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Monday, January 11, 2010

Mills: 2010 and after would be better years

John Atta Mills 05.09

Accra, Jan. 9, GNA - President John Evans Atta Mills, on Friday expressed confidence of better economic times ahead and stated Government's commitment to transparency and best practices in the management of the nation's oil revenue.

He said 2010 and after promised to be eventful in the domestic context as Ghanaians awaits the commencement of the flow of crude oil and its anticipated benefits.

Government, the President said has also laid a solid foundation and put in place structures that would ensure that it stayed glued to its "Better Ghana" agenda of investing in people, providing infrastructure and managing the affairs of the State in an open honest and transparent manner. In an exchange of New Year greetings with members of the Diplomatic Corps and heads of international organisations in Ghana, at the Jubilee House in Accra, President Mills pledged that "every pesewa" of the oil proceeds that accrued to the nation would be accounted for. It is an annual tradition for the President of Ghana to meet members of the Diplomatic Corps early in the year, to seek their support for the development objectives set for the nation and to reassure the foreign missions of the commitment of Ghana to continue to work closely with their Governments and organisations.

President Mills assured the Diplomatic Community that Government would continue its efforts in 2010 to strengthen and deepen its relations with foreign partners for mutual benefits. He observed that the international spot light was turned on Ghana when US President Barack Obama chose Ghana as the destination for his first official visit to South Saharan Africa and for Ghana to come out of its last general election in 2008 on a high pedestal.

"The historic visit did not only reaffirm the level of Ghana's liberal relations with the United States but also recognises our achievements as a nation that is committed to peace, stability and democratic governance," President Mills said.

He expressed appreciation to the exchange of high level visits between Ghana and its neighbours, believing that the bilateral relations with Ghana's neighbours would greatly impact on integration process in the West Africa sub-region.

President Mills reaffirmed Ghana's commitment to the Economic Community of West African States as a pivotal instrument for the promotion of sub-regional peace, security stability and economic development.

President Mills said Ghana would continue to support every effort to entrench democracy on the continent and thanked the Governments of African countries for making the birthday of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana a special day on the AU Calendar. The President, last year declared September 21, a statutory public holiday in Ghana, to immortalise the country's founder, whose birthday falls on that day.

African leaders had earlier at the 13th AU Summit in Sirte, Libya, last year unanimously adopted the centenary birthday of Dr Nkrumah, as an AU activity.

President Mills reminded the Diplomats and Heads of the international originations in Ghana that the centenary celebration of the birthday of Dr Nkrumah would be climaxed and threw an invitation to the dignitaries from far and near in the celebration in honour of "this great African personality and leading light in the emancipation of the Containment". He congratulated Egypt for successfully hosting the Under 20 World Cup tournament and thanked Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for his personal support for Ghana, and also Ivorian President Laurent Koudou Gbagbo for honouring Ghana's Black Satellites for wining the U-20 World Cup.

President Mills wished Angola and South Africa well as they host the Africa and World Cup tournaments respectively.

He assured the diplomats of Ghana's continued role in international organisations by participating in the deliberations that sought solutions to problems that threatened international peace, security and development. Mr Tete Jean- Pierre Gbikpi-Benissan, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps said the Diplomatic Community could bear witness to the vibrancy of the democratic dispensation of Ghana.

Mr Gbikpi- Benissan said President Mills had lent a listening and careful ear to the demands of the people and proved that corrupt practices would not thrive under his stewardship.

He mentioned the continuation of poverty alleviating programmes of former President John Agyekum Kufuor, initiation of new interventions, as well as improvement in the security situation as some landmarks of President Mills.

He commended Ghana for fostering domestic peace and the promotion of peace stability and sub-regional integration. Mr Gbikpi-Benissan thanked President Mills for his personal solicitude to ward members of the Community and Government assistance extended to them. 9 Jan. 2010.

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