The Rebranding Africa Forum has presented President Akufo-Addo with the 2018 Governance Leadership Award, in recognition of his commitment towards enhancing the living standards of the Ghanaian people and governing Ghana in accordance with the rule of law.
Receiving the award on Friday, 5th October 2018, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, President Akufo-Addo expressed his gratitude to the Organising Committee of the Rebranding Africa Forum for the decision to honor him with the Award.
“We are duly humbled, and I thank you most sincerely for deeming my leadership of Ghana, over the last 21 months, worthy enough to merit this award,” he said.
Delivering his remarks on the theme of the Forum, “Challenges and Opportunities of the Green Economy in Africa”, the President acknowledged that education, skills training and the provision of jobs are essential elements of “human well-being and ensuring social equity”, which are important components of the making of a ‘Green Economy’.
“Whilst we tread along the path of industrialization and seek to shed the cloak of being described as ‘Third World’ countries, we also have a responsibility to take care of our environment,” President Akufo-Addo added.
He explained that “this generation of Africans must understand that the degradation of the environment poses a threat to our very existence”, adding that “what we make of our natural resources would be what determines our existence.”
The President, therefore, urged all Africans to rise up to the occasion, and not allow illegal logging and illegal mining to continue.
“Security agencies on our roads, in our ports and along our borders should not look on unconcerned and allow illegal timber products just to pass without confiscation or with a corrupt purpose. Let us ensure that the fines and punishments that are pronounced on perpetrators of environmental degradation activities are deterrent enough, and quickly delivered and effected,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “Yes, we must develop, and yes, we must industrialize. However, we are also obliged to leave our youth and our children with an enduring legacy of a richer, more stable, more secure and more peaceful world.”
Touching on the scourge and threats of terrorism to the peace and security of the Region, the President stated that “West Africa expresses its appreciation for the sacrifices of the Burkinabe people, who are in the frontline of the fight against terrorism, and are helping to guarantee the peace and security not just of their own country, but the region as a whole.”
Collective efforts, he noted, must be made to address the factors that fuel the activities of terrorists on the continent, such as underdevelopment, poverty, corruption, inequitable access to resources, youth unemployment, poor governance, human rights abuse, climate change, weak law enforcement and governance institutions, and the lack of free and fair elections.
“The time has come for Africa to hold its rightful place on the world stage. The time has come for us to build an Africa that is able to look after her peoples through intelligent management of the resources with which she has been richly endowed, and embark on a new path. This path offers a new Africa,” President Akufo-Addo indicated.