You are here: HomeNews2020 08 31Article 1047001

General News of Monday, 31 August 2020


Six key points from Akufo-Addo’s 16th address to the nation

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo addressing Ghanaians play videoPresident Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo addressing Ghanaians

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo satisfied the anticipation of many Ghanaians when he addressed the nation for the 16th time on measures taken to curb the spread of the Novel Coronavirus in the country, Sunday, August 30, 2020.

As part of plans to open up the country for the conduct of brisk business and tourism amongst others, he announced the school reopening date for some students and the reopening of the country’s airspace.

GhanaWeb in this article presents six poignant points from the president’s address;

1. Air borders reopen from Tuesday, September 1

After about five months of shut down due to the importation of the dreaded COVID-19, Ghana’s main international airport, Kotoka International Airport (KIA), will from Tuesday September 1, 2020 be open for business.

“Fellow Ghanaians, I am glad to announce that Kotoka International Airport will reopen and resume operations from Tuesday, 1st September 2020. This decision has been communicated to international airlines,” the president announced.

He added that adequate measures have been put in place by appropriate state agencies to prevent a second wave of the deadly virus in the country. “It has been well-established that the very first cases of COVID-19 in Ghana were imported into our shores…We are determined to make sure this scenario does not recur,” the president added.

2. Land borders remain closed

Though the country’s air territories have been opened to business and travels, same cannot be said for the land borders.

According to the president, both borders on sea and land remain closed to human travels and the conduct of trivial businesses. This rightly falls in line with plans to open the country up to the rest of the world in phases.

In the words of the president, “For the avoidance of doubt, our borders, by land and sea, will continue to remain closed to human traffic until further notice.”

3. JHS 2 and SHS 2 to reopen in October

Away from the issues of borders and territories, the president also made pronouncements about the fate of educational activities in the country.

Just as final year SHS and JHS students were given the greenlight to resume school to finish their WASSCE and BECE examinations, JHS 2 and SHS 2 are also expected to reopen in October.

The president believes this is a prudent decision after having several consultations with the Ghana Education Service (GES) and other stakeholders in the field.

The students are to return to school from October 5 to December 14, 2020, to complete the rest of their academic year.

According to the president, this will be done in strict adherence to safety protocols.

4. 2019-20 academic year postponed to 2021

The remainder of the academic year for student groups who fall beneath JHS 2 and SHS2 has been postponed to January 2021.

According to the President, this was a decision made in broad consultation with all concerned stakeholders.

The 2019/2020academic year was brought to an abrupt stop in March 2020 after the country recorded its first cases of the Novel Coronavirus.

"The Ghana Education Service after further consultations has decided to postpone the remainder of the academic year for all nursery, kindergarten, primary, JHS1 and SHS1 students. The next academic year will resume in January 2021 with the appropriate adjustments made to the curriculum to ensure that nothing, since the first two cases of the novel Coronavirus, is lost from the previous year," the President noted in his address.

5. Contact sports remain on hold

Unlike other addresses where sports and its related field get no mention at all, this address was slightly different.

As a matter of fact, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo hinted of a possible return of contact sports, particularly football, in the coming days.

He insisted that deliberations are still ongoing to determine the propriety of such decisions related to sports.

While acknowledging the discomfort and dissatisfaction amongst stakeholder and contact sport fanatics the president indicated that; “As a known lover of football, I know how devastating its absence has been, and it is my hope that very soon we will all have the pleasure of playing and watching the beautiful game again. Until then, non-contact sports are the only sporting events permitted to take place.”

6. Cinema, clubs, others remain closed.

With regards to social gatherings, though some have been given the greenlight to operate, the likes of clubs, cinemas and beaches remain closed until further notice.

The president indicated that his government is still reviewing plans to lift the ban on these businesses and activities associated with them.

He said “…Beaches, pubs, cinemas, and nightclubs are still to remain closed until further notice. All other institutions that have been cleared to function are to continue to do so in strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols.”