Strengthening The Bonds Of Industry Opening Of The United States Exhibition
November 27, 1951
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
I am grateful to the United States ambassador, Mr. Russell, for inviting me to open this National Exhibition and Trade Fair which the United States Government has decided to hold in Accra at this time. In recent years, we have been pleased to welcome many such shows to Ghana.
This particular exhibition, however, is unique in that, it is the first of its kind to be organised here by the United States Government. As a result of these exhibitions and trade fairs, we have had a good opportunity of seeing for ourselves, many aspects of the economic and industrial development of the countries sponsoring them. Such exhibitions have served to fire our imagination, and to inspire our people in our determination to proceed as rapidly as possible with the economic, industrial and technological reconstruction of our country to which we are committed. It is for this reason that I am happy that yet another exhibition has been arranged by the United States Government.
In my message which has been placed at the entrance to this exhibition, alongside a message from President Kennedy, I have expressed the hope that all Ghanaians who come here will find much to interest them, and much to learn. l want to repeat this, and to express the further hope that all who see this exhibition will go away from it more determined, than ever to contribute their full share toward Ghana’s economic reconstruction. Ghana and the United State of America have maintained very happy trade relations over the years. The United States is the largest importer of Ghana’s cocoa. We, for our part, have for a long time obtained from the United States, our principal imports of machinery, transport equipment, fuel and chemicals. These trade relations with the United States are very important to us. I am sure that this exhibition will lead to the opening up of further sources of trade and commerce between the two nations.
True to our policy of positive neutralism and non-alignment, we are against any form of discrimination in economic matters. We believe that capital and technical knowledge have no respect for political frontiers. We make no apology, therefore, for the steps we have taken recently to strengthen our trade and economic relations with the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China. Our main interest is to seek opportunities for the rapid industrialisation and mechanisation of our agriculture and to diversify our — economy generally. For we know that it is only if we become economically l strong and politically stable, that we can carry through with sufficient determination, our policy for the freedom and unity of the Africa continent.
We in Ghana today have to face many of the problems which almost two hundred years ago, faced the founding fathers of the United States of America.
In the same way as their ideas were ridiculed and misrepresented in the old world, we too have to face a constant barrage of misrepresentation from the foreign press which invents false news about our actions and puts the worst possible construction upon everything we do. I understand full well the reason for this attitude. These articles are inspired in exactly the same way as attacks upon the infant United States were inspired, two centuries ago, by those who have vested interest which they see imperiled by the establishment of political and economic freedom and by our efforts towards unity.
In exactly the same way as in the early days of the United States, the Government was forced to take action in order to preserve itself against external and internal subversion, so [we today have to exercise the utmost vigilance against those who would plan to over throw our Constitution and to establish a Government, not supported by popular will and mass enthusiasm.
I believe that the people of the United States should realise from their own historical experience, the problems with which we have to contend. We wish to do what they achieved so successfully in the early stages of their history. Within ten years of the Declaration of Independence, it was realized by the American people that though individual colonies had established their political independence, nevertheless they could not be really independent, unless they were politically and economically united. The struggle to achieve this union was opposed not only by external and internal interests who hoped to profit financially from the disunity of the new world, but also by many individuals whom it can be seen mistakenly believed that freedom and justice could only be maintained by keeping intact, the old colonial frontiers and by rejecting an effective form of union. It would indeed be a profound tragedy, if the attacks of a prejudiced press and a misunderstanding of what we are attempting to do led any section of opinion or any influential organisation in the United States to support or conspire with those who are intriguing against African unity and against the establishment of a regime from which traces of colonialism are eliminated.
I should like once again, to welcome this Exhibition to Ghana and to express the hope that it will not only provide the maximum enjoyment to all who see it, but will also strengthen the relations between the United States of America and the Republic of Ghana. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have pleasure in declaring this National United States Small Industries Exhibition formally open.