not guarantee democracy, saying there was the need to commit oneself to the entrenchment and defence of democracy against those who schemed against it.

She gave the reasons which called for the celebrations to include the ability of Ghanaians to keep the nation together for 50 years, since other countries had disintegrated through civil strife, the ability of the country to amend the mistakes of economic mismanagement, political adventurism and abuse of human rights.

Mrs Sai-Coffie further stated that Ghana was the first Black African country south of the Sahara to attain political independence and had now become the beacon of economic growth and good governance on the continent.

“Our success story includes the multiplication of road networks, the widening of highways, the Capitation Grant, the School Feeding Programme, the investor-friendly environment and the National Health Insurance Scheme,” she added.

She advised Ghanaians to engage favourably with the many visitors who would join in the celebrations by building friendships and seeking access to opportunities beyond the borders of the country.

The Director, News and Current Affairs of TV3 Network, Mr Kofi Nyantakyi, said Ghana's Golden Jubilee was a momentous occasion and a landmark which needed to be celebrated.

He said although the development gap between Ghana and the developed countries was big, the country could accelerate development and growth by adopting good things.

Mr Nyantakyi indicated that despite the fact that Ghana still faced many challenges, there was the need to celebrate the successes and failures of the nation, stating, “There is the need for one to take stock of his life to improve upon mistakes of the past.”

He said there was a sense of history which needed to be observed and added that TV3 was going to play its part in the celebrations by collaborating with the government and the Ghana @ 50 Secretariat to cover all programmes.