UK High Commissioner to Ghana Iain Walker has commended President Akufo-Addo for his vision to make Ghana a country with little or no need for aid from its more developed foreign counterparts.
He described the Ghana Beyond Aid Policy as an achievable aspiration despite noting that it will not be without several challenges due to the current economic status of the country.
“In terms of the Ghana Beyond Aid, I think it’s absolutely achievable and I think unless you set the aspiration then it won’t be, so I think it’s the right aspiration.
In terms of where Ghana is just now I think it’s got quite a lot of challenges to get truly beyond aid but I think the idea and the aspiration to be economically independent is a good one.” He stated
Iain Walker who is in his 9th month as the intermediary between Ghana and the United Kingdom speaking on Ghanaweb’s 21 Minutes with KKB however stressed that due to globalization no country lives solely independent by itself.
He admonished that although Ghana aspires to live Beyond Aid, there was the need to build partnerships with other countries citing UK’s capital London as a perfect example of such.
He indicated that the partnerships were not necessarily to be built on development but one of equals who invest in the parties economies.
“…for me I think that in the world in which we all live today is a global world so no country lives in that totally independently. We all interdependent, the UK perhaps the best embodiment of that. London is a global city, if you walk through the street of London there are tens of thousands of Ghanaians living there, people around the world living there. So the world is much more interconnected than it ever was in the past…” Mr. Walker noted.
He further added that “… as Ghana looks beyond aid it needs to shape now the kind of partnership that it wants to see in the future and I hope that we see an even stronger relationship and partnership with the UK and Ghana. Not one that is built on development but one that is built on a partnership of equals, a partnership whereby we invest in each other’s economies, where we help each other’s people grow, develop, work…”
In a related development, President Akufo-Addo on June 15, 2018 inaugurated the Ghana Beyond Aid team tasked to come out with a charter, which would set out the true meaning and purpose and the calendar of implementation that would the government to reach its flagship goal.”
When the charter is developed, it’s expected to be scrutinized by Parliament by the end of September for it to become a policy document to guide the actions of government, as well as various stakeholders in the country.
President Akufo-Addo said “It cannot be right that 60 years after Kwame Nkrumah hoisted the flag at Polo grounds budgets of our country are still dependent on foreign assistance.”
Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, who is chairman of the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid Charter Development Committee, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama and the Minister for Planning, Professor Gyan Baffour.
The rest are the Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, Philomena Sampson, also from TUC, David Ofori Acheampong, representing the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Nana Osei Bonsu, representing the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), Kwaku Agyemang Duah of PEF, Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Dr Eric Yeboah, Secretary to the Committee and Dr Yaw Ansu, a Senior Policy Advisor.