Government to Declare Nkrumah’s Birthday Statutory Holiday

The government has submitted proposals for the amendment of the Holidays Act to make the birthday of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, a statutory holiday.

It has also decided to mount an imposing statue of Dr Nkrumah at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra.

President John Dramani Mahama made this known when members of the Kwame Nkrumah Centenary Planning Committee (KNCPC) called on him at the Flagstaff House, Kanda in Accra, Tuesday.

Members of the committee were at the seat of government to present a book containing proceedings of the centenary colloquium to the President.

The book, compiled by the members of the committee and published by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), captures the papers delivered by the various Heads of State and political leaders at the colloquium.

President Mahama said the statue to be built at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle would be similar to the one erected at the African Union (AU) Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and serve as a “lasting memory to Nkrumah”.

He said Dr Nkrumah’s statue mounted at the AU Headquarters had given a further boost to Dr Nkrumah’s image and that of Ghanaians.

He said the last time he went to the AU Summit in Ethiopia, he felt happy and proud as a Ghanaian for the honour done Ghana’s first President.

Mr Mahama said the erection of a similar statue at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle would further engrave the memory of Nkrumah in the minds of Ghanaians.

The President said the centenary celebrations had helped “put Nkrumah in his proper perspective” and expressed joy that the AU had joined Ghana to make the centenary a joint celebration.

He said it was from the joint celebration that the AU took the decision to mount Nkrumah’s statue at the AU Headquarters.

Mr Mahama said if Dr Nkrumah’s birthday was made a statutory holiday, it would avoid the current situation which required him to sign an Executive Instrument before the day was declared a holiday.

He commended the committee for the excellent and diligent manner in which it organised the centenary, which he said had yielded dividends for the country.

He again lauded it for working far below budget and indicated that the Chief of Staff, Mr Prosper Douglas Kwesi Bani, would collaborate with the committee to finish all the outstanding work.

The Chairman of the KNCPC, Prof Akilagba Sawyerr, noted that the centenary of Nkrumah was not Ghanaian but seen as part of AU’s celebration of one of its great leaders.

He said the committee had some outstanding work, one of which was the creation of a website to serve as an information bank on Nkrumah.

Besides, it would develop an archive to contain all documents on the works and life of Nkrumah.

Prof Sawyerr said the committee had saved some money from the donations it received during the celebration and so it would not require any financial support from the government in executing the outstanding work.

Source: Daily Graphic

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