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Dr John Agyekum Kufuor receiving a rousing welcome from NPP supporters and the party’s flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo at the Kotoka International Airport on Sunday
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Former President John Agyekum Kufuor arrived home last Sunday to a tumultuous welcome from thousands of New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters at the Kotoka International Airport, after being named co-winner of the coveted World Food Prize Foundation award at the State Department, Washington, US.

The former President looked pleasantly surprised when he disembarked to the rousing welcome.

Active in the reception party was the 2012 flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, whose presence added to the excitement of what turned out to be a colourful ceremony.
The NPP supporters came in their thousands singing and eulogizing the man who had made the country proud, presenting a picture reminiscent of the return of a triumphant national team from a successful foreign sporting engagement.

In spite of the fatigue of the flight, having passed through London from Switzerland where he attended the 100th anniversary of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and another official assignments in the US, former President Kufuor made time to address the press.

He expressed delight at the award, explaining that it was reflective of the good policies he initiated during his tenure as President, programmes which he said alleviated the plight of Ghanaians.

Others in the reception party were Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, General Secretary of the NPP; Alhaji Moctar Bamba, National Organiser; Sheikh I.C. Quaye, former Greater Accra Regional Minister; Samson Kwaku Boafo, former Minister of Chieftaincy Affairs and Culture; Kwadwo Mpiani, former Chief of Staff; and Akosua Frema Osei Opare, former deputy Minister of Employment and Manpower Development.

The announcement of the award was made in Washington by the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week at an impressive ceremony which resonated across Ghana.

President Mills’ government greeted the former President for the feat.

The award, worth thousands of dollars, is being shared with former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil.

President Kufuor’s policies, according to the management of the foundation, alleviated hunger and poverty in Ghana, feats which won him the commendations of both the Secretary of State and Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, as well as the USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah.

One of the citations accompanying the announcement read: “Under President Kufuor’s leadership, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African country to cut in half the proportion of its people who suffer from hunger, and the proportion of people living on less than a dollar per day, on course to meeting the UN Millennium Development Goal 1.

“Ghana saw a reduction in its poverty rate from 51.7 percent in 1991 to 26.5 percent in 2008, and hunger was reduced from 34 percent in 1990 down to 9 percent in 2004.

“A guiding principle for President Kufuor during the entirety of his two terms as President of the Republic of Ghana (2001-2009) was to improve food security and reduce poverty through public and private-sector initiatives. To that end, he implemented major economic and educational policies that increased the quality and quantity of food to Ghanaians, enhanced farmers’ incomes, and improved school attendance and child nutrition through a nationwide feeding program.”

Daily Guide learnt that former President Kufuor intends funding an educational foundation to benefit the University of Ghana among others.

The immediate past President of Ghana will return to the US in October to receive the award which includes a cash amount to be shared between the two recipients.
Source: A.R. Gomda

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