President Akufo-Addo yesterday inaugurated the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ team, which is made up of government officials, recognized groups, civil society and private sector to help make the vision a reality.
They include 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.
They were tasked to come out with a charter, which would set out the true meaning and purpose and the calendar of implementation that would allow us to reach our 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.”
That, he said, was because “we have not been able to develop our economy to be able to fund things for ourselves.”
“By now we should be in the position to fund activities for reasons that are obvious, then we will have control over our own destiny; we will then decide for ourselves what things are priorities for us and go ahead and address them and not have to be at the receiving end of other people’s instructions.”
He, therefore, said “I think the time has come for us to realise that potential to make a conscious effort together as a people to get there.”
The President bemoaned the fact that most of the critical aspects of the country’s economy are in the hands of foreigners- telecommunications, oil and gas and banks, insisting “that cannot be right since it accentuates Ghana’s dependence.”
He, therefore, called for a paradigm shift and made reference to the example of Korea.
He also charged members of the Committee not to disappoint Ghanaians since their fate has been somewhat entrusted in their care in this quest.
On his part, Mr Osafo-Maafo, thanked the government and people for reposing confidence in them, promising to do what is needful.
The former Finance Minister under the erstwhile Kufuor administration said that “there are many things wrong with the manner in which we have managed ourselves, and I think it’s time to call a halt, take stock and change direction; if you look at it really carefully, resources in Ghana, the quality of human beings we have somehow managing them to our advantage we have never succeeded and therefore there is something wrong.”
He, therefore, tasked members of the Committee to prove equal to the task.
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