According to President Akufo-Addo, growth in Africa, in 2015 was second only to that of Asia, adding that six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies, this year, are in Africa.
“We are rich in natural resources, and in possession of nearly 30 percent of the earth’s remaining mineral resources. We have a vibrant young population, and, though we still have important security challenges, we are more at peace than before,” he said.
The President noted that with the historic decision of the African Union to bring into being, on 21st March, 2018, the Continental Free Trade Area, the agenda of regional integration, which will establish a market of some 2 billion people in 20 years, presents immense opportunities to bring prosperity to Africa with hard work, enterprise and creativity.
“This is the time to look at Africa”, he added.
Whilst acknowledging the disheartening spectre of African youths crossing the Sahara desert on foot and drown in the Mediterranean Sea, in a desperate bid to reach the mirage of a better life in Europe, President Akufo-Addo explained that the current structure of African economies, which are dependent on the production and export of raw materials, cannot create prosperity.
“These economies cannot produce wealth and prosperity for the masses on the continent. It, therefore, drives the determination to seek a much better standard of living out of Africa, thereby, fuelling the refugee crises and the numerous counts of illegal migrations,” he said.
The large wave of migrations into the United States from Ireland and Italy, in the 19th century, the President added, has completely subsided because the economies of the two countries are working properly.
It is for this reason that President Akufo-Addo stated that “the only way to ensuring prosperity in Africa and jobs for our young populations is through value addition activities, in a transformed and diversified, modern economy, in which we take full advantage of the digital revolution.”
The President was confident that it is only Asians who can engineer, in a generation, their transition from poverty to prosperity.
“We are determined to do that in our generation in Ghana, on the continent, and ensure that succeeding generations will be neither victims nor pawns of the global order,” he added.
This, the President indicated, will serve as the impetus for re-shaping the continent and charting a new path of growth and development in freedom, which will lift the long suffering African masses out of poverty into the realms of prosperity and dignified existence.