General News Sat, 31 Dec 2005
Accra, Dec. 31, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor has expressed confidence in the country's economic future, declaring that all indicators are pointing in the right direction for solid growth.
"The macro-economy is stabilising on a plateau ready for a giant take off", he said, in a nationwide televised New Year message on Saturday.
He said a 100 percent debt forgiveness by Ghana's multi-lateral creditors, combined with a four billion-dollar debt cancellation by bilateral creditors after Ghana had completed the Highly Indebted Poor Country subscription point were not just historic but a giant step towards economic emancipation.
Another significant development in the pipeline, he said, was the progress Ghana and the United States were making on the latter's Millennium Challenge Account, the Compact for, which, would be signed by the middle of 2006.
"With this, an amount of about 500 million dollars is expected to be granted for modernising agriculture in selected parts of the country," he said adding that the facility would generate increased employment and reduce poverty significantly within our society.
President Kufuor said "by every objective standard", 2005 was a good year despite whatever problems the nation encountered.
He said VALCO was rehabilitated and back on stream, and thus positioning itself to become the springboard for an integrated aluminium industry in Ghana.
Besides, the programme for infrastructure development and improved social services delivery reached significant new levels, he said, citing improved roads, modernisation of the harbours, construction and expansion of educational and medical facilities, increased provision of electricity and potable water.
President Kufuor also touched on Ghana's historic qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany and the successful bid to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2008 as spectacular achievements made on the sporting field.
"I am sure, I speak for all when I say that the entire country is behind our team, the Black Stars".
He called on the national players to prepare vigorously to play their best to bring glory to the country.