It is a special day for Ghana as she turns 60. On March 6, 1957, Ghana marked her first independence day celebration and all these many years later, it is the joy of many Ghanaians to meet Ghana at 60.
The Ghana at 60 planning committee prior to the d-day had said that “Ghanaians should expect a very modest and a very amazing” celebration. The spokesperson for the Ghana at 60 planning committee, Jefferson Sackey, spoke to Joy FM and said that the day had been carefully planned and the plans had taken into account Ghana’s current economic situation.
“We strongly believe that this a time to reflect as a nation, where we are coming from, how far we’ve come as a nation, and where we want to go,”
Indeed Ghana has come quite far as an independent nation and just last year they managed to once again continue a strong democratic tradition of peaceful transition of leadership. On the cusp of Ghana turning 60, Nana Addo was successfully installed as the President of Ghana at the beginning of the year.
At sixty, the Ghana of today may not have fulfilled all the potential captured in Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s independence speech on 6th March, 1957, but the country has definitely kept to the heart of it.
Check out the full transcript of Kwame Nkrumah’s independence day speech below as we celebrate with Ghana at 60.
“At long last, the battle has ended!
And thus Ghana, your beloved country is free forever.
And yet again I want to take the opportunity to thank the chiefs and people of this country, the youth, the farmers, the women who have so nobly fought and won this battle.
Also, I want to thank the valiant ex-service men who have so co-operated with me in this mighty task of freeing our country from foreign rule and imperialism.
And as I pointed out… I made it quite clear that from now on – today – we must change our attitudes, our minds, we must realise that from now on, we are no more a colonial but a free and independent people.
But also, as I pointed out, that also entails hard work.
I am depending upon the millions of the country, and the chiefs and people, to help me to reshape the destiny of this country.
We are prepared to pick it up and make it a nation that will be respected by every nation in the world.
We know we are going to have difficult beginnings, but again, I’m relying upon your support, I’m relying upon your hard work.
Seeing you in this… it doesn’t matter how far my eye goes, I can see that you are here in your millions and my last warning to you is that you are to stand firm behind us so that we can prove to the world that when the African is given a chance he can show the world that he is somebody!
We have awakened. We will not sleep anymore. Today, from now on, there is a new African in the world!
That new African is ready to fight his own battles and show that after all, the black man is capable of managing his own affairs.
We are going to demonstrate to the world, to the other nations, that we are prepared to lay our own foundation.
As I said in the assembly just minutes ago, I made a point that we are going to create our own African personality and identity. It’s the only way that we can show the world that we are ready for own own battles.
But today, may I call upon you all – that on this great day, let us all remember that nothing in the world can be done unless it’s had the purport and support of God.
We have won the battle and we again re-dedicate ourselves … Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa.
Let us now fellow Ghanaians, let us now ask for God’s blessing and for only two seconds in your thousands and millions, I want to ask you to pause only for one minute and give thanks to almighty God for having led us through our difficulties, imprisonments, hardships and suffering to have brought us to the end of our trouble today.
Ghana is free forever and here I will ask the band to play the Ghana national anthem.”
Former President John Mahama also sent an Independence day message to greet Ghana at 60
The former President charged Ghanaians to make the next 60 years “even better”. He sent out a tweet at around 6:00 am saying: “I salute all Ghanaians. Let’s dedicate ourselves, on this occasion, to make the next 60 years even better.”
For today’s celebrations, in line with the announcements made by Jefferson Sackey, Ghanaians can expect the representation of each of her 10 regions at Independence Square in a special cultural ceremony. The arrival and participation of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé was also confirmed.
Mr. Sackey also said that Ghana’s first independence anniversary torch will be lit and subsequently carried by Ghanaian super boxer Professor Azumah Nelson.