- Title: Ghana's new president sworn in, says will cut taxes
- Date: 7th January 2017
- Summary: ACCRA, GHANA (JANUARY 7, 2017) (REUTERS) **** WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY **** BLACK STAR SQUARE SIGN WITH GHANA FLAGS BEFORE INAUGURATION CEREMONY CROWDS ARRIVING FOR SWEARING IN CEREMONY STAGE WHERE SWEARING IN WILL TAKE PLACE PEOPLE IN TRADITIONAL DRESS ARRIVING FOR CEREMONY OUTGOING PRESIDENT JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA ON PODIUM ALONG WITH FORMER U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN AND OTHER DIGNITARIES WOMAN AT CEREMONY HOLDING SMALL GHANAIAN FLAG MORE WOMEN AT CEREMONY SITTING, WOMEN IN AUDIENCE MEN IN TRADITIONAL CLOTHES RELIGIOUS LEADERS SITTING BEFORE CEREMONY BEGINS JUDGES IN ROBES WALKING ON RED CARPET VARIOUS OF PEOPLE IN CEREMONIAL OUTFITS WALKING ON RED CARPET GHANA'S VICE PRESIDENT ALHAJI MAHAMADU BAWUMIA WITH JUDGE ON PODIUM BAWUMIA TAKING OATH OF OFFICE AND BEING SWORN IN (SOUNDBITE (English) GHANA'S VICE PRESIDENT ALHAJI MAHAMADU BAWUMIA, SAYING: "And that I will preserve, JUDGE SAYING: "protect, BAWUMIA: "protect, JUDGE: "and defend, BAWUMIA: "and defend," JUDGE: "the constitution of the Republic of Ghana." BAWUMIA: "the constitution of the Republic of Ghana." JUDGE: "So help me, God." BAWUMIA: "So help me, God." PEOPLE IN THE CROWD CHEERING AND CELEBRATING WOMAN WITH PARTY COLOURS AND HAT PEOPLE IN CROWD CHEERING AND WAVING PARTY FLAG PRESIDENT AND DIGNITARIES WALKING PAST CROWD AKUFO-ADDO IN TRADITIONAL DRESS ON PODIUM WAVING TO CROWD, HOLDING ALOFT SWORD OF OFFICE (SOUNDBITE) (English) GHANA PRESIDENT NANA AKUFO-ADDO SAYING: "We must restore integrity in public life. State coffers are not spoils for the party that wins an election but resources for the country's social and economic development. I shall protect the public purse by insisting on value for money in all transactions." CROWDS OUTSIDE INAUGURATION CEREMONY POLICE AND SECURITY OFFICIALS CROWDS BEHIND BARRIERS SUPPORTER WITH POSTER OF AKUFO-ADDO (SOUNDBITE) (English) GHANA PRESIDENT NANA AKUFO-ADDO SAYING: "We will stimulate the creative juices of innovators. We will bring to life the adventurer in you. It is time to imagine and to dream again, time to try that business idea again. We will reduce taxes to recover the momentum of our economy. The doors of Ghana are opening again. The shutters are up again. There could not be a better opportunity to make in Ghana and to make it in Ghana. Ghana is open for business again." PEOPLE IN CROWD TAKING PICTURES ON MOBILE DEVICES (SOUNDBITE) ((English), AKUFO-ADDO SUPPORTER, SAYING: "I've known Nana Addo for some time now. I know him to be a competent man. Whatever he says, he does it, so I believe in him that he is going to do more, he is going to do more than what Mahama has done." VARIOUS OF SUPPORTERS BLOWING HORNS AND WHISTLES, WAVING AND CELEBRATING (SOUNDBITE) (English) AKUFO-ADDO SUPPORTER, SAYING: "Nana has promised that he is coming to tackle the issue of unemployment. We know there are youths, majority that are in this country that are unemployed, and we believe that with Nana everything is going to be tackled and everyone will have something to do." SUPPORTERS CELEBRATING PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE INAUGURATION CEREMONY
- Embargoed: 22nd January 2017 17:36
- Keywords: Ghana president inauguration Nana Akufo-Addo
- Location: ACCRA, GHANA
- City: ACCRA, GHANA
- Country: Ghana
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0015Y2Z70N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Ghana's new President Nana Akufo-Addo pledged to cut taxes to boost the economy at his swearing in ceremony on Saturday (January 7), whilst also promising to protect the public purse by getting value for money on services.
Akufo-Addo, 72, defeated incumbent John Dramani Mahama in peaceful elections a month ago, a rare peaceful transfer of power in a region plagued by political crises.
The major cocoa and gold exporter is half-way through a three-year aid programme with the International Monetary Fund to fix an economy dogged by high public debt and inflation.
It is not clear how the new president will be able to cut taxes and still stick to an IMF austerity plan that was a condition of a $918 million bailout.
"We will reduce taxes to recover the momentum of our economy. The doors of Ghana are opening again. The shutters are up again. There could not be a better opportunity to make in Ghana and to make it in Ghana. Ghana is open for business again," said Akufo-Addo, wrapped in a traditional kaleidoscopic "kente" robe.
At the venue for the inauguration in Black Star Square, thousands of Ghanaians also draped in traditional kente garments clapped. Outside the perimeters, revellers drummed and danced.
Akufo-Addo suggested government money would be spent wisely.
"We must restore integrity in public life. State coffers are not spoils for the party that wins an election but resources for the country's social and economic development. I shall protect the public purse by insisting on value for money in all transactions," he said.
Ghana expects growth will return to above eight percent in 2017 as new oil and gas fields come on tap.
Akufo-Addo served as foreign minister and attorney general in the NPP government that ruled between 2001 and 2009. He twice previously lost close battles for the presidency. He is the son of a former chief justice and non-executive president of Ghana.
During his campaign, he had accused the Mahama administration of corruption and incompetence, charges the outgoing president denied. Mahama attended the ceremony.
It was also attended by dozens of African leaders and other international dignitaries, including Chadian President Idris Deby, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and former UN chief Kofi Annan.
Ghanaians are proud of having a stable democracy and acutely aware that it is a rarity in turbulent region.
Akufo-Addo's New Patriotic Party also won a majority of 169 seats in Parliament while the former ruling National Democratic Congress now has 106 seats.
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