Former President John Dramani Mahama has said the past year was difficult for most businesses in Ghana.
Mr Mahama said in a New Year message on Tuesday, 7 January 2020 that: “2019 was a difficult year for Ghanaian businesses, and, by extension, affected the quality of life in many Ghanaian homes.
“In my rounds, I have met many businesspersons who are in despair that their enterprises are collapsing and they can no longer hold it together.”
To such persons, Mr Mahama urged them to “keep hope alive”, adding: “It is said that the darkest hour is before the dawn”.
The former Ghanaian leader encouraged businesses to “change things and make our nation better” during the December polls.
Below is Mr Mahama’s full New Year Message:
Happy New Year to you all, my fellow countrymen and women.
The last pages of 2019 have shut and a blank new one - 2020- has opened up to us. Within the last 365 days, there has been joy, happiness and fulfilled dreams for a few; but pain, anguish and unfulfilled promises for the majority.
In all things, however, let us continue to be thankful to the Almighty God, because we have the most valuable gift- the gift of life. In our personal lives and in our family struggles, in our relationships with others, in our business commitments and in all other endeavours and engagements, we are presented with a new opportunity to change things for the better, in order to triumph over the set-backs we encountered.
One of our nation’s foremost literary icons, the late Professor Kofi Awoonor, declared in one of his writings that, “I believe in hope, but even in its absence, I believe in the possibility of hope”. Therefore, even in our darkest and most difficult moments, we must remember to hold on to hope.
Let us hope and work for a better and prosperous Ghana in 2020 and beyond.
Let us hope and work for a peaceful Ghana that offers opportunities for all, not just a few.
My brothers and sisters, it is a testament to the resilience of the Ghanaian that we never give up but fight and inspire others to greatness. We did it during the independence struggle where we became the first sub-Saharan nation to achieve independence.
In more recent times, Ghanaians have occupied some of the highest positions in global affairs and left indelible marks of excellence. As a result, the world has come to expect nothing short of inspiration from the name GHANA, so we cannot begin to see ourselves any less.
The year 2020 is an election year, and the eyes of the world would continue to be fixed on us, as we go to the polls. We need to meet the high standards set by previous Electoral Commissions and even better it.
I do not say it lightly when I say that the 2020 election will be a pivotal event for our country. It is one that will determine the destiny of our nation. I believe at this critical stage in our nation’s life, Ghanaians deserve- more than ever-a government that is honest and truthful with them. A government that takes responsibility and gives them results, not excuses or blame.
A government that opens the opportunities of our country to all its people, and not just a few.
2019 was a difficult year for Ghanaian businesses and by extension affected the quality of life in many Ghanaian homes.
In my rounds, I have met many business persons who are in despair that their enterprises are collapsing and they can no longer hold it together. To all my country men and women, I urge you to keep hope alive. It is said that “the darkest hour, is before the dawn”. We can change things, and make our nation better.
We must all work together to build our beloved country. I urge you not to despair.
I urge you not to be passive. And most of all, do not be apathetic; for there is nothing to gain in apathy except regret.
If we are apathetic, others will make the decision for us.
As we go to the polls in 2020, President Nana Akufo-Addo has a responsibility to secure the safety of all citizens and must resist the temptation to allow the use of violence to harm and intimidate innocent civilians as we observed last year during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.
On my part, I will continue to work for peace and I urge the President to do same. As a first step, I suggest he stops shielding the perpetrators of the violence at Ayawaso West Wuogon. He must have them face the appropriate sanctions.
My brothers and sisters, the New Year is here. May God grant us a peaceful, prosperous and victorious New Year.