Programme for 60th independence celebration unveiled
The Chairman of the 60th Independence Anniversary Planning Committee, Mr Ken Amankwah, has unveiled the ‘I Pledge’ campaign to Ghanaians in support of the country’s Diamond Jubilee celebration and mobilising for the nation’s future.
The rationale for the campaign, Mr Amankwah explained, was to rally all Ghanaians to play a role in nation building.
“Before we can work together, we first need to commit to something that we all believe in. The pledge campaign encourages all Ghanaians to be supportive of the government and the country,” he explained when he addressed a news conference at the Flagstaff House in Accra yesterday.
He also unveiled a detailed programme of activities for the first phase of the year-long celebration, which started from February 9, 2017 with an evening with the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during which he hosted Corporate Ghana and also unveiled the logo for the anniversary.
The first phase is expected to end on March 12, 2017 with a festival by the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA).
Throwing light on some key activities for the period, Lord Commey, the Chairman of the Sub-committee on Events, said there would be the launch of a Jubilee Technology Start-up Challenge for the many talented young Ghanaians whose innovations never saw the light of day because of lack of funding.
He said the competition would unveil innovations that boosted governance, business, health, education and other areas.
“This will be a competition to unearth talented innovators whose innovations will accelerate some strand of Ghana’s development,” he said.
Tales from yesteryears, a documentary featuring older people recounting their experiences and memories of the pre-independence struggle, independence and the post-independence era, would also be running on television.
Lord Commey said a Jubilee Youth Entrepreneur Challenge would also be launched, predicated on the difficulty young people faced in raising capital and which prevented them from fully realising their potential.
The challenge would solicit business ideas from young people across the country and reward the most-likely-to-be- profitable ideas, he said.
There would also be a lecture on the theme: “Mobilising for Ghana’s future”, to herald a series of nationwide lectures outlined for the year-long programme.
Appeal to businesses
Lord Commey announced that there would be a national flag-draping campaign and appealed to businesses, as part of their corporate responsibility, to adopt the major roads near their offices and decorate them with flags, buntings, balloons and lights.
There would be a night of choral music, the highlight of which would be the launch by the National Symphony Orchestra of a rendition of the National Anthem using only local instruments, he added.
He said the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) would mount a photo exhibition depicting the colonial times, in view of which the board would transform parts of the Christianborg Castle, the former seat of government at Osu, into a museum space.
Lord Commey said Ghana had had nine Presidents since independence but not much was displayed anywhere about them, except the country’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
As part of the celebration, he said, there would be the inauguration of a Presidential Museum which would be a legacy project to celebrate the country’s former leaders and also the 60th anniversary of the GMMB, which falls on February 5.
There would also be the ‘Know Your Ghana’ campaign, a domestic tourism campaign spearheaded by the Presidency, which would be launched at the photo exhibition, he added.
He explained that when the perpetual flame was lit on Independence Day, a torch would also be lit using the flame.
Relay torch for all regions
“This torch will embark on a relay throughout the whole of Ghana, region by region, and return to its starting point on March 6, 2018. Chiefs, opinion leaders, local celebrities and Ghanaians from all walks of life will be part of this relay,” he said.
He said the President would, within the period, cut the sod for the Presidential Legacy Project, while there would be the Masqueraders’ Festival and the National Festival on Culture where each region would be given an opportunity to showcase a part of its culture that was unique.
The Chairman of the Media Sub-committee, Mr Jefferson Sackey, throwing more light on the ‘I Pledge’ Campaign, said it would create awareness of the many things that Ghanaians could do differently to help raise the flag of the country higher.
The campaign, he said, aimed at spreading a broad change in attitude or mindset in all parts of the country with the view to getting the citizenry to pledge their support to help build a desirable nation.
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