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15.03.2007 General News

We Won’t Borrow Any How — Kufuor

We Won’t Borrow Any How — Kufuor

President J. A. Kufuor has stated that Ghana will not fall back into borrowing, which threw the country's economy into chaos over the past years.

He said measures had been put in place to avoid the country being forced to go on borrowing anyhow, which resulted in the whole nation's economy being thrown into jeopardy.

The President was presenting a paper before members of the Chatham House in London as part of his three-day state visit to the UK. His topic was "Ghana, The Past, Present and Prospects".

Chatham House is Europe's leading foreign policy think-tank. Its strap line is independent thinking on international affairs and its mission is to be in the forefront of the debate on international affairs.

It also provides an independent forum where academics, captains of business, politicians, diplomats, the media, NGOs and policy makers can interact in an open environment.

The President was so focused on presenting Ghana to the international community that not even interruption from four Zimbabwean youth protesters could distract him from making Ghana known to the large eminent group in the UK.

 

The Zimbabweans, one of them in a handcuff, raised his voice to draw the attention of President Kufuor and his audience's attention to the current situation prevailing in Zimbabwe. They called on the AU Chairman to intervene in bringing peace to that country.

He observed that Ghana's economic woes basically emanated from improper borrowing that characterised past governments.

According to him, at the time he took office as the President, Ghana needed to raise $250 million dollars just to service debts.

President Kufuor said such a situation compelled the new government to opt for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, which resulted in the cancellation of a huge amount of the country's debt.

“We have judiciously used the benefits of all our debt cancellation and there is no need for us to go back into the bitter experience of indebtedness,” he stated.

“Now we are on track, today in Ghana, we know where we have come from, where we have reached and where we are going. Ghana needs the co-operation and support of all her friends.” he added.

The President catalogued events that led to the country's woes, paramount among them being military interventions.

He said Ghana's twice election as the chair of ECOWAS and currently the chair of the African Union was not accidental.

In his view, it was due to the fact that the current government had worked hard, had programmes and policies that had brought Ghana to the level it was now.

He was, however, quick to admit that although some of the policies were harsh on the populace such as the removal of government subsidies on utilities and other essential items it had all worked for the good of the country today.

On the international scene, President Kufuor said Ghana had worked successfully towards peace in Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire and other West African countries.

“Ghana has been elected as a member of the UN Security Council. We are working closely with the Non Aligned Movement and we have good relationship with the G-8 countries,” he said.

The Lord Luce of the Chatham House, who chaired the function, praised the leaders of Ghana for the efforts they were making to provide good governance for the citizenry.

He also commended the country for her role in international affairs.

Lord Luce said the occasion was timely and historic and hoped that fruitful results would come out of it.

Story by Nehemia Owusu Achiaw

& Nana Sifa Twum

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