One of the key priorities of the NPP administration is to move ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’.
The government has been tough on working to reduce the over-dependency on donor support for development.
In the build up to President Akufo Addo’s State of the Nation Address on Thursday, February 8, 2018, Citi Business News takes a look at how far government has come in reaching this goal.
Indications however suggest that more needs to be done to attain this feat.
Prez Akufo Addo leads agenda
President Akufo Addo, has been leading the charge of building a ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ is convinced that the abundant mineral resources shouldn’t permit Ghana to seek support from donors to implement key policies.
Speaking in an address with the French President Emmanuel Macron in Ivory Coast as well as delivering a speech as part of the Royal African Society’s leadership series in London, the President stressed the need to add value to traditional exports.
“This is not right; we need to change the statistics. If we simply ground and sold the cocoa in paste form, instead of selling the cocoa beans, we double our earnings. In much the same way we will double our earnings from gold if sold it refined than in the raw state. We are determined to process these products.
These thoughts have been reiterated across several platforms by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
Gov’t works to grow Ghana Beyond Aid
The recently one constituted the theme for the third Aliu Mahama Memorial Lectures presented by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta.
For Mr. Ofori Atta, working to improve critical sectors like the financial, oil and gas, rail and road infrastructure, among others should propel the plans to attain a Ghana beyond aid.
For instance, the Minister highlighted the need to attract investors to revamp operations at the Tema Oil Refinery.
But this might have to be triggered as TOR has been compelled to suspend its operations few weeks into this year due to operational challenges.
Also, the estimated 21 billion dollar investments into the railway sector is yet to be completed to fast track the carting of agricultural goods such as cocoa from producing centers to market centers.
The EU Ambassador to Ghana, William Hanna admits that donor support has reduced hence the need for Ghana to improve her trade with other countries.
“It was up to over 16 percent in 2004 but declined to about 2.2 percent in 2013…this fall is due to a change in Ghana’s income status as well as a change in view on our side to call for a change in view on our side that we should call for new ways of doing things innovative financing and increased role for the private sector,” he stated.
Although government is saddled with huge records of revenue leakages estimated at 10 billion cedis, Ken Ofori Atta is confident of reversing the trend.
Economist at the University of Ghana, Dr. Ebo Turkson however suggests that the government would need be tough on addressing corruption if it is to reach this goal as expected.
“If we fight corruption, we can do a lot of public sector savings because a huge amount of public sector resources get fizzled out due to corruption. If we are able to fight corruption, these are huge amounts of monies that we can save and that would be an alternative to aid and those monies can be channeled into other productive sectors.”
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana