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Africa Beyond Aid in a global pandemic era: Ghana in perspective

Maise Farmjjj An African farmer on a maize plantation

Sat, 18 Jul 2020 Source: Richard Kwaku Tetteh Asumah

Five continents have severely been struck with the recent Covid-19 outbreak and Africa is no exception. Ghana, one of the monumental West African countries is a beautiful place to live, but not without a good survival strategy. One will have to plan cautiously to be able to make ends meet and to subsequently be well vested enough to survive the deplorable standard of living which is in fact declining everyday.

With the invasion of the most recent global pandemic, one, especially the poor, will have to amend their modus of living from survival strategy, to the art of escapade; where citizens now spend their lives escaping hunger, ill-heath, poverty, and more dreadfully its coupled monster, death. The most vulnerable in these trying times are those less privileged living in abject poverty who are financially incapable of purchasing various basic items such as sanitizers, face masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s).

The menace of Covid-19 is gravely intensified mainly due to the fact that Ghana as a country, depends too much on importation of goods from Eastern and Western countries such as China and the United States respectively. Since most countries closed their borders in wake of the pandemic, Ghana also did same and this has caused the country a fortune of national survival.

The country, just as any other country globally, due to the closure of borders, has been hit with the cosmic wave of limited international labour force from Western and Eastern countries who would have supplemented the traditional labour market with additional skills and expertise. This is partly due to the closure of embassies, and the other, closure of companies primarily manned by these foreign nationals.

Within few months of the pandemic, things have changed entirely for Ghana as a Third-World country struggling to climb the developmental ladder through Second-World to a First World country. Life is stagnated and standard of living declining tremendously each and everyday.

Only hope left is for the country to engineer strategies to be self-sufficient and independent in manipulating her economic variables without having to fully rely on external support and importation of necessities, which could in fact be taken care of internally. Ghana would now have to replace its generational attitude of dependency and importation to a rather firmly independence, self-reliance, and exportation of excess goods and services, even though the fact that each country needs the other in diverse ways can not be ruled out.

Instead of relying on importation of goods from other countries, Covid-19 pandemic has taught Ghana to strengthen her internal structures to manufacture enough to sustain demand of her citizens and consequently export excess to other countries in need. This, can be achieved through intensive education to sensitize the populace on the need to activate the country's manufacturing dexterity and potentials so as not to fall wanted in trying times like this.

Amidst all these predicament entailed with the pandemic, the country is still hoping for a rainbow of hope to crown its darker clouds of hunger, poverty, ill-health, and death, in no time. It is the fervent prayer of all nationals that the pandemic disappears and life continues, and even better, Ghanaians starting afresh towards achievement of a self-reliant economy.

It is worthwhile pointing out that, government of Ghana is doing its possible best to employ certain mechanisms and initiate diverse actions to help local Ghanaian employees who have lost their jobs due to organizational adaptive restructure policies, such as redundancy and cut in salary as a result of the invasion of Covid-19, receive stimulus packages such as interest free loans. The Corona Virus Alleviation Project (CAP) in firm collaboration with National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), are working together to quickly roll out flexible interest free loans to owners of locally established businesses affected by the pandemic.

It is the fervent hope and solemn prayer of government that locally established businesses with the aid of these stimulus packages, will bounce back to their feet and help build the country’s economy domestically without having to solely rely on external supports from Donor agencies and international funding bodies, all with the mission of making Ghana stand tall beyond all aid, mainly Western.

Richard Kwaku Tetteh Asumah is a pan-African Youth Activist; he can reached at richardwright1@myself.com

Columnist: Richard Kwaku Tetteh Asumah
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