On Monday the 7th of January 2013, former Vice President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama was sworn in as the new President of Ghana following the Presidential elections in December 2012 in which he was voted as the winner. The inaugural ceremony took place at the Black Star Square and was attended by twelve African Heads of State including Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan and South African President Jacob Zuma.
During the Presidential speech, the President started with his earlier promise to the Country with respect to creating employment, better education, good and affordable heath services, and a general commitment to the people of Ghana regardless of the political, religious or ethnic background. The President also commented on the decision of the opposing party, New Patriotic Party, to stay away from the Inauguration on the grounds that the December elections was a fraud. The President made a directive speech requesting for the opposition party to view his victory from the ‘limitlessness of the potentials of Ghana and not from the powerlessness of their defeat’.
In his acceptance speech, the President layed emphasis on the fact that the Ghana will succeed only of the people worked closely together and not solely rely on the government for progress, he added that status or societal position should not be a barrier. Quoting the President, he said “In the last fifty five years, Ghana has made tremendous progress but also there is no denying the fact that Ghana is still a young country and every young country goes through its share of instability and difficulties as it struggles to find direction towards prominence. Over the course of the last four years, a tremendous amount of work has been done and there is still a tremendous amount of work still to be done. More jobs must be created, more roads must be built. Bridges, schools and hospitals must be built. Infrastructures that have been established must be strengthened”.
“ Equipment must not be the only that is the state of the art in our institutions. Systems, procedures and staff must be brought up to standard. Best practices must be implemented. We need to look beyond temporary fixes to find lasting solutions for the complications we have experienced with power, water and sanitation. We must continue to invest in our agriculture sector and grow our economy so that it lifts the bulk off our most crippling financial burdens especially among the poorest of our population”.
“ A country’s most valuable resource is its human resource and that is why it is imperative that our citizens have access to good health care. These issues and concerns are all works in progress. They are realistic goals that have been set and that are within our capabilities to be met sand in a timely fashion. I have just taken an oath that as the president of this nation, I will work hard to place us in the right path and I will lead us over the hurdles and pass the obstacles that might threaten to keep us from meeting our goals. The promises that I have made are promises that I intend to keep.”
On behalf of the rest of the African leaders who were in attendance, Yaya Boni, the Chairman of African Union and President of Benin Republic praised Ghana’s democratic qualities and assured the President and the people of Ghana that the rest of Africa would support and emulate the commendable examples exhibited by Ghana.