As Ghana celebrates 53 years of Independence this Saturday, the ambassador to the United States is hailing the strong bilateral relations between Accra and Washington.
Ambassador Daniel Ohene Agyekum said Ghana is serving as a shining example envisioned by the founding fathers to all of Africa with its embrace of the true tenets of democracy.
“We will be celebrating 53 years of our independence, and this marks quite an important milestone in our history. It is important because Ghana is now at the crossroads of building a society that is democratic and in which each and every individual member of the society is encouraged to play a role,” he said.
Ghana's President Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills
Led by first President Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah and the other founding fathers, the then-Gold Coast attained its independence from Britain on 6 March 1957, becoming the first black African country south of the Sahara to do so.
The name Ghana (warrior king) was legally adopted shortly after independence.
Ambassador Agyekum expressed gratitude to the countries that have supported Ghana’s efforts to strengthen its democratic institutions.
“As we celebrate this occasion, we are encouraged by the support that we have received from many friendly countries including the United States of America, where I represent the interest of the government and the people of Ghana. It is important because for the relationship of the U.S and Ghana, we have enjoyed tremendous partnership, a partnership that has enabled us to grow our economy, our infrastructure, and I am saying these in all sincerity,” Agyekum said.
On his first official visit to a sub-Saharan African country last year, President Barack Obama said in a speech to Ghana’s parliament that “the people of Ghana have worked hard to put democracy on a firmer footing, with peaceful transfers of power, even in the wake of closely contested elections. And with improved governance and an emerging civil society, Ghana's economy has shown impressive rates of growth,” Obama said.
President Obama delivering his speech in Ghana's parliament.
Ambassador Agyekum said President Obama’s visit to Ghana significantly strengthened the countries’ bilateral relations.
“The visit of President Obama did greatly enhance this friendship…We can look into the future with optimism and faith, and of course the people of Ghana and our government are extremely grateful for the hand of friendship that the U.S and the support that the people of the United States have extended to the Ghana government and the people of Ghana,” Agyekum said.
Shortly after independence, President Nkrumah said Ghana’s independence was meaningless unless it was linked to the liberation of the entire African continent.
Political observers say Ghana’s independence was a catalyst for many African nations to demand their freedoms from their colonial masters.