The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, has urged Ghanaians to build upon the legacies of former President Jerry John Rawlings.
She said former President Rawlings’ vision did not die with his passing nor did it die with the end of his tenure in office.
“It is about building upon what we come to find because his legacy is not just his, it is for all of us, as it is for all Presidents subsequent — President J. A. Kufuor, the late President John Evans Atta Mills, President John Mahama and now President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo,” she said.
Dr Agyeman-Rawlings, who is the daughter of former President Rawlings, made the call when she, alongside her brother, Mr Kimathi Agyeman-Rawlings, received a Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously awarded to former President Rawlings, for his invaluable contribution to the energy sector, at the recently held 5th Ghana Energy Awards at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra.
“Due to revisionism, a whole generation of young Ghanaians are blissfully unaware of the immense contributions that the late Jerry John Rawlings made towards establishing a solid foundation of power generation for Ghana. A foundation upon which all subsequent governments have benefited and built upon,” she stated
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, who also received a Lifetime Achievement Award, was commended by Dr Agyeman-Rawlings for acknowledging the existence of structures that preceded his tenure in office.
“It is the foundation upon which all governments have built upon. We all have a duty to speak the truth about our history so that the younger generation can learn that we build upon what we come to meet,” she said to a resounding applause.
Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings recounted how in the mid-1980s, former President Rawlings having concluded that the contract between Ghana and VALCO, for the use of the country’s hydro-electric energy was not beneficial to Ghana, constituted a team, led by Professor Akilakpa Sawyer, to seek a review of the agreement.
“The key issues were that the correct value for the energy that was being consumed at the time be paid to the Government of Ghana. As well as the fact that the presence of the Akosombo Dam could not only be for the purpose of a company and a few areas in the country but needed to be used to extend power to the rest of the country to ensure that all the citizens were benefiting from same. The rest is history,” the Klottey Korle MP said.
The citation accompanying President Rawlings’ award recognised his untiring efforts to push the frontiers of energy in Ghana, his government’s initiation of the reform and restructuring of the energy sector, the diversification of the energy sector from solely hydro-electric generation to include thermal and the conceptualisation of the participation of independent power producers through the Ghana Power Sector Development Policy.
President Rawlings was also commended for his foresight in the establishment of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST).