ACCRA, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama in a state of the nation address to parliament here Friday called on all Ghanaians to forge ahead in unity.
While appraising the country's collective achievements over the past four years, Mahama, who won the December 7 presidential election on the ticket of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), reminded Ghanaians of the hard work that lay ahead of them.
He therefore admonished the citizenry, especially politicians, to work towards greater cooperation and collaboration, irrespective of their political differences.
"Keeping the nation safe, anchoring our constitutional and democratic legacy on stronger moral and cultural values, growing stronger institutions; delivering on infrastructural development and social services, infrastructure and amenities to all parts of this nation, as well as affirming our status as a Pan African giant, remain far from finished," he said.
President Mahama reminded the country's Members of Parliament (MPs) that maintaining that success would only come in their shared responsibility to work towards the achievement of these goals.
For the long-term survival of the nation, Mahama believed all Ghanaians must agree and commit to a multi-partisan process to secure the future of the country.
"Whatever our differences, whatever our politics, we must pull together and rise to meet these challenges," the president urged, commending Ghanaians for the show of unity during the death and funeral of the late President John Evans Atta Mills.
He therefore urged politicians to eschew extreme partisanship, putting national cohesion first on their agenda, as he recalled other periods in the past when politicians from the different partisan persuasions worked together, shelving the politics and coming together as one nation for the glory of Ghana.
Mahama also recalled the latest economic achievements of the nation, particularly in prudent fiscal and macro-economic management.
"Through hard work and implementation of prudent fiscal and monetary policies, we were able, over the last four years, to stabilize the macro-economic environment. This resulted in remarkable acceleration of our growth," said Mahama, against the backdrop of the distressed economy the NDC government inherited in January 2009.
A year after commercial oil production, Ghana's economic growth in 2011 hit 14.4 percent and got touted by the World Bank as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, while the production figures for cocoa, Ghana's largest foreign exchange earner, reached over one million metric tons.
With the achievements chalked so far, the president believed a feeling of optimism was still seeping into the Ghanaian consciousness, "a belief that the days of division and discord are behind us and that an era of unity and national renewal is upon the people".
The NDC government took over power in January 2009 with Professor John Evans Atta Mills as the president, with Mahama as his Vice-President.
However, on July 24, 2012 Mills passed away, and in line with constitutional provisions, Mahama was sworn in that same day as president.
On Monday, January 7, Mahama, who was elected president with 50. 70 percent of the total valid votes cast on December 7 and 8 last year, would be sworn in to begin a fresh term of office for the next four years.
Ghana's constitution provides that a president shall read to Parliament the state of the nation at the end of each tenure of office.