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Ghana Poised For 60th Birthday. "Diamond Jubilee": What’s In It & What’s Your Pledge?

Saturday, March 4, 2017

By Antoinette Herrmann-Condobrey

Ghana is set to celebrate its 60th independence anniversary since breaking from British colonial rule in 1957.

The 6th March celebration comes with a major call to citizens to take the oath of responsibility.  One way by which government is communicating this message to Ghanaians is the “I Pledge” ad campaign.

“Ghana @ 60”, officially a diamond jubilee, has sparked debates circling mainly over its necessity at a time when the nation faces big challenges that need urgent attention, like those posed by energy.

In addition to the "big challenges" argument, many have pointed to the grand celebration the West African nation of roughly 27 million had ten years ago. Besides, the previous celebration - the golden jubilee - has been linked to what is widely believed to be one of the most careless spending of taxpayers’ money by government. 

Nonetheless, President Akufo-Addo, known for his criticism of wasteful government spending, has tried to calm the fears of Ghanaians, promising that the country will cut its coat according to its cloth.

The plan has been for corporate Ghana and the private sector to fund the estimated ¢20 million event. Still, the objective is vague.

Jubilee celebrations at the national level do come with major opportunities for a country to sell itself to the world. When organized well, they can attract investments and boost tourism because of the potential to draw visitors and interests of all kinds from all over the world.

It is puzzling therefore seeing the failure, through all the debates, to explain to Ghanaians what's in this 60th birthday celebration for their beloved country. Government could have done a far better job, besides the "moderate spending" assurance, at making its case to the people of Ghana unless there's nothing in the package. 

Arguments aside, Independence Day weekend is here, and with Ghana just hours shy of its big day, one thing is obvious: the public is poised for the experience.   



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