On the terse statement, “My work would speak for itself in the 2016 elections,” President John Dramani Mahama rounded off his 10-day visit to the United States with a lecture at the Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, on Monday.
Hundreds of students, faculty staff and other members of the Brandeis community, attended President Mahama’s talk at the Carl J. Shapiro Theatre, which was hosted by the university’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management’s Sustainable International Development Programme as part of the programme’s 20th anniversary celebration.
At question time, a student had asked Mr Mahama to rate his performance as President of Ghana and he answered, “I’m not used to giving myself marks. The people of Ghana will decide. We have an election in 2016 and my work will speak for itself.”
The topic of the lecture was,” The promise of Africa.”
It was the second to be delivered by President Mahama in the USA after attending the 69th UN General Assembly in New York, and he was given a standing ovation after the delivery. The earlier lecture was at the Harvard University.
Founded in 1948, Brandeis is a private research university – the only non-sectarian Jewish-sponsored college or university in the country.
Named after the late Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis of the U.S. Supreme Court, Brandeis is consistently ranked in the top tier of the nation’s universities. Its enrolment in 2013 was about 3,600 students.
The President said he wanted to position Ghana as the hub of electricity production in West Africa.
He said the country had become the most attractive investment destination in West Africa indicating that all the progress made were dividends of democracy and good governance.
Turning to the topic of the lecture, President Mahama said, “the promise of Africa is its people.”
“Throughout history, especially during the more difficult periods of Africa’s growth and development, the continent has been touted as a place of tremendous potential, a place with limitless untapped possibilities.
“But when we speak of promise—Africa’s promise to itself, Africa’s promise to the world—we speak then of Africa’s greatest resource, its people,” he said.
He spoke of ‘perception’ as what had threatened to belittle and hide the ingenuity and innovation of the African people.
Tracing the genealogy of the African people and how they managed to overcome the obstacles to freedom and development, President Mahama, himself a graduate of history, said the continent had come a long way and the success story being told today by countries of the continent were deserving.
“In the past three years, Africa has found itself in a position that many, given the continent’s history over the last two centuries, imagined impossible,” he said, adding that six of Africa’s countries have repeatedly been named among the top ten fastest growing economies in the world.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) of which he is the chairman had worked to promote the free movement of people, goods and services across the sub- region.
There is also the African Union, which creates a platform for Africans to speak with one voice and to work towards the establishment of a free trade throughout the continent.
President Mahama said he would not close his eyes to challenges like terrorist groups and the deadly Ebola virus disease, which were undermining the peace and progress achieved in Africa. Rather, everything was being done to overcome the challenges.
The President of the University, Prof. Frederick M. Lawrence commended the president for his leadership qualities that had worked to push Ghana and Africa forward.
He said the university was blessed to listen to President Mahama who did justice to the topic.
Source: Graphic Online