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29.10.2003 General News

President Kufuor pledges to keep faith with the people

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Accra, Oct. 29, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday pledged to keep faith with Ghanaians and continue to place the people at the centre governmental policies and actions.

He said " Ghana was in a quagmire when we took over power and we will serve the people with all humility and welcome any constructive criticism that would make our democracy work".

President Kufuor was speaking at the Castle, Osu in a live telecast interview with the Voice of America (VOA) host Saaka Saali in Washington on the station's "Straight Talk Africa Programme".

He said the Government would not be complacent in the achievements it had made in its five major priority areas, that included provision of infrastructure, modernization of agriculture, provision of social services, education and health and rural development.

In response to commendations by people, who phoned-in to the programme, President Kufuor said: "I would not be complacent but in all humility welcome the people's appreciation to our efforts to develop the country."

In an answer to a question on Government's decision on the relationship between Ashanti Goldfields Company (AGC) and Anglogold, President Kufuor said, "it is a merger between them but not a take over of AGC by Anglogold".

President Kufuor said he has signed an agreement between Ghana and the United States regarding the surrender of US citizens and foreign contractors to the International Criminal Court and has been sent to Parliament for ratification.

He said it was signed on friendship basis and in accordance with the understanding that any US suspect in Ghana could be dealt with in accordance with the laws of Ghana or repatriated to the US for trial. President Kufuor, who is also the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said the organization had operated with limited resources and had shown much commitment and initiative in solving most of the conflicts in the Sub-Region.

However, he said, more assistance in the form of resources were required from the international community to restore and maintain the peace and stability prevailing.

On a question as to a message for the former Liberian President Charles Taylor, President Kufuor said: "I will urge Taylor to stay out for the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) to perform its work."

Mr Saali ended his interview with what were President Kufuor's most major achievement and regret during his tenure of office and in response, he said most Ghanaians were now free. President Kufuor said the Government had restored the confidence in the people and that now know that real power of the state resided in them.

He said he had not regretted for anything but was still learning how Government policies and programmes had helped to enhance the life of the individual to lay a solid foundation for future generations. 29 Oct. 03

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