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04.01.2005 General News

Stakeholders laud President Kufuor's Address

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Accra, Jan. 4, GNA - Various stakeholders on Tuesday described President John Agyekum Kufuor's State of the Nation Address, as historic, satisfactory, a good report and complete catalogue of achievements over the past four years.

Dr Baffour Agyemang-Duah, Associate Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), told the GNA that the performance of the government on good governance over the past four years had been satisfactory.

He said the past four years saw the replacement of arbitrariness in government with the rule of law, the entrenchment of citizens' liberties and the participation of citizens and all stakeholders in the governance process.

"Clearly none of our civil liberties were breached within the past four years and we need to be grateful for that."

Dr Agyemang-Duah noted that though the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was laying the blocks of democracy quite well, there was yet room for improvement on democracy in the country saying, "we have not reached the ideal state of democracy yet - we need to work some more".

He praised President Kufuor for showing commitment to reconciliation in his opening remarks, saying that it was a strong opening and very impressive show of commitment to a reconciled and united nation.

Ms Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive of the Chamber of Mines, told the the Government would seek to develop other minerals in addition to gold.

"The address was a good report which encompasses the five priority areas the Government committed itself to in its Positive Change Chapter One Manifesto."

Ms Aryee said the Chamber would study the report carefully to see how the achievements made so far could be dovetailed into Positive Change II.

Mr Kofi Kludjeson, President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), described the speech as full of clarity and a complete catalogue of achievements in the past four years.

He told the GNA that it was left with the actual implementation of the goals set in Positive Change II and that could not be done effectively without the full participation of the private sector.

"Positive Chapter II is mainly about poverty alleviation and that cannot be achieved without the private sector leading the way. It is, therefore, imperative for Government to offload the leadership of the poverty alleviation process to the private sector within the next four years."

Ms Ajoa Yeboa-Afari, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), told the GNA that the address met her expectations as it contained the list of achievements in the past four years.

She said the address would serve as a reference document for future generations as it was the first to be presented by a sitting President just before the close of his term.

"We (GJA) cannot make a complete assessment of the address now, but would study it carefully and do that in due course," she said.

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