It was her maiden speech as Running Mate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and she appears to have left a good impression on the minds of some Ghanaians.

Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, during her official outdooring made some profound statements, covering subjects including violence, poverty, gender balance and equality.

GhanaWeb brings you a compilation of major highlights of Prof. Opoku-Agyemang:

1. Making history is gratifying; but what really matters is not to be first through the door. What matters is to hold the door open for those behind us and create other avenues for self-actualization for many more. That is the work of the next four years.

2. I accepted the nomination because it is an opportunity to serve my country once again, albeit at a higher level. In God do I continue to trust, that I may never be confounded.

3. It will be my mission to ensure that the voices and concerns of our children, our youth and our aged, and our persons with disabilities are reflected in critical decisions.Together, we can strategize to solve long-standing problems of needless and unproductive discrimination, and thrive as valued citizens.

4. I want you, all of us in whatever demographic category to know, that I will carry your voices forward. Together, we can make it happen. This, I pledge to you.

5. Men and women together have accomplished fantastic things in our history. But I must also acknowledge that today, I stand on the shoulders of many giants who came before me. Throughout our history, women have always played pivotal roles in the advancement of our country. When duty called, our women too, responded. We all have in mind great heroines who, by their actions, shattered the concept that women alone must be restricted by ceilings and limitations.
I salute those many known women who have made such great contributions to the advancement of our country. And just as importantly, I pay homage to those many, many unknown women, the silent and invisible and unacknowledged women, who also played and continue to play critical roles in building what we now call our country.

6. We must be mindful of the fact that 60% of our population will be under the age of 30 in a few years. That is why it is so critical that we systematically reform all our systems to effectively address the aspirations of our youth and country.

7. We need meaningful, quality and comprehensive education that goes beyond access and responds to the future we can actualize.

8. We must leverage on vocational and technical training to equip many into meaningful and fulfilling work.

9. We must provide opportunities that transcend political patronage, ‘connection’ and the practice of whom- you- know. Equal and fair opportunities based on merit are an imperative for sustainable economic growth. The time for that shift is now.

10. Truth be told, despite all our challenges, Ghana remains a special place where any dream is possible, where every aspiration matters, and where anyone – be it a little boy from Bole or a little girl from Komenda – can grow up to be anything they want to be. Even President. Even Vice President. This is why we love this country so much. We must continue to make it a place we cherish and are proud to belong to, and a place of opportunities.

11. Let our politics deviate from this unproductive path of injustice and non-peace. Ghana does not belong to any select few. We the People, all of us, are the protectors and owners of this country for our collective good and for that of generations unborn.

12. What makes Ghana so special is that – despite our various ethnic groups, religions, and diverse backgrounds – we all come together as one people under one flag, inspired by the sacrifices of our ancestors to create a great country. And everyone’s ancestor has been a worthy contributor to this space now called Ghana, whose artificial borders, sadly, we seek to make even more artificial, as if our continent has not suffered enough from the initial assault. Everyone matters. We have come too far as a nation to still cling to our primordial tribal bigotries.

13. Diversity is a source of great strength. Whether you are GA, MFANTSE, SISALI, EWE, GONJA, ASANTE, NZEMA, MAMPRUSI, or any other ethnic group, you are valued as a Ghanaian. You have every right to walk with confidence, with a high resolve to make huge contributions to this nation. Let nobody, let no one question your identity or patriotism. It is time to put all these needless, unproductive and backward distractions behind us and get on with the serious business of nation building. The time is now.

14. This is a bad phase; it will only pass with our collective determination, plain honest, hard work and willingness to put in practice those values of integrity, meritocracy and inclusiveness. Let’s re-ignite the Ghanaian spirit of caring, sharing, of kind hospitality and sincerity. We know we can, all minds linked; God our helper.

15. To all the little girls and boys across our country, always dream big; remain focused. You can grow to become anything you want to be. Believe that only you can stop yourselves. It is not going to be about your parents, rich or poor; not the region you come from and whether it is endowed with resources or not. Remember that natural endowment is what it is; it did not come from the effort of anyone. It is nature that placed those resources there. That is why we call them natural resources. It is rather about a system that works; a functioning country that respects all its citizens and provides opportunity to all, regardless.

16. Our democracy has come a long way. Yet it remains fragile. It calls on all of us to exercise our civic duty against any obstacles and machinations. I urge each of us to show up and participate in the ongoing voter registration exercise, but please observe all the necessary health protocols. Please look out for each other. Politely remind people to use their face masks correctly, offer your hand sanitizer to someone in need. If you see a disabled person or an elderly person or pregnant woman, offer help. For THAT is the Ghanaian spirit.


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