President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given an assurance that though his administration has witnessed some rough times, he remains focused on implementing novel policies and programmes required to build a progressive and prosperous nation.
He said since becoming President, he had not had any experience that would make him change his long held views that providing Free Senior High School (Free SHS), undertaking One-district, One-factory, executing the Planting for Food and Jobs and digitalisation were the best policies to lead the country to progress.
President Akufo-Addo stated this at the First Special Congregation of the Valley View University in Oyibi in the Greater Accra Region yesterday.
The congregation conferred honours on the vising Zambian President, Hakainde Hichilema, former President John Agyekum Kufuor, a former First Lady, Mrs Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings, and the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, for their exemplary leadership roles.
Doctor of Humane Letters was conferred on President Hichilema, former President Kufuor and Mrs Agyemang-Rawlings, while Mrs Osei-Opare was decorated with a Doctor of Science.
The premier private chartered university presented President Akufo-Addo with a citation for his commitment to improving the lot of Ghanaians from education, health and economic wellbeing as well as providing opportunities for all.
Earlier, President Akufo-Addo received the Zambian President who is on a three-day state visit at the Jubilee House.
President Hichilema was accompanied by ministers of state and other government officials.
President Akufo-Addo said he acknowledged that life had not been easy in recent times, “however, one thing for which I am certain is that there are solid reasons to hope for a brighter tomorrow and I am confident that by the grace of Almighty God that brighter future will be evident soon”.
Touching on his political journey, he explained that he had been in the eye of the public for most of his adult life, and spent many years campaigning to be elected President, adding that he first shot into the limelight in the 1970s during the campaign against the Acheampong regime.
The President said he joined the fight for the end to military rule and the restoration of constitutional democracy in Ghana.
He had by that time made up his mind what should be the best way to govern the country to ensure that it achieved the free, just, prosperous and a united country as envisaged by the forebears during the fight for the independence.
“By the time I was elected President I had a clear understanding of the vision my government had to realise during my tenure of office.
There have been good times, and necessarily there have been some rough ones too along the way that would have cowed some into giving up,” he recounted.
President Akufo-Addo said he was humbled by the citation and accepted the challenge that it imposed on him and the expectation of Ghanaians, adding that it was an indication that standing up and delivering on one’s mandate in office had its rewards, including the generous words of commendation expressed in the citation.
Former President Kufuor, on behalf of the awardees, expressed appreciation to the university for the honour of conferring on them honorary doctorate degrees.
He stated that it was an honour for citizens to believe in public service that ensured inclusiveness, equality of opportunity that reduced discrimination based on gender, religion, tribe or social standing.
The former President said accountability of office holders to the people should be upheld as a value for good governance and democracy.
Invest in education
For his part, the President of Zambia commended the efforts of the university in acknowledging leaders for their tremendous work to improve the lot of citizens in their respective sectors.
Mr Hichilema encouraged the institution to continue in its strides and urged that the leaders did not relent in their efforts to improve the educational sector.
The Zambian President advised that policy makers should actively allocate resources to the educational sector, stating that “education is the best investment to equalise development and eradicate poverty in our societies”.