Ghana marks 66th Independence Day today
Ghana marks 66th Independence Day today

Happy 66th Independence Day

Today marks the 66th anniversary of attainment of independence from colonial rule for our dear nation Ghana. The attainment of independence signalled our liberty as a country to take our destiny into our own hands and be in charge of our own affairs.


It was indeed an affirmation of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, that “the Black man was capable of managing his own affairs”.

In Nkrumah’s moving speech in the early morning of March 6, 1957 at the Accra Polo Grounds, he proclaimed the expectation and the hope of Ghanaians, the rest of Africa and the world for the new homeland of Ghana. 

There was a new hope for prospects because the opportunity had been offered the people to determine their own destiny and affairs. The independence journey had been tortuous and at certain stages uncertain. There had been difficulties, imprisonments, hardships, suffering and deaths. 

Quite rightly the people had cause to jubilate.

On the occasion of 66 years of nationhood, therefore, the Daily Graphic joins all Ghanaians to congratulate ourselves on the feat that we have chalked up over the years. We have not been a total disappointment; certainly, we have built on what was bequeathed to us by our forebears and we must have cause to celebrate. 

The country has seen tremendous improvements in its Human Development Index (HDI), indicating progress in life expectancy, adult literacy and combined secondary and tertiary school enrolment, and real GDP per capita.  Until 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the country, we were one of the fastest growing economies. 

We have a thriving, stable and deepening democratic governance and a high degree of media freedom that are the envy of many.

We must be encouraged by these and pat ourselves on the back for our efforts. But as we do this, we must understand that all is not rosy. It does not also mean that we could not have done better. There are many challenges that we need to work on in order to experience the rapid and accelerated development we yearn for.

Currently, the country is in dire economic straits, with our debt to GDP growing to unsustainable levels. This is the time we need all citizens on board to help turn the situation around. We need the understanding and support of citizens for policies and measures to build a strong socioeconomic foundation. Something that will provide economic freedom and curtail our dependence on foreign aid, to lead the country to move away from the source of economic growth where we rely on extractive and capital-intensive services that do not directly help in reducing poverty. 

We must immediately also work on our political psyche to move away from the acrimony, mistrust and suspicion that have become synonymous with our society. Our political actors, especially, owe the nation a duty to lead this charge. The Daily Graphic won’t mince words in pointing out that they are the primary source of this unfortunate state of affairs. 

As our schoolchildren, the security agencies and others march today to mark our 66th Independence Day, we mustn’t see it as just an occasion for the fun of it. We must reflect on the whole essence of independence. The Daily Graphic points to an excerpt from one of Dr Nkrumah’s speeches that “. . . from now on, today, we must change our attitudes and our minds. . . . and that [our current state] entails hard work”.

Ghana must demonstrate to the world that it is prepared to build on our foundation, but we must admit that reshaping the destiny of this country depends on us all.

We must pick up the pieces and build a nation that will be respected by the rest of the world. We are capable and we must. 

Happy Independence Day to all. Long live Ghana!

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