Akufo-Addo Makes Strong Case For Africa To Move Beyond Aid
Africa shall move beyond aid and its people would work to make the Continent prosperous and a dynamic member of the world community, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
Africa, he said, would get to where it deserves and would no longer be seen as a "default place to go find footage to illustrate famine stories."
President Akufo-Addo said this at an event organised by the Royal Africa Society, Facebook and the Ghana 60 Years On committee, on the theme; 'Africa Beyond Aid,' on Tuesday as part of activities marking his three-day visit to the United Kingdom.
He said: 'We no longer want to offer the justification for those who want to be rude and abusive about Africa and her peoples."
"It is time to build our economies that are not dependent on charity and hand outs… We have learnt from long and bitter experiences that no matter how generous the charity, we would and, indeed, we have remained poor,' he said.
President Akufo-Addo was pained that despite Africa accounting for nearly 30 per cent of the world's remaining resources, having the world's second fastest economic growth rates, and being the world's fastest-growing region for foreign direct investment, the masses of the African peoples remained poor.
With Ghana endowed with natural resources, the President said: 'We can, and we should be able to build a Ghana, which looks to the use of her own resources and their proper management as the way to engineer social and economic growth in our country.'
Making reference to the cocoa industry, he noted that Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, who produced 65 per cent of the world's cocoa, made less than six billion dollars from a cocoa industry that is 'a 100 billion-dollar industry.'
'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 as we would double our earnings from gold, if we sold it refined, than in its raw state. We are determined to process these products,' he said.
The President said it was time African nations put value on their resources by processing them, adding; "It is time that we, in Africa, manage our resources well, to generate wealth for our populations.'
President Akufo-Addo stated that the countries that had made rapid economic strides over the past 20 years had been the ones that had encouraged high levels of investment in entrepreneur development.
He said they were the ones that had promoted and developed a culture of accountable governance free of corruption, and where institutions of state saw themselves as independent public entities serving the wider public interest and not the temporary conveniences of the governments of the day.
'We have a responsibility to make our countries attractive to our young generation. They should feel they have a worthwhile future, if they stay and build their nations. We should be, and are shamed by the desperation that drives a young person to attempt to cross the Sahara on foot, and the Mediterranean Sea in rickety boats, in the hope of finding a better future in Europe,' he added.
'We are not disclaiming aid, but we do want to discard a mind-set of dependency and living on handouts; it is unhealthy both for the giver and for the receiver.