President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says in order for the African continent to meet the aspirations of the African peoples and open up opportunities for all, priority must be given to key institutions of state.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “we must prioritise our budgetary arrangements to ensure that funds are available to strengthen key institutions of state, such as the Legislature, Judiciary, fiscal institutions, amongst others.”
In the case of Ghana, the President indicated that, since he came into office, budgetary allocation to Parliament has been increased by 82%, using 2016 as the base year.
The Judiciary, within the same period, has also seen its budget increased by 47%.
“It is important that we promote and develop a culture of accountable governance, free of corruption, whereby these bodies see themselves as independent public entities serving the wider public interest, not the temporary conveniences of the governments of the day,” he said.
He continued, “That is why we have added to our architecture of accountability the Office of Special Prosecutor to hold public officials, past and present, accountable for their stewardship of the public purse.
“A well-known anti-corruption crusader and lawyer, indeed, a leading figure of the current opposition in Ghana, is the first occupant of this Office, from whom the Ghanaian people have much expectation in the fight against corruption.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Monday when he delivered the keynote address at the 58th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association, in Abuja, Nigeria.
Describing the Judiciary as one whose independence is to be guaranteed, the President explained that, in Ghana, the independence of the Judiciary is critical because of its constitutional jurisdiction, the reason why appointments to Ghana’s Supreme Court, for example, come from different perspectives.
“As Attorney General, from 2001 to 2003, under the Government of His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, I had the honour of nominating for appointment onto Ghana’s Supreme Court, distinguished jurists and academics such as Professor Samuel Kofi Date-Bah, the late Professor Tawia Modibo Ocran, and the late Professor A.K.P Kludze, three judges whose works made such a significant impact on the growth of the Court’s constitutional jurisprudence,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “I have continued in this tradition, as President, by nominating the immediate past President of the Ghana Bar Association, Nene Amegatcher, the former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Professor Emmanuel Nii Ashie Kotey, and two respected Court of Appeals Judges as my first nominees to the Supreme Court.”
This blend of persons on the Supreme Court, he said, “in my view, will strengthen the development of Ghana’s jurisprudence.”