President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of a Ghana beyond aid cannot be a short-term agenda, Prof Stephen Adei, a former rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), has said.
On the assumption of office on 7 January 2017, Nana Akufo-Addo espoused his government’s desire to prudently manage the country’s natural resources in a manner that will allow the country’s development agenda to be financed without recourse to external assistance - an agenda the President refers to as building ‘Ghana beyond aid’.
Delivering his address at the 61st Independence Day Celebration, at the Black Star Square, on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, Nana Akufo-Addo said the realisation of his vision of Ghana beyond aid “requires a deliberate, qualitative change in all aspects of our lives; especially, in the structure of our economy, the nature of our infrastructure, the education of our young people and acquisition of skills, and, above all, in our attitudes and holding firm to the values that define us.”
He noted that: “Even if there were no aid fatigue, and with the best will in the world and the most charitable governments in place in the so-called donor countries, there will never be enough aid to develop Ghana to the level we want. Aid was never meant to be what would bring us to the status of a developed nation.”
Speaking about the president’s vision in an exclusive interview with Benjamin Akakpo on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM, Prof Adei said Ghana beyond aid is a vision worth going for but cannot be achieved in the short term.
He said: “Ghana beyond aid can never be a short-term agenda. You cannot transform your economy from being dependent to being totally independent of any assistance.
“At this moment, for example, we spend about 93 per cent of all revenues the government mobilises on only public sector wages and the public sector is less than one million of the 30.2 million Ghanaians and we spend on them all our revenue and the rest on servicing debt.
“So, you’ll require time to be able to change the fundamentals to reduce the wage bill to also reduce our debt servicing burdens. But it is a good aim that as a nation we must come to a point whereby we are financing most of our developments from our own resources, depending more on trade than on charity which has not helped us that much.
“But I don’t think that Ghana beyond aid can be a short-term agenda but it’s a vision worth going for”.
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