Singing From Same Hymn Book
'We cannot continue to outsource solutions for our own problems. The destiny of our continent is in our own hands'. This sounds like President Akufo-Addo speaking the sense conforming to what he said when he addressed world leaders a few months ago.
It is the Zambian President Edgar Lungu speaking during a state banquet held in his honour when he visited Kigali, Rwanda recently.
Both the Zambian leader and President Akufo-Addo are singing from the same hymn book – the refrain being 'let us source local resources to prosecute our development agenda and avoid dependence on foreign aid.'
The overdependence on foreign aid whose strings do not inure to our long term interests has been a subject on the lips of President Akufo-Addo even before he assumed the political leadership of the country – his zero tolerance for foreign aid putting him at par with his Zambian counterpart.
President Akufo-Addo's engagement with world leaders recently when he spoke about how Africa can make without foreign assistance in the manner it is happening now made interesting headlines because of its uniqueness.
His latest expression of abhorrence for foreign aid was when he addressed an international gathering on education in African countries. It was a vintage Akufo-Addo presentation which won him many hearts and, of course, a standing ovation.
It was not just the beauty and flow of the delivery but the glaring sincerity which he exuded as he spoke to his audience in the Senegalese capital.
What corruption has done to the African continent can be measured by the many development projects we have not been able to prosecute decades after the achievement of independence.
Thousands of children are still unable to access education because their parents are unable to provide the resources for this to become possible. It is just ridiculous that African countries would still expect European nations to continue to part with their hard-earned tax payers' monies to pay for the education of children far away in Africa and to construct roads and provide health facilities. Such goodies cannot continue to be provided indefinitely. Policy changes can stop some if not all these handshakes especially when the originating countries suffer from economic challenges.
The leakages and seepages; major economic challenges of African countries, especially Ghana, have drained so much from the national kitties. It is surprising therefore that we continue to attract aid from donor countries whose leaders are aware that even what they part with in terms of budgetary support and others are stolen through corruption.
Our problems are peculiar to our circumstances hence the need for us to seek them locally especially since we have enough human and natural resources to obtain our budgetary requirements. Bowls in our hands begging for foreign aid – the indignity associated with the spectacle too visible, should cease to be a feature of our countries.
Rwanda and Ethiopia are two countries on the continent whose achievements are shining examples for the rest of the continent even though they too can do better than they have done so far.
When African countries heed the call of the Ghanaian leader and his Zambian counterpart, there would be positive change in our lots.