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President Nana Akufo-Addo is to propose legislation to designate August 4 as Founders’ Day.
This is, according to a statement from the Presidency, signed by its Director of Communications, Eugene Arhin.
The birthday of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, on September 21, will be observed as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day.
Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s birthday was originally observed as Founders’ Day.
The statement noted that August 4 is “obviously the most appropriate day to signify our recognition and appreciation of the collective efforts of our forebears towards the founding of a free, independent Ghana.”
August 4 is noted as the date for the formation of the Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society by John Mensah Sarbah in 1897, and the formation of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) in 1947 by J.B. Danquah and George Alfred “Paa” Grant.
The thinking informing this proposal, according to the President, is to acknowledge the “successive generations of Ghanaians who made vital contributions to the liberation of our country from imperialism and colonialism.”
The statement acknowledged Dr Nkrumah’s standing in Ghanaian history, and said: “It is entirely appropriate that we commemorate him for that role, by designating his birthday as the permanent day of his remembrance.
“The President has, therefore, decided to propose legislation to Parliament to designate 4th August as Founders’ Day, and 21st September as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day, both of which will be observed as public holidays.
“…In the meantime, the President has issued an Executive Instrument to commemorate this year’s celebration of KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY as a public holiday,” the statement added.
The Founders’ Day versus Founder’s Day debate has been a longstanding one, and was brought into the limelight in 2017, starting with President Akufo-Addo’s speech delivered at Ghana’s 60th independence anniversary parade.
That speech came under attack over what some said was a skewed account of Ghana’s history to suit his father, Edward Akufo-Addo, and uncle, J.B. Danquah, who were critical components in Ghana’s fight for independence and the forbearers of the governing New Patriotic Party’s tradition.