Addressing members of the Ghanaian community resident in France on Monday, 8th July, 2019, as part of his official visit to that country, President Akufo-Addo indicated that, over the course of the last two and a half years in office, his government has, indeed, fulfilled a considerable number of the promises made.
"We are 2½ years into a 4-year mandate, and what I continue to insist and tell the people of Ghana is that, by the end of my mandate, they will see that I came to tell them the truth about what I wanted to do. I didn’t come to deceive anybody," he said.
He continued: "I know that my opponents will be saying something else, but that is their right. God willing, on the 7th December 2020, the day of accountability, we will know who is telling the truth."
President Akufo-Addo made these comments on the back of the announcement made by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union that Ghana has been chosen as host country for the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Describing the AfCFTA as "one of the most important things that the AU has done", the President explained that Ghanaians who have been resident in France for some time can appreciate the significance of what was achieved at the 12th AU Extraordinary Summit, held in Niamey, the capital of Niger, on Sunday, 7th July, 2019.
"Maybe some of the grey beards can remember 30 years ago, at the beginning of the common market, what France was like, and what it is like today… there is no doubt about the massive impact that the European Union has had on the lives of European people, in terms of increasing their economic circumstances, and we believe that the African Continental Free Trade Area is going to do the same for us," he explained.
President Akufo-Addo was confident that the AfCFTA will "give us the opportunity to bring the 1.2 billion people on our continent into active play in developing our continent. We have to find a way of developing our continent ourselves. We can’t continue to depend on foreigners to develop our continent for us."
The AfCFTA, he noted further, will increase considerably intra-African trade, create millions of jobs for African youths, and help the continent develop its enterprises.
The siting of the AfCFTA Secretariat in Ghana, according to President Akufo-Addo, is a great opportunity for the country, especially as Ghana has been at the centre of pan-African matters.
"It is going to mean that all the ancillary activities of AfCFTA are going to be Accra- and Ghana-centered. It is also a recognition of the contribution we have made to the struggle of pan-Africanism, and for the decolonization of the continent," he added.
President Akufo-Addo also paid tribute to the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, who first moved the motion for the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area in 2011.
"Every country should have its goals and policies that it follows successfully, leader after leader. When the national goals are set, all of us who come to occupy the seat of office should then be obliged to follow it," the President noted.