Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs has called on Ghanaians to rally behind the President Akufo-Addo to make his vision of “Ghana Beyond Aid” a reality.
According to him, Ghana stood at a crossroad in history, where she must decide to either remain economically dependent on donors to fund its development or mobilise resources from within.
Mr Annor-Dompreh made the call when he presented a statement on the floor of Parliament on President Akufo-Addo’s speech on “Ghana Beyond Aid” at the Royal Africa Society.
He said in spite of the God-given wealth, Ghana was still characterised by some school of thought as a donor dependent country. Such school of thought argued that Ghana cannot succeed in any transformative sustainable economic programme without foreign aid.
He said the advent of Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP did stimulate a paradigm shift in the political space thus offering a new path of hope.
He said since the 1970s, countless academic writings started the campaign for Africa to reduce its dependence on aid. Indeed, when Dr Nkrumah said the “Black man was capable of managing his own affairs” typifies the fact that “Ghana beyond aid” was not a new argument.
Mr Annor-Dompreh also stated that most of the countries that Ghana relied on for support were not doing the nation any good but capitalising on same to milk the rich resources of those countries for their larger good.
He said conscious of this; successive governments have embarked on various forms of economic programmes that sought to transform the country’s economy from dependency to self-sufficiency.
He said foreign aid served a useful purpose when it was provided to alleviate temporary hardship and short lived economic challenges but, experience in Africa had proved that aid recipients could easily construe foreign aid as a substitution to their own productivity.
“The time to make this vision a reality is now, else as a nation we risk a perpetual doom for future generations,” he added.
Mr Annor-Dompreh further stated that it was about time that Ghanaians thought of what they could do for themselves and not what foreign countries could do for them.
He said there were those who have advocated for intra-African trade, industrialised nation to serve the needs of the people, and harnessing the huge potential of technology.
He said a successful economic development strategy must focus on improving skills of the area’s workforce, reducing the cost of doing business and making available the resources businesses needed to compete and thrive in the worldwide economy.
“May it be noted that the objectives of Ghana beyond aid are sacrosanct and the greatest inheritance, we can give to our children. The time to begin is now,” he said.
Ms Lade Ayamba, Member of Parliament (MP) for Pusiga in her contribution, stated that Ghana beyond aid should not just be mere rhetoric, but must be backed by concrete action on the ground.
She said Ghanaians must be engorged to patronised local food stuffs and vegetables instead of going for foreign ones.
She said though the country cannot run away from aid however, this should be channelled to solve a particular problem.
Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, MP for Tamale Central in his contribution, stated Ghana beyond aid should not just be sheer rhetoric but must be situated within the Africa Free Trade Area Agreement.
He said the government must create soft and hard infrastructure to support the vision to succeed.
He said the President should re-focus the idea to into tangible achievements on the ground.
Mr Alfred Oko Vanderpuje, MP for Ablekuma South in his contribution, stated that Ghana beyond aid should be practical in terms of action and not just speechmaking.
He said the government must support Ghanaian businesses to grow to provide employment for the teeming youth.
He said government must also ensure that the 7.3 million people who were not part of the country’s banking system were brought into the scheme.