President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday honoured individuals, institutions and partners who distinguished themselves in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Also, honoured were members of the legal team who were charged with ensuring that the maritime boundary dispute with Ghana’s immediate western neighbour, Côte d’Ivoire ended favourably for Ghana, thus ensuring that the country’s western maritime resources remained legitimately in Ghana’s possession.
At the annual National Honours and Awards ceremony organised at the Accra International Conference Centre, President Akufo-Addo said by their actions, they helped to protect and preserve Ghanaians, as well as secured Ghana’s maritime resources comprising oil and gas, which remains legally and legitimately Ghana’s.
In all, 47 persons representing 19, 557 healthcare professionals across the country as frontline workers during the COVID-19 were honoured.
Trustees of the Covid-19 National Trust Fund, the support team of the Covid-19 Private Sector Fund, Faith-based organizations, Manufacturers of Sanitizers and PPEs, Donors to Covid-19 National Trust Fund, and International Partners in the fight against Covid-19 were also honoured.
Aside from the above categories of awardees, there were four individuals whose work, according to President Akufo-Addo deserved the plaudits of the nation.
They were the late great philosopher, Prof. Johnson Kwame Wiredu, by common consent one of the outstanding philosophers of global repute of the modern age, who received the posthumous award, Order of the Volta – Companion; as well as Ms Margaret Sophia Darkwah, the first female Commissioner of Police;
Also, was Prof. Akwasi Osei, former Chief Executive of the Mental Health Authority; and Dr Veronica Agartha Martinson, former Executive Director of the Cocoa Research Institute, Ghana.
It is important to state, President Akufo-Addo explained, that the awards ceremony is purely a national event, “devoid of partisan, ethnic or religious considerations, and organised solely in recognition of the services offered by its recipients to the growth, development, progress and prosperity of Ghana.”
President Akufo-Addo said despite the fear and the ravages of the pandemic, COVID-19 inspired Ghana’s domestic manufacturing capabilities, and deepened its self-reliance.
The pharmaceutical industry, at his instigation, the President indicated responded positively to the need for domestic production of sanitisers, disinfectants, and liquid soaps.
The government, according to the President, was also able to procure some GH¢81 million worth of personal protective equipment, such as face masks, headcovers, medical scrubs and hospital gowns from domestic garment and textiles manufacturing companies for health workers, and students who wrote their final examinations.
President Akufo-Addo said Government pioneered lifesaving innovations that the WHO replicated elsewhere.
The relative success in winning the fight against COVID-19, the President noted is a testament to the tireless work of those stakeholders and many others who dedicated themselves to the fight to keep Ghanaians safe.
The judgment of the Tribunal President Akufo-Addo stated had brought finality to a maritime boundary dispute that had been extant for over five decades.
Although the precise economic impact has yet to be conclusively established, the President said what had emerged quite clearly is that Ghana’s western maritime boundary remains intact.
“And that is why we are here today to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to all these segments of our population,” the President stated.
He said it has been a long and arduous journey, involving many whose determination and commitment have brought the country this far.
“This afternoon, to each and every one of you, we say well done. Ghana is, indeed, indebted to you. You have helped guarantee not only the possibilities of development, progress and prosperity of our country but also that of successive generations of Ghanaians yet unborn,” President Akufo-Addo added.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD