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JJ Rawlings Foundation marks late former President Rawlings’ 77th birthday 

The JJ Rawlings Foundation has commemorated the 77th birthday of the late former President Jerry John Rawlings. 

In a statement to mark the day, which was made available to the Ghana News Agency, the Foundation said: “We gather in spirit to honour and commemorate the life and legacy of an exceptional leader. Though you are no longer with us, your profound impact on Ghana, Africa, and the world continues to resonate.”  

As part of the commemoration, the JJ Rawlings Foundation reflects on his contributions, enduring influence, and how deeply he was missed. 

The statement said former President Rawlings was a man of vision, passion, and relentless dedication to the welfare of Ghana.  

It said former President Rawlings’s journey from a young air force officer to the helm of the nation was driven by a deep sense of duty and an unwavering commitment to justice. 

It noted that in 1979, former President Rawlings burst onto the national scene, leading a popular uprising to address corruption and restore accountability within the government.  

It said this bold move marked the beginning of a transformative era in Ghana’s political history.  

It reiterated that the actions of the June 4 leadership underscored their dedication to eradicating corruption and ensuring that the government served the people. 

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It said former President Rawlings’s leadership during the 1981 revolution and his establishment of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) set the stage for significant economic and social reforms.  

It noted that his pragmatic approach to governance, coupled with his vision for a prosperous Ghana, led to the implementation of policies that stabilized the economy and promoted development.  

Under his guidance, Ghana underwent a period of economic recovery and growth, laying the foundation for future prosperity. 

It said his tenure saw a focus on infrastructure, education, and healthcare, which improved the quality of life for countless Ghanaians.  

The statement said schools, hospitals, and roads were built, reflecting his belief that a nation’s strength lies in the well-being of its people.  

It said former President Rawlings’s efforts to promote social justice and equity ensured that the benefits of development were widely shared, creating a more inclusive society. 

It said on rural development, policies were implemented that expanded Ghana’s middle-income group; adding that in 1990, the National Development Policy Framework (NDPF) was developed under the National Development Planning Commission, which subsequently became known as Ghana Vision 2020 – a long-term plan for Ghana to become a middle-income country by the year 2020. 

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It said with food security a priority for former President Rawlings, agricultural policies were initiated that resulted in the recognition of Ghana’s food production growth of 148 percent for the period 1995-1997 as “the third highest achievement on the record after Jordan (157 per cent) and China (156 per cent)” in the World Bank’s 1999-2000 Development Report. 

It said former President Rawlings was shining light for African unity. 

“Jerry John Rawlings’s influence extended far beyond the borders of Ghana. He was a staunch advocate for African unity and development, believing that the continent’s strength lay in its collective efforts. His leadership and vision for a united Africa inspired many across the continent,” it stated. 

It said former President Rawlings was a vocal proponent of Pan-Africanism, a movement that seeks to unify African nations in their quest for political and economic independence.  

It said former President Rawlings’s impact was not confined to Ghana or Africa; he was a respected statesman on the global stage; stating that his eloquence, passion, and commitment to social justice earned him admiration and respect worldwide. “Rawlings’s voice was a powerful one in international forums, where he advocated for sustainable development, good governance, and human rights,” it said. 

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The statement said: “….As we mark what would have been his 77th birthday, the absence of Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings is deeply felt.” 

“His leadership, vision, and unwavering dedication to justice left an indelible mark on the world. Rawlings’s passing in November 2020 was a profound loss for Ghana, Africa, and the international community. However, his legacy continues to inspire and guide us.” 

It said on this special day, Ghanaians celebrate the life and legacy of former President Rawlings, his remarkable contributions to Ghana, Africa, and the world were a testament to his visionary leadership, unwavering dedication, and deep commitment to justice.  

It said though he was no longer with Ghanaians, his legacy lives on, inspiring them to strive for a better, more just, and prosperous future. 

“Happy birthday, President Rawlings. You are deeply missed by your family, friends, admirers, followers and millions of people in Ghana and across the world,” the statement said. 

“Your spirit and vision continue to guide us. Thank you for your service, your leadership, and your unwavering commitment to the people. Your legacy will forever be remembered and cherished. Happy Birthday!!” 

Source: GNA 

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