During national debates, the most commonly used and accepted language is English. The reason may be simple, English is Ghana’s official language.
Over the past decades, the culture has been for presidents to deliver their State of Nation Address in the English language, to the detriment of many ordinary Ghanaians who may have to rely on local radio stations for translations – which are often distorted.
This year was no different, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo presented the final State of The Nation message of his four-year term and he didn’t deviate from the usual. He spoke English!
But some local traders who seemed displeased with the apparent thick accent of the president have pleaded for a change, going forward.
According to the traders who spoke in a viral video sighted by GhanaWeb, President Akufo-Addo’s thick American accent made it difficult for them to understand the exact points he was trying to make.
To them, the over one-hour speech by the president which covered specific economic, social, and financial state of the country was useless because they didn’t understand.
“We beg the president; he should start speaking English we can understand because this one we didn’t understand anything. The last time he was speaking about the police on TV and I could barely understand…Nana Akufo-Addo’s American accent is too much he should speak form 4 English for us,” one of the traders said.
Another said, “We can’t contribute to debates because when the president speaks we can’t understand, it’s really worrying. His accent is too thick. Please advise him to speak Form 4 English for us…”
While this development passed easily for some people on social media as comic relief, it is, however, a national issue. Barely 10 per cent of the country’s population can speak and write the official language proficiently.