- Nana Akufo-Addo is leaving nothing to chance as the threat of terrorism comes closer to Ghana
- He said the raging contemporary threats within the West African sub-region make it important for Ghana to equip the Ghana Armed Forces to enable them better protect the country
- Speaking at a military graduation ceremony last week, he outlined the many things his administration is doing to prevent a possible attack on Ghana
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President Nana Akufo-Addo has intensified his resolve to prevent heightening terrorism in the West African sub-region from reaching and wreaking havoc in Ghana.
He has said that since assuming office in 2017, his administration has been actively retooling and re-equipping the Ghana Armed Forces to successfully carry out their mandate to protect the nation's territorial integrity.
Speaking at the Military Academy Graduation parade for Regular Career Course 61 last Friday, August 12, 2022, the president said he was determined to fight the contemporary, emerging and future threats in West Africa.
Steps Ghana Is Taking To Fight Terrorism
Nana Akufo-Addo disclosed that his administration had approved the expansion of the Armed Forces to cater for jihadist and other threats sweeping across the sub-region.
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"The strategic expansion and modernisation of the Armed Forces, in line with the threat analysis and the acquisition of the requisite equipment, logistics, infrastructure development and increase in manpower, are being pursued vigorously," he said.
He also disclosed that the first phase of the construction works of the Military Academy is almost complete. This includes a renovated Officer Cadets' Mess, the Academy Parade Square, the three hundred and twenty-seating capacity two-storey classroom block, and the magnificent administration block.
Touching on the manpower expansion of the Ghana Armed Forces, Akufo-Addo revealed that the Military recruited and trained 3,000 soldiers between 2017 and 2020.
"It has, since 2021, embarked on accelerated nationwide recruitment and training to churn out a minimum of 4,000 officers and soldiers annually until 2024," he said.
He is confident this will beef up the strength of our Armed Forces to optimal levels.
"A minimum of 2,000 recruits are trained in recruit training schools of the three Services [Airforce, Army and Navy] every six months, whilst the strength of officer cadets enlisted in recent times has been increased exponentially since 2020," the president said.
Infrastructure Development For Armed Forces
Furthermore, President Akufo-Addo disclosed at the graduation event that massive infrastructure development in the vicinity of the Burma Camp Military Cemetery has been ongoing.
This is to provide warehouses, offices and barracks accommodation for Base Ordinance Depot, the School of Ordinance, the Armed Forces Central Band and the Armed Forces Music School.
There are also plans to enhance the operational capability, combat efficiency and logistics capacity of the Armed Forces.
"To this end, additional bases, specialised units and brigades have been created, with the acquisition of requisite equipment, to enhance operations particularly along our northern frontiers…this expansion has already seen the creation and establishment of the Army Special Operations Brigade, Armoured Brigade, Signal Brigade, and two Mechanised Battalions, which are deployed in the Upper West and Upper East Regions," the president said.
He noted that the construction and equipping of 15 Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) across our northern frontiers for the Armed Forces for the Northern Border Project are on track.
These FOBs include FOB Dollar Power, FOB Hamile, FOB Tumu, FOB Navrongo, FOBBawku, FOB Nalerigu, FOB Bunkpurugu, FOB Saboba, FOB Bimbilla, FOB Damongo, FOB Bole, FOB Jirapa, Forward Logistics Base at Wa, Forward Logistics Base at Bolgatanga and Main Logistics Base at Tamale.
In addition to this, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the following had been acquired for the Military:
- Several combat vehicles
- Equipment and weaponry, comprising about 163 Armoured Personnel Carriers and other combat vehicles,
- Trucks and general vehicles,
- Surveillance and communication equipment, including optical and critical mass of night vision equipment; and
- Weapons, ammunitions and body armour.
These strategic acquisitions are expected to enhance intelligence gathering, offer better protection, and improve mobility and firepower for troops on internal security operations, including those deployed to our northern frontiers and international peace support operations.
Touching on the Navy, the president noted that his administration had purchased Offshore Patrol Vessels and Fast Patrol Boats to enhance counter piracy and other maritime threat operations and protect the country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
"Towards enhancing the capability of the Navy, I recently commissioned four fast patrol boats, named VOLTA, PRA, ANKOBRA and DENSU, to protect our maritime resources, especially our offshore Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facilities," he added.
Future Plans For The Armed Forces
The president disclosed that the state would soon acquire six L-39 Ground Fighter Aircrafts, two additional Ground Power Units, assorted aircrafts comprising Casa C2A5 Maritime Patrol Aircrafts, Mi-71SH Military Airlift Helicopters, VIP Transport Helicopters (H-225) and four H-125 Reconnaissance Light Attack helicopters, to support the operations of the Special Forces of the Air Force.
Reiterating the government's commitment to improving the healthcare and medical delivery capacity of the Armed Forces, he indicated that the 37 Military Hospital, which also serves as the National Disaster Management Hospital, has been prioritised for massive retooling before the commencement of the next phase of the 37 Military Hospital expansion project.
Also, he promised that a 500-bed military hospital at Afari in the Atwima Nwabiagya District of the Ashanti Region is expected to be ready for inauguration by December 2022.
"The expansion and upgrade of medical reception stations in all the Garrisons to District Hospital status are also on course," Nana Akufo-Addo said.
The president said provisions had been made for the police, prisons service, Ghana National Fire Service and the Ghana Immigration Service to better deliver on their mandates.
Terrorist Attack: Ghana Government Official Raises Alarm, Says Threat Is Real
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh has reported in a previous story that a top Ghana government official at the Ministry of Defence has disclosed the threat of terrorists hitting the country is very real and has cautioned the public to be on high alert.
Deputy Defence Minister, Kofi Amankwa-Manu, revealed on Sunday, May 15, 2022, that all of Ghana’s neighbours have already been hit by terrorists in the past few months.
The Minister explained that the latest attack on Togo, Ghana’s neighbour to the east that has been free from such attacks for many years, prompts deep concerns. In that attack, eight soldiers died and 13 were injured.
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