12 key highlights of the 2024 State of the Nation Address

Source The Ghana Report

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, presented the much-anticipated State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The presentation, which was done in Parliament, is in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

The address is coming at a time when Ghanaians are facing hardships with unemployment at a critical point, although there has been a consistent decline in inflation.

However, the president believes this address will provide the pathway toward liberation for many Ghanaians.

His penultimate address among other things centered on education, health, judiciary and tourism.

Here are some key highlights from the address.

  • Performance tracker will be formally launched in March

The government is set to introduce a Performance Tracker, a tool aimed at ensuring transparency and accountability.

The tracker allows everyone and anyone to check on every project being undertaken by the government.

The president said the tracker will help check the status of the various projects and their location, and individuals can personally visit the site to ascertain its progress.

“Mr Speaker, if you want to check on roads, classroom blocks, CHIP compounds, Agenda 111 hospitals, bridges, science laboratories, water projects, sanitation projects, landing sites and harbours, and other infrastructural projects, whatever this government used your tax money to execute, the key to your query is right there on your phone,” he said.

  • Office of the AG has saved Ghana GH¢10 trillion

The president said the Attorney-General has continued, in a very effective manner, the tradition under this administration of contesting every civil litigation against the state, and has avoided the numerous judgment debts that used to be given against the state.

As a result, President Akufo-Addo said, the office has saved the country over GH¢10 trillion.

  • Four new universities are to be constructed

The government has decided to establish four new universities in the country.

The universities will be in Mampong in the Ashanti Region, Akrodie in the Bono Region, Bunso in the Eastern Region and Kintampo in the Bono East Region.

  • No dumsor for the past seven years

President Akufo-Addo says dumsor which has been a symptom of a dysfunctional system is now a thing of the past.

For the past seven years, he said, his administration, has managed to keep the lights on even amid a financial crisis.

  • Government to rename Kumasi, Tamale airports

President Akufo-Addo has announced that the Kumasi and Tamale International Airports are going to be renamed.

The Kumasi airport is to be renamed Nana Agyeman Prempeh I International Airport while the Tamale airport will be renamed the Yakubu Tali International Airport.

He added that the Kumasi International Airport will be completed and fully operationalized by May 2024.

  • Cedi has remained stable

The cedi has been largely stable since February 2023, with a cumulative depreciation of 9% between February and December 2023.

  • GH¢5.8bn paid to bondholders

Bondholders, both individual and pensioners, last year, held a series of picketing activities due to the government’s failure to fulfill its commitment to pay outstanding coupons.

The aggrieved individuals each week met at the premises of the Finance Ministry to demand the Ministry fulfill its payment obligations.

But President Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, revealed that the government has fulfilled its financial obligations by settling the last coupons owed to bondholders.

“Government successfully paid the first coupon of GH¢2,369.67 million on the new bonds on 22nd August 2023. At the time, that was the single biggest payout of domestic payments in a single day for Ghana. We then paid GH¢2,060.72 million for the last leg of the domestic debt exchange on September 5, 2023.

“A week ago, last Tuesday, February 20, 2024, the second coupon of GH¢5,847.72 million was paid to domestic bondholders. This is the largest coupon paid in a day in Ghana’s history”.

  • 170,000 jobs created under the 1D1F programme

Some 170,000 jobs have been created under the novel 1D1F Programme by companies in operation.

The One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative is the vision of President Akufo-Addo to change the nature of Ghana’s economy from one that is dependent on the import and export of raw materials to one that is focused on manufacturing, value addition and export of processed goods.

  • Ofori-Atta’s absence won’t affect IMF programme

President Akufo-Addo assured that the recent ministerial reshuffle at the Ministry of Finance will not affect his government’s implementation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

He said the government is still very committed to seeing the programme through.

“It is important to underline that the recent change in the leadership of the Finance Ministry will not affect the government’s commitment to implementing the terms agreed with the IMF to ensure that we restore the economy to healthy growth as soon as possible”.

  • 150 young Ghanaians trained in 2023

Last year, 150 young Ghanaians were trained and certified as mechanical maintenance technicians, electrical technicians, instrumentation technicians and production process technicians up to the industry standards.

Additionally, five young Ghanaians underwent a ten-month welding inspector training programme at the North Alberta Institute of Technology, Canada.

The beneficiaries have since been placed in various technical institutions in Ghana as instructors.

  • Bawku reduced to a wasteland of destruction 

President Akufo-Addo says the conflict in Bawku in the Upper East region has turned the area into a wasteland of destruction and distrust.

According to him, the government is subsequently spending money and resources that could have been used to develop the area on security to prevent more killings.

The four radio stations, that have been broadcasting incendiary language and propagating hate speech, have since been shut down by the National Communications Authority.

He assured that his administration is committed to resolving the Bawku conflict.

  • Ghana is now Africa’s #1 producer of gold

Ghana has regained its position as the leading producer of gold in Africa.

According to President Akufo-Addo, the country overtook South Africa, having produced an “unprecedented” four million ounces of gold in 2023.

He added that the amount is expected to rise to 4.5 million by the end of 2024 due to the new gold mine sites identified in the Ahafo, Upper East and Upper West Regions.

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