It has been my great pleasure to have had this opportunity to entertain you all at this gathering, particularly those of you who are guests from overseas and who have accepted our invitation to join us in our celebrations. After the formal ceremonies which have taken place today, I do not intend to, detain you longer than necessary by making a long speech.
I should like to express my gratitude to you, Mr. Chief Justice, for the kind things you have said about me. I am conscious of the burden of the office which I now hold but I am heartened by the knowledge that I have the active support and co-operation of the Ghanaian people and of men like you.
The celebrations are nearly at an end: very soon, the decorations would have been removed and the voices of merriment will die away. Then comes the moment for us all, to gird our loins and settle down to hard work.
The ceremonies which we have witnessed in the last few days represent the outward expression of the deepest aspirations of our people to rediscover their ancient heritage as Africans and to rededicate themselves to work for the emancipation and unity of African peoples everywhere. The fundamental principles of the Republic constitution which we have adopted are the recognition of the ultimate powers of the people and the obligation to support the movement of the Union of African States.
It is my conviction that, the most important thing at the present time is that, all leaders of Africa should pursue unselfishly honestly and with singleness of purpose, the twin tasks of making their territories genuinely free and unfettered from foreign domination and seeking the greater strength which can only come through union with other independent African States.
Within the last fortnight, the number of independent African States has increased by three. I refer of course to the independence of the Mali Federation and the Republic of the Congo, and also of Somalia which celebrated her independence on the very day on which we inaugurated our Republic. We join in congratulating the leaders and people of these three States. They as well as the other independent African states can be assured of the goodwill and cooperation of the Government and people of Ghana in the great task which we all share together.
I have said much in the past few days to give a clear indication of the policy which the Government of Ghana, with the support of the people, propose to pursue, I do not intend to repeat myself here on that subject. What I wish to do at this point is to take the opportunity to express to our guests, who have come from all comers of the earth to join in these celebrations with us, my own personal gratitude and the gratitude of the people of Ghana for this concrete expression of their goodwill and encouragement to us. We are deeply appreciative also of the many messages of congratulations and goodwill we have received from leaders and statesmen from all over the world. I am sure that our guests have seen something of the new life which we are trying to create in this part of Africa. They will also have had an indication of our aspirations and hopes. We trust that they have enjoyed that short stay and that they will one day visit us again. We ask our visitors to carry back to their Governments and people, and to • our many friends abroad, our good wishes and our hope that the immense goodwill that has been shown to Ghana in the last few days will contribute to our ability to play a useful role in the community of nations.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation also to those who have worked night and day to make these celebrations such a great success. I would like to make special mention of the Commissioner of Police, his officers and men who • have carried and are still carrying out their difficult work with such brilliant efficiency and precision. We have every reason to be proud of them. •
Finally, I would like to say how happy, I have been to have with at this time my brother Sekou Toure, President of Guinea. His presence has done much to sustain courage and cheer my spirits during the past few days, and he has demonstrated the genuine affection and friendship existing between us personally and the solidarity which the Union of our two countries has created.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I ask you now to rise again and drink with me the toast of "The President of the Republic of Guinea."