New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Sekondi Constituency, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, says it is wrong to interpret Nana Akufo-Addo’s vision of ‘Ghana beyond aid’ to mean an immediate end to donor support.
President Akufo-Addo gave life to the term ‘Ghana beyond aid’ in March this year, and together with his ministers, has repeated it at various platforms – almost becoming like his administration’s mantra.
Ghana beyond aid agenda is a bold move aimed at weaning the country off foreign aid through robust revenue mobilisation, fiscal discipline among other policy initiatives.
“We want to build a Ghana beyond aid; a Ghana which looks to the use of its own resources. We want to build an economy that is not dependent on charity and handouts, but an economy that will look at the proper management of its resources as the way to engineer social and economic growth in our country” Nana Akufo-Addo said when he held a roundtable meeting with some selected CEOs of leading African and international companies, on the sidelines of the 5th edition of the Africa CEO Forum, on Monday, March 20, 2017.
However, with no clearly defined benchmarks coupled with the continuous receipt of foreign support at various sectors of the economy months after the bold declaration, many have said the agenda is just another populist slogan by the NPP administration.
But commenting on the matter on current affairs programme, The Hard Truth on the Joy News channel on MultiTV, Wednesday, the Sekondi MP explains Ghana beyond aid is a vision that the current administration is working to attain.
“I have not heard the President say we do not need anybody’s support at this stage. What he is essentially saying is that we have been dependent for too long. It is about time that we start moving beyond that dependency status and be masters of our own destiny'” he said.
“It is a call to action and it is a call to all of us start re-orienting ourselves into believing and working towards the attainment of Ghana that is self-sufficient and not dependent on foreign donor support for our basic budgetary needs,” Mr Mercer said.
He adds: "What I hear him to be saying is that ‘we have been dependent for 60 years it is about time that we build the blocks to take us out of the dependency mode and that within a ten-year timeframe'”.
He acknowledges that the President will not achieve a Ghana beyond aid in his first term but he will firmly put in place structures for its attainment within a decade.