Press highlights President Akufo-Addo’s views on democracy, others

President Akufo Addo's verdict that democracy has been beneficial for the continent and for Ghana and government's efforts to resolve…

President Akufo Addo’s verdict that democracy has been beneficial for the continent and for Ghana and government’s efforts to resolve manage and mitigate the debilitating global effect of Covid-19 on the construction industry and the general economy are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Tuesday.The Graphic reports that President Akufo-Addo says that “Democracy has been beneficial for the continent and for our country. We know, however, that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and vigilant we shall be here in Ghana.

“We shall not let our guard down, and allow the clammy embrace of the people by anti-democrats, who are disdainful and incapable of effective popular mobilisation through accepted channels, but who want shortcuts to power without the express support of the people.”

These were the words of the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when he delivered a speech at the 2021 Ghana Bar Conference, which was held in Bolgatanga, capital of the Upper East Region, on Monday, [September 13, 2021.]

Addressing the gathering, President Akufo-Addo data and history have proven, beyond all reasonable doubt, that all aspects of national life have witnessed significant improvements under democratic dispensations, in comparison to periods of military rule.

According to the President, “The 1970s and 1980s, the periods of unbridled authoritarian rule on the continent, were the eras of economic decline, worsening poverty, collapsing infrastructure and insecurity on our continent. GDP per capita in 1970, for example, according to the World Bank, stood at $220”.

He added that the “third wave of democratization” in Africa, beginning in the 1990s, saw GDP per capita rise, substantially, to six hundred and five dollars ($605) in 1995, declined marginally to five hundred and forty-seven dollars ($547) in the year 2000, and, in 2017, increased to one thousand, five hundred and fifty dollars ($1,550).

In Ghana, President Akufo-Addo stated that GDP per capita was three hundred and ninety-eight dollars ($398) in 1990, declined to two hundred and fifty-eight dollars ($258) in 2000, and it is now two thousand, two hundred and twenty-three dollars ($2,223).

Another key index of Human Development, life expectancy at birth, he said, was estimated by the World Bank at forty-five (45) years in 1970 in sub-Saharan Africa.

The newspaper says that Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has assured Ghana’s construction industry that the Akufo-Addo government is on course in its resolve to manage and mitigate the debilitating global effect of Covid-19 on the construction industry and the general economy.

Addressing members of the construction industry on Friday, September 10, at the maiden edition of Ghana Construction Industry Excellence Awards, Dr. Bawumia, while commending the immense contribution of Ghanaian contractors to the development of the country, also highlighted the devastating impact global factors arising out of the covid-19 pandemic has had on their operations, especially increase in cost of construction materials due to unusual increase in shipping cost from Asia.

“Our country is endowed with great men and women, technocrats, professionals and businessmen in the construction Industry who have worked tirelessly in bringing us this far and we need to celebrate them. And tonight we are here to celebrate our own,” Dr. Bawumia said, in a tribute to members of the construction industry.

“From housing to non-housing, from private to public construction, construction industry output is an integral part of the national output. Excluding the agricultural sector, construction ranks third after transportation and storage and manufacturing in their contribution to national output.  The iidustry is important for its direct and indirect impact on our economic progress.”

The Vice President, however, added that despite the remarkable economic management of the general economy by the Akufo-Addo government in its first term, the growth of the construction industry has been severely impacted by the globally-hit Covid-19 pandemic, with global factors affecting prices of building materials such as iron rods and cement locally.

“The growth and vibrancy of the construction industry depends on the growth and vibrancy of the economy as a whole. This is why economic management is key. The economic indicators of our first term in office tells a story of competent economic management. However, the world has suffered a global recession; in fact it is the worst global recession since 1945, as a result of Covid-19, which hit us high in 2020,’ the Vice President indicated.

“Throughout the world, prices of goods have shot up. Shipping cost of container, from China to Europe has increased from around $2000 Dollars in August last year, to $13,000 Dollars now per container – 650% increase. You also have major goods that have gone up as a result of Covid  and all of you in the construction industry know that the world prices for cement and for iron rods have really shot up. So when we see same things happening in Ghana, we know why it is happening. It is a global phenomenon as a result of the pandemic.”

Dr. Bawumia assured the contractors that just as government prudently managed the economy prior to Covid-19 devastating it, government is on course to manage the impact of Covid on the economy and local industries, including the construction sector.

The Times reports that the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mrs Hawa Koomson, has assured of strict enforcement of the fisheries law, to ensure sustainable use of the country’s marine resources.

According to her, marine fish catch continued to decline due to overfishing and overexploitation and there was the need to reverse the trend.

“Catch per unit of effort (CPUE) of all fleet are declining except tuna fleets. Fish landings of key marine species like sardinellas are at their lowest levels and of much smaller sizes,” she emphasised.

Mrs Koomson who was addressing journalists at the Sunday edition of the minister’s briefing, organised by the Ministry of Information, in Accra, on Sunday, said her outfit had put in place a number of measures to boost the country’s fish resources to the benefit of both present and future generations.

She explained that the closed season, which commenced in 2016, was in accordance with section 84 of the fisheries Act 2002 (Act 625) and the national marine fisheries management. Plan 2015-2019.

Mrs Koomson noted that as part of the enforcement of the laws, some five individuals, who violated the law, were before court, and 30 generator sets were seized from some fishermen.

 She said to ensure operational efficiency; the government was acquiring four boats for regular patrols on the sea.

Mrs Koomson said the boats would help the security agencies police marine life and ward off fishermen who exploited the country’s sea illegally.

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