Independence Day Celebration address by President John Evans Atta Mills
Investing In The Youth For A Better Ghana
Your Excellency The Vice President,
Right Honourable Speaker Of Parliament
Her Lordship The Chief Justice
Members of the Diplomatic Corp
Pupils & Students
On behalf of myself and the Government, I congratulate us as a nation on the occasion of our 53rd Independence Day celebration.
I commend each and every one of you on the parade square this morning for adding a lot of colour to the celebration.
I must admit that I have enjoyed the wonderful turnout, the gymnastics, the cultural display and the dexterity with which the youthful band has rolled out very wonderful tunes.
Also, I congratulate pupils, students and teachers all over the country who have worked hard to make the celebration a success.
Today is a day for you the youth, and you must be proud of what you have achieved as regards your invaluable contribution to celebrating such a momentous occasion on the nation's calendar.
As a Government, it is our conviction that getting you actively involved in our Independence Day activities is very critical to ensuring that you appreciate the struggles and toil that have brought us this far and also to inculcate in you a sense of nationalism and belonging.
You must be proud of your heritage and you must be proud to be Ghanaian.
53 years ago, our Founding Father, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah declared Ghana a free nation and it is a well catalogued fact that the struggle for independence was not an easy one.
Many were those who shed their blood for our independence and we salute their memory for their selfless dedication to giving life to Ghana.
The journey has not been an easy one; we have gotten this far through our collective determination and we must not relent in our efforts to move forward in the right direction as we strive to build a Better Ghana.
Over the decades, scores of Ghanaians have worked, and continue to work in the best interest of Ghana.
It is now time for us as leaders, and you as future leaders, to also to contribute our quota to nation building.
The Better Ghana agenda is not limited to time and space that is why a critical pivot around which our governances programme is revolving, is, investing in you the youth in particular.
We are committed to investing in the youth in order to build the critical mass that will not only sustain the development agenda, but more importantly, move it to higher heights.
The future of our beloved Ghana is in your hands and education is the key that will open the doors of the future.
The future belongs to you.
Be it in the area of; medicine, law, engineering, or entrepreneurship; education is the key that will unlock your potential and equip you with the capacity to take control of your destiny.
That is why it is important that you work hard and set educational goals for yourselves.
Teachers have a responsibility to inspire you; parents have a responsibility of making sure you stay on track and support your education; Government has the responsibility to set high educational standards by supporting teachers to give off their best, as well as providing the right atmosphere for teaching and learning.
At the end of the day, if you have the best teachers, have the most supportive parents, have a government that invests heavily in education, and you do not take advantage of the opportunities available to you, you will fail to benefit from the talents and potential God has given you.
Remember; there are no shortcuts in life.
Hard work pays.
There will be hurdles you have to jump over; there will be challenges; there will be extremely tough times; but don't be quitters. Winners are not quitters and quitters are not winners.
In life, the race is not necessarily for the swiftest, but for the sturdiest.
Uphold virtue, morality and honesty and you will become great men and women of your time.
My pledge to you is that as a Government, we will not renege on our pledge to give depth, verve, and modern day meaning to our educational system which will create the opportunities for you to take advantage of.
Personally, as happened this year, I will continue to play host well behaved pupils and students to drum home the fact that discipline is a trait that must be placed on a high pedestal.
Once again I congratulate all those who have made it possible for us to have a successful Independence Day celebration.
Together; young and old, and at all times, let our love for Mother Ghana override all other interests.
Let us continue to pledge on our honour to be faithful and loyal to Ghana our Motherland and also pledge to uphold and defend the good name of Ghana.
May God be our helper!