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New President Promises He Won't Let Ghana Down

By Francisca Kakra Forson January 08, 2017

Expectations are high as Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo has now been sworn into office. Ghanaians want an end to current economic hardship.

Nana Akufo-Addo was sworn into office Saturday before parliament, fellow presidents from the continent, dignitaries and thousands of Ghanaians at the Black Star Square.

The inauguration ceremony was colorful as many Ghanaians adorned themselves in traditional outfits from kente, a popular woven cloth from southern Ghana, and fugu from the north.

But an arduous task lays ahead for the new president who inherits a weak economy with an increasing debt, high inflation, plummeting commodities prices and the cedi's free fall.

President Akufo-Addo in his inaugural speech promised prosperity for all Ghanaians.

"We must create wealth and restore happiness to our nation. We can only do this when we have an educated and skilled population that is capable of competing in the global economy. We must expand our horizons and embrace science and technology as critical tools for our development. We will provide vision and direction and shine the light down the path of our entrepreneurs and farmers. We are, indeed, counting on a vibrant private sector to drive growth and create jobs," he said.

Some young Ghanaians are highly expectant of the prospects of an Akufo-Addo government. Salifu Fatau, a sales person, said jobs must be top priority.

"For the young people we need work and good salary. We're looking on him to see to it that he is able to build a lot of works for we the youth. For now he has given us his word so we are standing on his word."

Fadilatu Ahmed, a draftswoman, is concerned about the economy.

"I'm expecting the government or our new president to work towards the economy because that's my main reason why I voted for him. The economy is very bad, when you look at the value of our money it's very low. The power crisis, the dumsor dumsor is enough. We had enough," she said.

Faustina Dogbevi hopes for lower education fees.

"I want the education cost to be at least a bit lower so that everybody can send his daughter to school and pay school fees," said Dogbevi.

The tenure of outgoing president John Mahama saw widespread corruption scandals and apparent shielding of accused officials. The new president sounded a warning against corruption under his government.

"I shall protect the public purse by insisting on value-for-money in all public transactions. Public service is just that service and not an avenue for making money.Money is to be made in the private sector, not the public. Measures will be put in place to ensure this."

Meanwhile, on social media, President Akufo-Addo has been accused of using bits of former U.S. president George W. Bush's speech as his own in his inaugural address. The director of communication at the presidency issued an apology.

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