Mr Speaker, Ghana under the Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah saw unprecedented progress both domestic and international.
On the political front, Mr Speaker, he began the move to give assistance in diverse ways to dismantle colonial rule in Africa, advocated Pan-Africanism, to fight neocolonialism on the continent. He was the architect of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). He became a symbol of hope and emancipa- tion for blacks and all oppressed peoples everywhere in the world and many others.
He also demonstrated strong support to the United National Organisation (UNO) and Non-Aligned Movement.
Mr Speaker, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah in his quest to promote economic development, embarked on major infrastructure projects as toolss to accelerate the economic development and growth of our dear Motherland. He built factories and industries in Ghana, the Tema City Harbour, new roads and expanded the Civil Service. Again, he believed that development is promoted and sustained through a secured, sustained and available source of power.
This conviction became his driving force to construct the Akosombo Dam to provide electricity for industrial activities both for Ghana and the neighbouring States.
Mr Speaker, he was a man of full commitment to the wellbeing of the masses. This he confirmed when his Government took over multinational corporations in the Ghanaian economy, through nationalisation policies leading to the
creation of more jobs in the economy and increased wages. He set-up the main Ghana Shipping Line -- The Black Star Line to cater for the import and export needs of the country.
Socially, Mr Speaker, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah was a man with strong commitment to providing social amenities to improve the lives of Ghanaians. It was in this direction that his Government constructed a number of new hospitals and pipe-borne water extended to many communities.
Mr Speaker, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah believed in education as an instrument to enhance socio-economic development. This he did by maintaining the colonial educational structures geared towards European degrees and values. He introduced free basic education for all children in Ghana by abolishing school fees at this level.
He expanded education by building more schools to increase enrolment in Teacher Training Colleges to train teachers as well as several secondary schools which today, we refer to as high schools. Mr Speaker, the overthrow of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah on the 24th February, 1966 was received differently both within and outside Ghana.
According to those who unsupported the 1966 Coup, dictatorship, economic mismanagement, shortage of essential commodities, pre-occupation with Pan- African Affairs, suppression of liberties and freedoms of individuals as well disregard of traditional institutions were the main reasons that occasioned the February, 24th 1966 Coup.
Mr Speaker, achievements of the Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah are still evident in the country as they continue to be the fulcrum around which current development drives revolve.
Mr Speaker, in recognition of the above, the late President John Evans Atta Mills -- May his soul rest in peace, instituted the Founder's Day in honour of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah to be observed on every 21st September in appreciation and recognition of his contributions to Ghana and the world at large, especially the African continent before his overthrow.
Mr Speaker, I pray that this august House takes necessary steps to give legal backing to the Founder 's Day to be captured in the National Holiday Act.
Mr Speaker major national and international institutions in appreciation of the roles played by Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah in promoting world peace and freedom have also honoured him.
Mr Speaker, it was in this light that Dr Kwame Nkrumah became an international symbol of freedom, as the leader of the first black African country south of sahara to shake off the chains of colonial rule. In the year 2000, BBC Africa Service listeners voted him the African of the Millennium.
Mr Speaker, in this vein, a statue was erected in the premises of the Africa Union Complex in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, in honour of this illustrious son of Ghana.
Mr Speaker, on this, note, l call on all Ghanaians to reflect on the ideas and contributions of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah to see how best we all can come together to help build a better Mother Ghana.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity.