On Monday, May 3, 2021, as Ghanaians protested against unemployment, corruption, irregular electricity, water scarcity, illegal mining, a poor education system, among others with the #FixTheCountry campaign, the President Nana Akufo-Addo had a brief interview with CNN where he touched on some of the issues being protested, including his administration’s plan to attract foreign companies to Ghana.
Last month, Twitter’s announcement of the establishment of its African headquarters in Ghana caused a stir on the social media platform. As well as rekindling the familiar jokes between Nigeria and Ghana, it demonstrates the economic stability of the West African country to such an extent that it is a preferred destination for foreign investors and businesses. In the first half of 2020, the Gold Coast attracted the largest amount foreign direct investment (FDI) in West Africa, despite the pandemic.
In the interview with CNN, President Akufo-Addo said his government is working to attract more businesses to Ghana by creating a level playing field for businesses, foreign and domestic, to build confidence among businesses. investors in the Ghanaian economy. “We are trying to run the economy in such a way that there is stability in the economy and in the way businessmen and individuals can make decisions,” he said. He mentioned that before Twitter, Google had established its first Africa-based artificial intelligence center in Ghana, and these events are proof of the recognition of the stability of the Ghanaian state.
Regarding the fight against corruption, President Addo expressed satisfaction with what his administration has done so far, adding that when he took office he encountered anti-corruption institutions with few resources. . But things have changed. “You can talk about corruption as much as you want. But if the instruments at your disposal to deal with it are weak and blunt, you will not get any results … Much has been done. This is reflected in Ghana’s growing position in the corruption rankings around the world. We have climbed several notches since I took office because we are dealing with these issues at a basic level, ”he said.
Regarding the country’s response to the pandemic, President Addo said Ghana’s goal is to vaccinate 20 million people by the end of the year. This would mean effectively vaccinating the entire adult population of the country. Ghana has a population of over 30 million, vaccinating 20 million people by the end of the year would mean the country has vaccinated its adult population. But there were some delays in getting the vaccines. Deliveries expected in March and April did not materialize due to limited vaccine availability. A problem that President Addo qualifies as “embarrassing”. In February, Ghana was the first country to receive COVID-19 vaccines through the World Health Organization’s COVAX program. Like most developing countries in Africa, Ghana relies on the COVAX initiative and the the African Union, via the African Medical Supplies Platform, for the supply of vaccines.
During a press conference with President Emmanuel Macron in 2017, President Addo said Africa should work to end its dependence on the West. Today, as the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic and Africa lags behind in the vaccination campaign due to supply issues and a lacking international solidarity, Addo believes more than ever in building an autonomous and self-sufficient country and continent. “The pandemic has, where appropriate, reinforced the validity of what I said that our autonomy in all aspects of our national life is absolutely essential for our ability to survive the crises and challenges of the future. I think the need for us to look to ourselves, to find ways to solve our problems has been intensified by what happened last year with this vaccine. We cannot depend on charity, we cannot depend on the generosity of foreigners and foreign taxpayers for our livelihood, ”he said.