The thinking and policy of the present administration to move this country beyond aid is one that is cherished by stakeholders in the area of development and economic transformation. This initiative if properly executed will help the country and its citizens move from the cob-web of aid without considerable impact that happen frequently. The policy direction to arrive at such a destination should be strict and must necessarily be adhered to if the goals set in such an object must be achieved.
Emerging economies mostly referred to as Middle Income Countries including ours must have clearly spelt out economic, political, managerial, financial, agricultural and other policies that must ensure endogenous development without necessarily depending on external support. Such a development path must aggressively be pursued by the individuals entrusted with the development issues of the state including politicians, civil servants, economists, accountants, lawyers, pastors and technocrats alike. A Ghana without aid is necessary but will require stringent measures to achieve such a dream. It will hinge on the following key areas:
- Industrialisation: Any sovereign state that envisions to move beyond aid must pursue modern-based industrial policies in its agricultural, mining, financial, service, infrastructural sectors. The industrialisation agenda will be effective and help achieve financial sustenance through the establishment of factories to convert raw materials into finished, semi-finished goods for local consumption and subsequently for export. Industrialising an economy is a necessity to achieve a constant flow of revenue for economic transformation and development. The establishment of factories and their proper utilisation will create jobs and help add value to the export commodities of the country which will help ease the impact and the pressures of imports on the exchange rate. In fact, industrialisation has been a policy cherished by governments in the past including that of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in the 1960s. To move beyond aid industrialising this economy is necessary and appropriate.
- Market Integration: The creation of economic blocs or preferably economic alliance is a key pillar that has the inclination to help a country move beyond aid. The states in Africa and West Africa will better help their economies shift from aid-dependent activities to the utilisation of local resources to develop internally without external support. This will require the making of policies that ensure the use of home-grown market development programmes for the countries.
The development of markets for the agricultural produce, mineral and some natural resources must be initiated. The heads of states need to scan through their consumption patterns in order to develop markets for inter-state usage of endogenous raw materials as inputs in their production and manufacturing processes. Markets are critically needed to trigger a Ghana and Africa beyond Aid. Economic blocs that will broaden the bargaining abilities of these states at international markets of commodities, mineral resources(oil,gas,gold,diamond, bauxite etc) must be brought into the discussion. This creates monopoly for developing a strong bargaining abilities internationally.
- Competitive Advantage: The call for a policy direction for a Ghana beyond Aid won’t and cannot practically be achieved without utilising the competitive advantage of the country. The competitive advantage of every economy or country is the area it has efficiency in its service, manufacturing, production and agricultural sectors. The competitive advantage of every state is identified using rigorous analysis either internally or externally. The constant trading of commodities in their natural (raw ) form at the international markets by states has been considered antediluvian, without economic vision and with limited potency to generate enough revenue to execute the fiscal programmes of governments. A Ghana without aid will definitely require the government and its technocrats to think outside of the box and help identify the competitive advantage in order to utilise its resources efficiently to the maximum. The state needs to carry out a feasibility studies to practically identify the competitive advantage. International trade is not enough to generate cash for the economy.
- Partnership: A cooperation between and among development partners that do not necessarily engage in aid is highly required. The development of modern economies is mostly hinged on partnership between states and corporate institutions that eventually creates a synergy. This partnership may take the form of finance, man power (Human resource), technology transfer and infrastructure. Technological transformation and transfer within the economy has positive impact on creating efficiency. In fact, allocative efficiency is never achieved in the public sector or state institutions. The eternal synergy that will be achieved is considerable if there could be a strong partnership between the state and partners that are development oriented.
- Finance Markets: All economies that do not rely on aid have developed strong financial markets where local corporations could access their funding for projects to ensure development of projects locally. Both capital and money markets with the emergence of alternative markets are key in the development of every economy. A Ghana without aid will necessarily and definitely demand the strong development of these markets. Currently, the Ghana stock exchange is still emerging and has not reached an efficient peak where several millions or billions of Ghana cedis can be borrowed. A Ghana without aid needs to be properly planned with recourse to financing of government and private sector projects. The financial sector must be streamlined to create more capacity to absorb the debt financing needs of both local and foreign corporations. The financial market must be attractive to foreign investors such that their investments will make available funds for borrowing or for debt purposes.
The thrust of the orientation to industrialise the economy to ensure a country without aid is in the right direction without prejudice. However, such a policy will have many obstructions. Such hindrances must not be allowed to deter the pursuance of it.
The attainment of the goals of a Ghana beyond aid will also depend on fighting the canker of corruption, inefficient allocation of resources, embezzlement of funds and loopholes in the collection and management of revenue among others. The menace of corruption in Ghana is a nemesis that has militated against development for several decades. Allocative inefficiencies in public institutions will not permit achieving the objectives contained in the agenda of Ghana beyond aid.
A Ghana beyond aid requires efficiency in the collection of taxes, efficiency in allocating resources, modernising the lifestyles of citizens in executing their paid-job duties, changing our expenditure pattern and reducing deficits drastically, maximising the use of resources and increasing the fortunes of the state through the use of technology.