President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has unveiled government’s plans in preparation towards the [email protected] celebrations. This was done at the launch and unveiling of the official logo and activities for the celebrations held at the Flagstaff House on Thursday, February 9.
The country’s 6oth anniversary will come off on Monday, the 6th of March, 2017 – barely in a month’s time.
Key Plans for [email protected] Celebrations
President Nana Akufo-Addo outlined major and unique events that will characterize the [email protected] celebrations and the include;
[email protected] Logo and Theme
A fresh logo which was designed for the commemoration of the country’s 60th anniversary was unveiled. Explaining the makeups of the logo, Nana Addo said that it signifies “the diversity and unity of our country and the aspirations of the Ghanaian people for a dignified and prosperous future”.
Also reflecting on the logo, is the theme of the celebration which is – “Mobilsing for Ghana’s Future”. The President pointed out the need for Ghanaians to reflect on their achievements so far, and as well promote the spirit of togetherness during the celebrations.
“It is appropriate that the theme of this programme should be one of reflection, celebration, challenge and togetherness,” he stated.
Cost of Celebration
It was disclosed that the celebration will be carried out at an estimated cost of GH¢20 million – a little over $4.6 million. The President expressed hopes that funds for the celebration will not be generated by the government alone, but also by the private sector and individual Ghanaians.
“This diamond jubilee commemoration is estimated to cost some GH¢20 million and I am hoping that individual Ghanaians, the Ghanaian private sector and corporate Ghana in particular, will provide the funds for this anniversary,” Nana Addo said.
According to Nana Addo, it is his ambition to commemorate the anniversary with “minimum or no burden at all on the national treasury”. He therefore appealed to one and all to see the celebration as their own thing and look out for ways to contribute and make it a success.
[email protected] Torch
A Diamond Jubilee torch meant to tour the 10 regions of the country, drawing the attention of Ghanaians to who they really are, will also be part of the celebration.
According to Mr. President, the [email protected] torch, “will move from region to region encouraging citizens to participate where they lived and worked, supporting domestic tourism and daily reflect, celebrate and challenge ourselves to define the spirit; ‘I am a Ghanaian’.”
President Akufo-Addo said that national monuments will be erected in commemoration of the country’s Diamond Jubilee. He explained that the monuments will be in form of “significant projects” that will stand as souvenirs to the event. Nana Addo indicated that he has saddled the celebration’s planning committee with the responsibility of coming up with appropriate structures to be built.
Reflecting on [email protected] Scandal
The [email protected] anniversary which was celebrated on 6th March, 2007 caused a public outrage as regards the amount of state funds squandered on the event. Members of the then planning committee which was chaired by Dr Charles Yves Wereko-Brobby were accused of gross misappropriation of funds.
Among other outrageous spending, fleet of luxury cars were imported for the celebration. Even the projects which could be deemed appropriate, such as the Flagstaff House which was built ahead of the event, had their cost inflated to accommodate looting.
Although no exact figure was ever arrived at as regards the total expenditure; majority of the reports have it that the event had cost Ghana about $60 million, aside debts owed and expenses that were never unaccounted for. Polythene bags were reportedly used to pay service providers without any evidence of payments issued – it went as bad as that!
Key members of the committee including the chairman subsequently faced lawsuits for the scandal, but the cases were dismissed as they all pleaded not guilty.
Ghanaians are still left with the disillusionment and fears brought about by events of the 2007 Golden Jubilee celebrations, such that it comes back to mind ahead of every independence commemoration. However, the new Akufo-Addo government from all indications, is promising something very different to Ghanaians. They may end up wiping out the unpleasant memory; who knows?