President Akufo-Addo has taken his campaign to create a Ghana beyond aid to Europe declaring he is determined to discard what he terms a mindset of dependency and living on handouts.
Speaking at an event hosted by the Royal African Society at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, he questioned how the UK and other donor countries spend their aid money on the continent.
The President spoke about how confident he is that Africans shall work to take Africa to where it deserves to be; as a prosperous and dynamic member of the world community.
“We need to, and we shall move Africa Beyond Aid,” he stressed adding Africa no longer wants to be the default place to go to find the footage to illustrate famine stories.
“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 handouts…We have learnt from long and bitter experience that, no matter how generous the charity, we would, and, indeed, we have remained poor,” he said.
Some panelists at the event
Describing Africa as a rich continent, and, currently, with the world’s second-fastest economic growth rates, the world's fastest-growing region for foreign direct investment, and in possession of nearly 30 percent of the earth's remaining mineral resources, the President bemoaned the fact that the masses of the African peoples remain poor.
With Ghana endowed with natural resources, the President stressed that “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 produce 65% of the world’s output of cocoa make less than $6 billion from a cocoa industry that is a $100 billion 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.
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The President stated that nations it is time that African countries were responsible for processing their own resources, adding that it is time that “we, in Africa, manage our resources well, to generate wealth for our populations.”
He said it is the responsibility of African leaders to make their countries attractive to the younger 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,” President continued.
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