You are here: HomeNews2018 02 16Article 626764

General News of Friday, 16 February 2018


Akufo-Addo offers tips on democracy

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday Thursday January 15 highlighted some of the problems that are retarding development and progress in Africa and said the only way for the continent to move forward is to make sure that there is good governance as well as respect for the rule of law.

Speaking on the topic, ‘How To Make Democracy Work For Africa,’ the president reiterated the need for African governments to build strong institutions and reduce corruption for the continent to move forward.

He made the suggestions when he delivered a lecture on democracy in Africa.

It was organized by a policy think-tank, The Kukah Centre, based in Abuja, Nigeria.

Speaking at the Yar’adua Conference Centre in the Nigerian federal capital, President Akufo-Addo stressed the need to encourage African Union (AU) member countries to demonstrate a commitment to strengthening and protecting institutions of state and the culture of democratic governance.

He said there should be respect for human rights, religious freedoms, women empowerment, individual rights, minorities’ rights, build strong market economies and facilitate free movements of people, goods and services across member states.


The president was of the firm conviction that “Africa’s small countries will continue to struggle if they do it alone, but the accelerated economic integration of committed nations will breathe new life into the AU, and deliver the benefits of African integration to the doorsteps of the African peoples.

“It is time to make sure that we have genuine separation of powers between the various arms of government. Our parliaments, the legislative arms of government, must grow into their proper roles as effective machineries for accountability and oversight of their executives. Our judiciaries must also inspire confidence in the citizens, so we can all see the courts as ultimate, impartial arbiters when disputes arise, as they would.”

President Akufo-Addo articulated, “It is only when our public institutions are working as they should, that we would be able to confront and deal effectively with the canker of corruption which has been the bane of our development.”

According to him, “The systematic targeting of corruption, a central feature of the administration of His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, deserves the support of all well-meaning Nigerians and Africans.

“It is appropriate that this year’s AU theme, ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption – A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation,’ should have President Muhammadu Buhari as its champion.”

He said President Buhari’s crusade against corruption should be emulated by other leaders on the continent.

Though he admitted the fact that it was early days yet, President Akufo-Addo noted, “Our institutions are growing, and the self-confidence of our people is becoming manifest.”

He said “currently, the greatest challenge for us in Ghana, and for the entire continent, remains the creation of sustainable jobs,” stressing “Our young people must see and feel the dividends of the democratic system of governance.”


He claimed, “In the one year that I have had the privilege of leading my country, I have tried to be honest with the people of Ghana. We are nowhere near where we should be, and where we all want to be, but there is a feeling we are all in this together, and we shall get out and prosper together.”

He added: “We have good reasons to be proud of who we are, and the beautiful continent that is ours. Today, the People’s Republic of China calls itself, and is regarded as a world power. Over thirty years ago, Princeton University, one of America’s most prestigious Ivy League Universities, offered a course in Mandarin, which, for years, had virtually no takers. Thirty years ago, China was nowhere near where it is today. China does not ask anyone for respect now, she does not need to.”

Stop Begging

President Akufo-Addo noted, “If we work at it, if we stop being beggars, govern ourselves intelligently and honestly in freedom, and spend Africa’s monies inside the continent, Africa would not need to ask for respect from anyone. We would get the respect we deserve.

“We have a responsibility to take care of our environment. We have the most spectacular natural surroundings, grandest rivers and mountains; we have minerals that the world would kill for. We have a dynamic and young population. We bring humanity alive. Let us make this continent the prosperous and joyful place it should be.

He charged, “Friends, we do not have to look far back into history to see that stable period of constitutional government and intelligent management of the economy lead to prosperity. Brazil has shown us that these are not theoretical arguments.”

He said in the last two-and-a-half decades, Brazil has transformed its economy and the lives of its people, lifting some thirty million people out of poverty during the last decade alone.

“We, in Africa, can identify with Brazil, and we can learn lessons from them.

“I believe in Africa’s immense potential for greatness. I believe that stable democracies in Africa can help unleash energies to drive the transformation of the continent. There is a lot of talk that this will be the Asian century, the Chinese century – but take it from me: the 21st century holds excellent prospects for Africa. This can be Africa’s century. We can claim it, if we believe in ourselves,” he entreated.


Present at the well attended ceremony were Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo; former Nigerian military ruler, General Yakubu Gowon; Ghana’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Rashid Bawa; Ghana’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Francis Asenso-Boakye; Senators and Governors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Bishop for the Sokoto Diocese of the Catholic Church, who is also the founder of The Kukah Centre.