Work And Happiness; Ghanas Seven-Year Development Plan
May 5, 1962
I have come to the microphone to talk to you about our country and its great Party - the Convention People’s Party. As you know, the Party has been in power since 1951. It has won many elections. On each occasion, it issued a manifesto to the people specifying what it hoped to achieve and promising the things it would do. All of you can bear testimony to the fact that the Party has not only kept its word and its faith with the people, but also has to its credit, a brilliant record of fulfilment.
The success of our Party in political action has been outstanding. Its basic approach to national and international problems has the fullest support of our people and of all true African patriots. In spite of the great storms that it has weathered, it has emerged through each one stronger and better equipped for the great struggle of liberation. All this action calls for first-class organisation, it can be truly and proudly said that our Party possesses one of the finest organizations of the time.
Organisation presupposes planning and planning, demands a programme for its basis. The Government proposes to launch a Seven-year Development Plan in January, 1963. The Party therefore, has a pressing obligation to provide a programme upon which this plan could be formulated.
We must develop Ghana economically, socially, culturally, spiritually, educational, technologically, and otherwise, and produce it as a finished product of a fully integrated life, both exemplary and inspiring.
This programme, which we call a programme for "Work and Happiness”, has been drawn up in regard to all our circumstances and conditions, our hopes and aspirations, our advantages and disadvantages and our opportunities or lack of them. Indeed, the programme is drawn up with an eye on reality and provides the building ground for our immediate scientific, technical and industrial progress.
We have embarked upon an intensive socialist reconstruction of our country. Ghana inherited a colonial economy and similar disabilities in most other directions. We cannot rest content, until we have demolished this miserable structure and raised in its place an edifice of economic stability, thus creating for ourselves a veritable paradise of abundance and satisfaction. Despite the ideological bankruptcy and moral collapse of a civilization in despair, we must go forward with our preparations for planned economic growth to supplant the poverty, ignorance, disease, illiteracy and degradation left in their wake by discredited colonialism and decaying imperialism.
In the programme which I am today introducing to the country through this broadcast, the Party has put forward many proposals. I want all of you to get copies of this programme, to read and discuss it and to send us any observations or suggestions you may have about it.
Tomorrow, the National Executive Committee of the Party will meet to discuss the Party programme and officially present it to the nation. I feel sure that it will decide in favour of an immediate release of this programme to the people.
The Party, however will take no action on the programme until the masses of the people have had the fullest opportunity of reviewing it. Remember that it is at the moment merely a draft programme and only your approval will finalise it.
At this present moment, all over Africa, dark clouds of neo-colonialism are fast gathering. African States are becoming debtor — nations, and client States day in and day out, owing to their adoption of unreal attitudes to world problems, saying "no" when they should have said "yes" and "yes" when they should have said "no". They are seeking economic shelter under colonialist wings, instead of accepting the truth — that their survival lies in the political unification of Africa.
Countrymen, we must draw up a programme of action and later plan details of this programme for the benefit of the whole people. Such a programme is the one that the Party now brings to you, the people of Ghana, in the hope that you will approve it critically and help to make it a success.
We have a rich heritage. Our natural resources are abundant and varied. We have mineral and agricultural wealth and, above all, we have the will to find the means whereby these possessions can be put to the greatest use and advantage.
The Party’s programme for work and happiness is a pointer to the way ahead, the way leading to a healthier, happier and more prosperous life for us all. When you have examined and accepted the programme, the Government and the people will base on it and initiate our Seven-Year Development Plan, which will guide our action to prosperity.
This programme constitutes for us a vigorous reminder that we must eschew complacency and push forward more determined than ever before to achieve our goal and, through work and enterprise, to create progress, prosperity and wealth for our people.
The Eleventh Congress of the Party is scheduled to take place on the 10th of June. This Congress will give its final approval to the new Party programme.
Countrymen, we have carried out an important work of consolidation. We have stabilized the national structure and established solid security. We have done all this and more within the past ten years and we now prepare to move forward to the next stage.
We do so in the confident expectation that every one of us will do his duty and do it well. The national cause of socialist reconstruction demands sacrifice from us all. Each one of us must sacrifice a little for the total good of the whole people.
This programme for "Work and Happiness" is an expression of the evidence of the nation’s creative ability, the certainty of the correctness of our Party line and action and the greatest single piece of testimony of our national confidence in the future.
Ghana is our country which we must all help to build. This programme gives us the opportunity to make our contribution towards the fulfilment of our national purposes.
As I look at the content of the programme and the matters it covers, such as Tax Reform, Animal Husbandry and Poultry Production, Forest Husbandry, Industrialisation, Handicrafts, Banking and Insurance, Foreign Enterprise,
Culture and Leisure, I am convinced beyond all doubt that Ghana and Ghanaians will travel full steam ahead, conscious of their great responsibilities and fully aware that the materialization of this bright picture of the future is entirely dependent on their active and energetic industry.
We cannot afford to fail. We cannot afford to think of failure. But if there is one thing we in this great Party have learnt, it is that nothing has been achieved or will ever be achieved without unstinted effort and the determination to succeed. Nothing succeeds like success. So all of us must tighten our belts and plunge ahead first into the fight for the urgent socialist reconstruction about which we have talked so much.
It is my sincere hope that each one of you will take an interest in this national exercise and make the Party programme for work and happiness a great success. And now, Countrymen, I have been speaking to you about our Party programme. From this, I turn to a subject of almost equal moment, because it affects what is to me of the greatest importance, namely, the maintenance of the Republic as by law established and the achievement of those aims which under our Constitution, I have pledged myself as President to strive for.
An emergent country which attempts to follow a policy of socialism at home and a policy abroad of positive non-alignment is challenging many vested interests. It would have been the most criminal folly for us not to take note of the lessons of contemporary history.
When you chose me as your President, I took an oath in which I swore that I would preserve and defend the Constitution and that I would do right to all manner of people according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill will. I should have been false to my oath, had I allowed the Constitution to be overthrown by force, but I consider that the obligations which the Constitution imposes upon me not only call upon me to do justice, but also, wherever possible, to temper justice with mercy.
We have by no means passed through all our difficulties. The need for a Preventive Detention Act still remains, but I believe that the time has come when the security situation has improved sufficiently to allow a number of detainees to be released. I have therefore ordered the immediate release of many of those at present under detention.
The Government had originally considered that anyone who had been previously detained and released, and who then again engages in subversive activities, should be liable to a maximum imprisonment of twenty years. On this matter, too, I consider that a gesture of reconciliation can be made. The maximum period of five years detention as provided in the existing law will be retained, but the Preventive Detention Act will be so amended as to provide that anyone released from detention who again indulges in subversion, shall be detained again up to the present maximum of five years, and may, in addition, lose all rights as a citizen.
There remains also, the question of those few citizens who have fled abroad. In one or two cases, detention orders have been made against subversive individuals who have since fled the country, and in the event of such people returning to Ghana, these orders would be reviewed. But in most cases, those who have fled from Ghana have done so because they had a bad conscience or else were frightened by some unscrupulous rumour-monger.
A general amnesty will be extended to all such persons. I call upon them to return and to put their energies into useful purposes for the good of the country. I give them the assurance that they will not be victimized in any way or subjected to any disability for any past act; so long as they remain loyal and law-abiding, they will not only have nothing to fear, but will also be assured of the protection which the machinery of the law provides and to which everyone in this country is entitled.
Countrymen, now is the time for reconstruction. We have a gigantic task before us. In solving our problems, even those who in the past believed that they could gain their ends by subversion can now, if only they give up illegal methods, find their way back into useful and fruitful work.