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General News
Finishing touches are put to Ghana@50 preparations 3/5/2007
Accra, March 4, GNA - Accra is sparkling as finishing touches are put to preparations to climax the Golden Jubilee celebrations on Tuesday and President John Agyekum Kufuor gets set to host dozens of his colleagues with hope for the future of the country.

"This is the time to take pride in our land and in ourselves, let us celebrate Ghana," says President Kufuor as he galvanises the nation into action for a brighter and more prosperous future. "We have recovered our track and are making headway. We should be careful not to miss our way again," he said in his State of the Nation address on February 8.

Virtually all important streets, especially the ceremonial routes, intersections and roundabouts have seen fresh coats of white paint. Workers are busy at the various roundabouts where statues of heroes of the independence struggle have been erected.

The national flag of red, gold and green with the black star in the middle of the gold are fluttering in the gentle sea breeze while many buildings in the city are also bedecked with the national colours. Nearly every vehicle has a national flag either flying outside or inside as they display patriotism. Some have even painted their vehicles in the national colours.

Souvenirs, such as flags, pens, caps, t-shirts are on sale on the streets, especially at traffic lights.

Trees along important routes have been trimmed beautifully and the Independence Square, which is the venue for a parade of school children and security services, is seeing last minute touches, as the country puts its best foot foward for the anniversary.

The country is in a jubilant mood and carnivals and street parties are expected on Tuesday.

Ghana, which was the first country south of the Sahara to attain independence in 1957, an event that opened the floodgates for the total liberation of the continent, is expecting hundreds of dignitaries to grace the occasion.

Mr Andrew Awuni, Presidential spokesman, says this is the first time Ghana is hosting 30 heads of state and their entourage from about 70 countries.

Over 500 journalists have applied for accreditation out of which 300 are from the international media such as Cable News Network (CNN), British Broadcasting Corporation, OBE TV of London and South Africa Broadcasting Corporation.

"The world media would descend on Ghana," he says. Security is expected to be tight. The police say a communication network that will enable security services, intelligence agencies and the military to communicate among themselves and act fast on issues during the nation''s 50th anniversary has been established. Mr Patrick K. Acheampong, Inspector General of Police (IGP), says under the new network provided by the National Communication Authority, phone numbers would be given to the public to call during emergency situations.

The police finally got a difficult problem out of the way when an Accra Fast Track High Court dismissed ex-parte motion filed by the Committee for Joint Action (CJA) seeking an order to set aside its ruling prohibiting them from embarking on a procession on March 6 was on Friday dismissed by the same court.

The court, presided over by Mr Justice P. Baffoe-Bonney reiterated that at certain times the interest of the nation should override individual rights or parochial interest.

The CJA last month announced that it would hold a Peoples'' Jubilee Procession on Independence Day in Accra from Kwame Nkrumah Circle to Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum where it would lay a wreath. However, the police said they could not allow the procession to go ahead since they would be unable to give the demonstrators protection because of commitments during the Independence Day celebrations where scores of foreign delegations were expected.

The CJA said it wanted to provide "a popular platform for the masses as an alternative to the essentially elitist Ghana@50 programme". It said it wanted to underline the political significance of Ghana''s independence as an important victory in the worldwide struggle of the ordinary people against elitism.

The CJA also said it wanted "to celebrate Kwame Nkrumah, the pre-eminent strategist and tactician of the struggles against classical colonialism".

According to President Kufuor, on the balance, the political, economic and social conditions showed that "Ghana, the Black Star of Africa, is on the rise again".

"This should make all of us nationals happy about the various contributions and sacrifices we have made, individually and collectively to bring the nation this far."

He urges the people to use the opportunity of the Golden Jubilee celebration to uplift their spirits and the national psyche, adding that the obvious challenge now was how to accelerate the development for the betterment of the entire society.

This appreciation, he says, should strengthen the resolve of the people to work together in overcoming existing problems and drawbacks like the energy crisis, pockets of conflict arising mainly from chieftaincy disputes, low salaries, wages and productivity with their attendant high unemployment and the impact of globalisation on socio-economic development programmes. 04 March 07Source:

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