14.09.2005 General News

Democracy without productive economy is self-destructive - JAK

14.09.2005 LISTEN

Accra, Sept. 14, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday said democracy without a sound, productive and fast growing economy could be self-destructive in developing countries.

He said the Government would, therefore, not to shirk its responsibility to plan with the requisite vision and take measures on priority areas to ensure economic stability and sustained accelerated growth to engender employment and good incomes for the people.

A statement issued in Accra from the Office of the Press Secretary to the President said President Kufuor was speaking on: "The Democratic Transformation of Ghana" when he delivered the First UNESCO Chair for Human Rights Lecture at the University of Connecticut in the USA. President Kufuor referring to Ghana's political history said: "Within a decade of independence, the democratic multi-party constitution had been jettisoned for a 'one-party' system.

"However, military regimes worsened the plight of the people with dictatorial, inefficient and worse corrupt practices than the hapless constitutional regimes they displaced."

He said the common suffering of deprivation through bad economic management, lack of accountability and transparency, injustices under a cowed judiciary, muzzled media and destruction of the private sector had awakened the people beyond tribal, religious and cultural divide to demand their citizenship and democratic rights.

"The culture of silence out of fear, which stifled the nation for over a decade suddenly shattered introducing multi-partyism, the rule of law, judicial independence and a large measure of separation of powers between the Executive and the Legislature."

President Kufuor said, Ghanaians were enjoying the democratic dividends and appreciating it based on the concept of government of the people by the people for the people, which was firmly becoming part of the psychology and culture of the nation.

Professor Amii Omara Ottunu, President of the UNESCO Chair for Human Rights, said: "It is no wonder President Kufuor is the first to deliver the lecture because Ghana has always been an example to other African nations."

Rwandan President Paul Kagame is scheduled to deliver the second lecture.

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