Ghana Beyond Aid agenda instrumental for post-COVID progress – Osafo-Maafo
Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo has recognised the relevance of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda in shaping the country’s progress in a post-COVID-19 era.
He gave the remarks at a COVID-19 and Ghana Beyond Aid forum held at the Ministry of Information on Thursday, June 11 2020.
Speaking on the theme: “COVID-19 and our match Ghana Beyond Aid: Turning adversity into opportunity”, the Senior Minister noted that the policy should be devoid of partisan politics but rather encourage local participation.
According to him, “What is important now is setting a system of implementation”, adding: “It should not be reduced into another talking shop”.
“We should not just be talking about it but we should find a way of getting these lofty ideas implemented and I am already discussing with some members of the leadership of parliament to get the matter cast in parliament.”
The Ghana Beyond Aid policy was introduced by the Akufo-Addo administration in 2017 with the aim of moving the country toward self-sufficiency. The policy forms part of the government’s agenda of pushing the country toward providing its needs and engaging competitively with the rest of the world through trade and investment.
Thursday’s forum, however, was centred around stepping up public education about the virus in the country and at the same time mobilising the vast majority of Ghanaians toward achieving the much-touted Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
Mr Osafo-Maafo indicated that “this is the time for us to be self-sufficient in certain specific production units. Health is not for debate. We must be inward-looking. There must be import substitution which fits our own requirement as a country”.
The forum was organised under the chairmanship of the Senior Minister and addressed by the Archbishop of Cape Coast, Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle, Mr Kwame Pianim, a renowned economist; the President of Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi; the Chief Executive Officer of EXIM Ghana, Mr Lawrence Agyinsam; and the President of the National Union of Ghana Students, Mr Isaac Jay Hyde.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi, the President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) noted that the country has all that it takes to make sure we meet our basic needs and that the country has a workforce that is innovative enough to build a Ghana that is beyond aid and donor-funded.
However, the Secretary-General to the Trade Union Congress (TUC) recommended that government focus more on transforming the structure of the economy from a low-productivity informal sector to a high-productivity formal sector.
The Managing Director of the Exim Bank, Ghana, Mr Agyinsam, advised that the country has over the years developed teste for foreign goods and if we need to build a Ghana Beyond Aid, we have to move away from the westernisation of our necessary supplies such as food and drugs.
Speaking on the overview of Ghana’s economic development history and the role of aid, Mr Pianim pointed out that Ghana Beyond Aid is a clarion call to shift our attitude from business as usual. He added that COVID-19 provides us with an opportunity to reset the button and that we need to harness our resources into building a better Ghana.