The 72-year-old Economist, renowned Lawyer and Politician, Saturday took the Oath of Allegiance and the Presidential Oath administered by Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood at a colourful investiture at the Black Star Square.
The investiture was witnessed by thousands of local and foreign spectators at the Black Star Square and other millions who watched the programme live on television.
The Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, 54, an Economist and a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, was also sworn in by the Chief Justice at the ceremony.
The milling crowd stretched from the Black Star Square westwards towards the Arts Centre, eastwards towards the Osu Traffic Light and northwards to the Accra International Conference centre and its environs.
The entire area,decorated in the national colours of red, gold and green, also saw the people dressed in colourful blue, white and red, representing the colours of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on whose ticket Nana Akufo-Addo would lead the over 25 million Ghanaians over the next four years.
The vicinity of the Square was resplendent with exciting colours of Ghana’s Kente, the main royal cloth for special occasions, coupled with drumming and dancing by jubilant celebrants who sounded Vuvuzelas, tooted horns, and fired crackers to signify their joy of the arrival of the new President and Government.
President Akufo-Addo, in his inaugural speech, re-affirmed his commitment to render selfless service to the nation as he called on his countrymen to change attitudes that were inimical to the growth and development of the nation.
He said the change Ghanaians voted for started with the citizenry, and that it behoved on all and sundry to adopt a participatory and responsible approach to lift Ghana into a truly economically independent nation.
“The change we have voted for has to start with each individual. I ask you to be responsible citizens.
“I ask you to be citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects,” he said, adding, “I am determined to do all in my power to accomplish the task of the mandate and justify your confidence. I will not let you, the people of Ghana, down.”
President Akufo-Addo, whose speech was interjected by rapturous applauds from the crowd, told Ghanaians that he would strive to restore integrity in public life and would demand accountability and value for money in all transactions.
“I will protect the public purse. We will provide vision and direction,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He said state resources were not the private property of a few that could be used arbitrarily and that public service was not an avenue to making personal profits and advised those who sought such gains to channel their efforts to the private sector.
President Akufo Addo said his government would open the doors of Ghana again to track the needed foreign investments and to give Ghanaians the opportunity for growth, saying “Ghana is open to business”.
He said his administration would provide “vision, direction, and shine the light down the path of our entrepreneurs”.
“We rely on a vibrant private sector to spur growth and create jobs. It is time to imagine and dream again. Time to try that business idea; we will reduce taxes to recover the momentum of our economy,” he said.
President Akufuo-Addo highlighted the need for the separation of powers among the arms of government to make each arm truly independent of the other and work in tandem rather than compete for superiority in the interest of Ghana.
“We should move on to deepen our democracy. It is time to make sure there is true separation of powers between the various arms of government. Our Parliament must grow into its proper role as an effective machine for an accountability and oversight of the executive and not be its junior partner,” he said.
The President promised to ensure that his government gave more attention to the harnessing of science and technology to drive development in Ghana, stating that there were an exuberant and young growing population that wanted the best of what the world had to offer, and “will not settle for third world and developing world standards. We have an adventurous people who are in a hurry for success.”
“I have no doubt that the talents, energy, sense of enterprise and innovation of the Ghanaian can be harnessed to make Ghana the place where dreams come true,” he said.
Foreign dignitaries including Allasane Quattara, the Ivorian President, Helen Johnson Sirleaf, ECOWAS President and Leader of Liberia, and the African Union Chairperson and Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta took turns to congratulate the President and his vice and urged Ghanaians to give them their maximum cooperation for the advancement of the nation.
Immediate past President John Dramani Mahama and wife, Lordina, Immediate former Vice President Kwesi Amissah Arthur and wife, Matilda, as well as former President Jerry Rawlings and wife, Konadu, took turns to shake hands with President Akufo-Addo, Vice President Bawumia, Speaker of Parliament Professor Mike Oquaye and Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood.
Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and wife, Nani, guest presidents as well as their representatives climbed the presidential dais to congratulate Nana Akufo-Addo and his vice.