Relationship With Togoland
HO, December 19, 1960
My visit here today marks the end of my present travels throughout the country and to the headquarters of all the regions. I hope in future that it will be possible for me to make regular visits to each of the regions every year. As a result of these visits, I am strengthened in the belief that the chiefs and people of this country stand as firmly as ever before behind the government and the C. P. P. I am evermore enthralled by the devotion and respect which the chiefs and people of the country bestow upon me.
The survival of our new nation and the maintenance of our sovereignty, as I have so often stated, depend on our national unity and stability. It is therefore re-assuring that we have now closed our ranks and have achieved that singleness and unanimity of purpose without which we can never hope to keep and consolidate our political freedom. The achievement of our national independence was only the first phase of the struggle against the forces of imperialism and colonialism.
With the struggle for the attainment of our political freedom now over, our next task to which I have called the nation is the total economic, industrial and technological reconstruction of the country. As part of our national reconstruction, our great party and our government has steadily pursued its programme of road building aimed at opening up all parts of the country and enriching the arteries of trade and commerce. The improvement and tarring of the whole of the trunk road system in this region is therefore under active consideration. Already, we have been able to tar the 13-mile stretch from Anyirawase to Ho, and major improvements to the rest will follow in due course.
In addition to the improvement to roads, I have under active consideration the construction of a bridge over the Volta at a second point near Sogakope. I have also at present requested the tirm of engineering consultants to carry out I survey of this project and to report to me personally. Meanwhile, to speed up ferry crossing at Sogakope, an order has been placed for large portion that capable of accommodating fifteen to twenty vehicles at a time.
In the very near future, the hazards of the ferry at Sogakope will be memories of the past. In your address, you have mentioned industrial cooperatives. I will recall my broadest speech of the 9th October in which I said that government would give prominence to the development of Ghanaian coop business enterprise alongside other forms of business.
We have set ourselves to a programme of revolutionalising cooperative movement in this country to suit our Ghanaian environment and habits of life. We hope in this way to ensure that as far as possible, the wealth of the country is evenly distributed.
The mechanisation and diversification of agriculture in this region and in Ghana as a whole is one of the keynotes of our Second Five Year Development Plan. Under this programme, the Southern Savannah Development Scheme directed by the United States operations mission has been brought into being. It is designed to cater for the construction of dams and ponds to supply water to livestock and for human consumption as well.
It is the intention of my government to expand this scheme to cover as wide an area as possible in this region, and to step up the stock bearing capacity of the areas concerned within a comparatively short time. Under the Second Development Plan, work at the three agricultural stations in this region has been extended to include courses of instruction for farmers and experiments in cultivation in association. I understand that all these courses have proved successful. These stations are providing very valuable services in this region in the propagation and distribution of seedlings of cocoa, coffee and oil palm.
In addition, coffee processing plants have recently been installed at various places in this region in order to quicken the processing of coffee for marketing. You will be pleased to hear that other agricultural programmes in this region will be accelerated to include, for example, a plan to establish a state farm at Chinderi in the Kete-Krachi district, and another one to harness the waters of the river Aklakpa and the Afife swamps for the growing of rice in the Tongu, and Keta districts. As soon as the feasibility of these projects has been established, my government will make money available for their implementation.
Furthermore, a survey is now being carried out under the auspices of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation to assess the possibility for damming the creeks along the Volta in order to increase arable land surrounding it for cultivation. These are efforts in the right direction calling for the full co-operation of every single individual in this region. And now to say a few words about the Volta River Project which is of prime importance to this country and a matter very close to my heart.
The Project will be one of the greatest enterprises undertaken in Africa and it will be permanently geared to the prosperity of Ghana. Arrangements are complete for the implementation of the first phase of the scheme which begins with the construction of the Dam at Akosombo. Being so close to the site of the dam, you in this region will be the first to be affected by the implementation of the scheme. I sincerely hope that the level of unemployment in this region will, as a result of this project, be considerably lowered.
Those of you who saw the travelling exhibition of the Model of the Volta River Project in 1956 would have known that with the building of the Dam, there will be some flooding in the Kete-krachi District and the area a few miles south of Kpandu.
The Government will ensure that the people whose lands are inundated are equitably resettled in suitable sites and provided with housing and decent living conditions. In the field of Education, this region has steadily kept abreast of the other regions. In addition to a large number of primary and middle schools which have been established as a result of the accelerated development plan, we have established for you several Teacher Training Colleges, Secondary Schools and one Junior Technical Institute. Another secondary school is in the course of construction.
All your requests concerning building for the House of Chiefs, good water supply and sports stadium, will receive due consideration in line with other projects earmarked for the region. I do -not propose on this occasion to dwell at any length on those regrettable incidents involving violence and subversion which took place some time ago in this region. Those horrible days are gone.
I would not wish you to run away with the idea, however, that law and order have been completely restored in this area. - In many villages, I hear of some struggle going on, there are people who do I not appear yet, to have learnt the lesson from the experience of the earlier days. I should like them to know, that we are ever watchful and vigilant, and have ready made plans for dealing effectively with any future incidents of lawlessness, gangsterism, violence and subversion.
As a result of representations received from Chiefs, and prominent supporters, l have decided to lift the ban on arms as from today.
Now l come to a subject which l know is of the greatest concern to the people, of this region in particular as it is to the whole country. I refer to our relation to Togoland. The present state of our relations is by no means what we would wish for. The recent trade restrictions have been imposed to bring home clearly and unmistakenly, that union of Ghana and Togoland is natural and inevitable. This action has brought home as forcibly as no other action could, the hardships and absurdity involved in maintaining an artificial border between us, and in proving to Mr. Olympio that Togoland and Ghana are ne, and that no amount of lies and deception to the people of Togoland can disprove this fact.
Now here, may l say a similar situation exists at the present time on our western border, where many Ghanaians of Nzima and Sanwi origin have been separated from their kith and kin by the artificial boundary erected by colonial powers. There is no doubt that the area involved forms part of Ghana and has been separated only as a result of foreign domination.
The reunification of the Nzimas and Sanwis in the ivory Coast with their brothers and sisters in Ghana will be pursued vigorously by me and my government, in the same way in which they represented a relation between Ivory Coast and Ghana.
Discussions have already been held on this question with the Ivory Coast government, and l intend to raise it again at an early date so that some positive steps can be taken to settle this unsatisfactory situation and to relieve the Nzimas and Sanwis of further hardship. We have never wavered in our devotion to the cause of African Unity, and especially the importance of reuniting with our own kith and kin who have been actually separated from us by the artificial boundaries drawn between us by the colonialists. We have made determined and conscious efforts to create ties of friendship I between us and the people of the Republic of Togoland.
I am still confident that with the passage of time, Ghana and Togoland will be one people with a common destiny. It has come to my notice that in spite of the vigilance of the Preventive Forces, cocoa is still being smuggled in increasing quantities into the Republic of Togoland.
These Ghanaians who engage in this criminal practice will receive no sympathy when they are apprehended. We shall not (I repeat not) tolerate this wicked form of contraband trade which’s clearly calculated to sap away the life blood of the major industry of this country.
And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to thank you all again for the wonderful reception which you have given to me. I am deeply grateful for those valuable gifts and for the grand and most impressive assembly, you have accorded me and my colleagues this afternoon.