President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has thrown a challenge to policymakers on the African continent to reduce their dependence on aid from the west.
He maintains the reliance on foreign aid is derailing socio-economic development in Africa.
He is therefore asking policymakers to brace themselves for the challenge and develop policies that will make this possible in the shortest time for Africa to prosper.
While opening the 22nd Academy of African Business and Development (AABD) Conference, President Akufo-Addo said the “time to pursue a path of prosperity and self-respect for the African Continent is now.”
The 22nd AABD Conference, being hosted by the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), is under the theme: “Sustainable Development beyond Aid: The focus for Africa?” It will run till May 21, 2022.
The president has proposed a Ghana Beyond Aid vision, urging the creation of a Ghana that is beyond dependence on the charity of others to cater to the needs of its people but instead engages with other countries competitively through trade and investments and political cooperation for enhanced regional and global peace and security.
“I am by no means saying there is no longer a place for aid in Africa or that we should disregard what aid has done for us in the past. Neither am I saying that the more advanced countries should cease honouring their aid commitments to African countries; or that we should turn our back on investments from outside”, he said.
Africa has been and continues to be reliant on international aid for its development.
Though the volume of international aid received may be relatively small compared to its total annual expenditure, it represents a substantial part of the discretionary funds available to governments once statutory payments, wages, salaries, and debt repayments have been set aside.
This is what made researchers, business practitioners, consultants, community leaders, and policymakers submit full papers, abstracts, and special session proposals at the ongoing conference.
“It is time to create the future we want for our continent, and it is time to start building that future, inspired by the imperative to transform our economy from a raw material producing and exporting economies to value-adding industrial economies.”
“We seem to have missed out on many opportunities to make Africa the continent she deserves to be, rich and resilient. But it is not too late to right the wrongs, it is time to catch them now”, the President added.