What does the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda mean and is it Possible?
What is the meaning of the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda? Is the policy suggested in the speech by Ofori possible? What is the feasibility to achieve it in line with Ghana’s Vision 2020?
The Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda means self-sufficiency as is encompassed in the concept of Ghana relying on its own resources and abilities to promote independence and reducing international dependence. Ghana, just like most African countries, is rich in excess human natural resources.
One of the key features of The Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda is that it suggests prudent and strategic management of Ghana’s Natural resources, in a way that will allow Ghana’s development agenda to be achieved without any external assistance.
This meaning will become a reality when the 4 Main Components of the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda are achieved.
Before we proceed, read this post by BK Kwesi about How do we stop our African identity like the Ashanti Culture to be lost in the west?
Ghana’s President, Akufo-Addo disregards Foreign Aid – Ghana does not NEED AID to develop
Ghana Beyond Aid: Akufo-Addo Inaugurates 13-member committee to develop a Charter
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday inaugurated a 13-member committee to develop a Charter for the ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ vision of his administration.
The Committee, chaired by Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo, includes Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, Labour and Employment Minister Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Planning Minister Prof. Djan Baffour and the Local Government Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama. Mr Osafo-Maafo thanked the government and people for the confidence reposed in them and assured that the Committee would work to the best of its ability.
The Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda was presented by Ghana’s current President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and has brought about both criticism and praise as well as debate on its feasibility and the possibility of achieving self-sufficiency within the planned time-frame.
History of the birth of Development and Foreign Aid in Ghana
Ghana was the 9th African country to get independence in 1954. 61 years later it is still heavily dependent on foreign Aid from developing partners.
Ghana’s independence in the 50’s came with several challenges such as lack of Infrastructure and Skilled Labour. For accelerated development, Ghana relied on aid and assistance from other developing countries to fund their basic needs.
There was pressure for developed countries to accelerate post-colonial growth and development. As a result, development aid was born in form of grants, loans, partnership projects and general technical assistance.
Development Aid in Ghana was sought after, in spite of Ghana having great natural resources such as Cocoa, Gold, Timber, Oil and Gas, Bauxite and manganese, among much more.
What is the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda all about?
Ghana’s current President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, got into office on January 7, 2017. He has a speech that led to the birth of the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda. The Agenda suggests prudent and strategic management of Ghana’s Natural resources in a way that will allow the development agenda to be achieved without any external assistance.
“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.”
4 Main Components of the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda:
- Industrialisation – Ghana Beyond Aid
- Agriculture – Ghana Beyond Aid
- Reducing corruption – Ghana Beyond Aid
- Education – Ghana Beyond Aid
Ghana’s Government has a project called the One District, One Factory project. Industrialisation will support the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda by distributing the process of development across Ghana.
This is expected to add value to Ghana’s Natural Resources and move from a ‘production and export’ economy to a value-adding industrialised economy.
In that regard, Ghana’s Cocoa, timber, gold, bauxite, diamond and manganese will have to be refined and value added before exportation by which more jobs would be created.
The ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ initiative was launched last year by Ghana’s Government. The main goal was to reduce food imports and increase local food production to boost the country’s food sufficiency. This will, in turn, create more jobs for the youth. According to Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who is the Minister for Food and Agriculture, the project has already led to increased production.
Another initiative called the One Village, One Dam Policy was set up. This specifically targets the northern part of the country, which has a consistent and stretched rain season. The goal of the One Village, One Dam Policy is to create a bread basket out of the Northern parts on Ghana that are highly fertile. This feasibility of this was inspired by the Sahel regions of West Africa. They have the same conditions like northern Ghana and export fruits and vegetables to Ghana from irrigated farms.
3. Reducing corruption:
Corruption is one of the greatest obstacles to development in Ghana and other African countries. The Government of Ghana plans to track, reduce and hopefully stop corruption by digitally transform Ghana.
This will include the issuance of national ID cards, digital property addressing system, digitisation of drivers license and vehicle registration, digitisation of business registration and the introduction paperless port operations.
A special Prosecutor has been appointed which is a sign that Ghana’s Government is both prepared and serious about the war on corruption.
An educated workforce is another significant component of the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda. The Government administration is planning to implement Free Senior High School.
This means that, with increased access to education, Ghana will have an increased and educated workforce in the next several years. This will reduce the cost of importing human resource which has been the case since independence.
A lot of resources can be saved while creating opportunities for employment for youth which has also been a hindrance to the process of development. With more youth employed, there will be lesser crime and security will subsequently increase. As a result, other industries like business and tourism will be automatically boosted.
5 Main points African countries, including Ghana, should learn from the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda:
- The whole agenda listed above has always been there. The only thing that can make a difference is implementation.
- Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda is possible but will not be as effective as when it is done as a joint agenda with other African countries.
- Time is of the essence. For the greatest impact, The Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda must be implemented within the shortest time possible.
- The successful implementation of the whole agenda will be a benchmark for other countries and can spark a ripple of development.
- Change is reversible. Laws must be set out to protect the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda, lets another leader/president undoes/stops it.
Is the Feasibility of the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda in line with Ghana’s Vision 2020?
Ghana’s Vision 2020, which can be downloaded in pdf version here, aims and objectives of this vision is to ensure Ghana’s future development. This vision emphasises the access and quality of education, economic growth and infrastructure development among others.
In 1995, the NDC administration launched the Vision 2020 document that was put together by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) as Ghana’s blueprint for sustainable socio-economic development.
The Vision 2020 which was presented to parliament by President Jerry John Rawlings recognized two extremely important facts:
- The only means by which the country’s resources can be used efficiently to achieve rapid economic growth while maintaining the integrity of the environment hinges on the integration of Science and Technology in the various programmes.
- Decentralization of Ghana’s public administration system to the district level will make it possible for Districts to take responsibility for their development programmes and resources in line with the Vision 2020 programme. The Vision 2020 document envisaged the use of science and technology to rapidly address Ghana’s development to improve the quality of life for all, at the same time maintaining the integrity of the environment. This is this country’s current priority in development.
Both the government and the people are positive of a huge possibility of success. This is because great efforts already put down and action towards the achievement of the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda has already begun.
Efforts to actualise the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda can be seen in a recent conference based on Moving beyond aid. It was a revenue mobilization drive by the G20. This happened in Accra in the month of April 2018.
The 2 day Conference was put together by the Africa Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) in partnership with Ghana’s Ministry of Finance alongside the International Monetary Fund on domestic revenue mobilization as a pillar in moving Ghana beyond aid.
This conference brought together high ranking government personnel, representatives of revenue agencies from eight different countries in the sub-region namely, Benin, Cote D’ Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Rwanda, Senegal, and Tunisia as well as Development Partners, experts and representatives of the Civil Society.
The conference gave a common space for information sharing as well as peer-to-peer learning on revenue mobilization. This also included ways to overcome dependence on aid, ease financing constraints and enhance growth prospects, which are all key players in the achievement of prosperity without jeopardizing debt sustainability.
However, most noteworthy is the interest and participation of the people. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has managed to rally the people of Ghana behind this vision. We can only wait and see a Ghana beyond aid, 61 one years after Independence.
UK Minister Harriett Baldwin visits Ghana in support of Ghana’s Beyond Aid Vision
No country will defeat poverty and leave aid dependency behind without sustainable economic process, jobs, trade and investment. As a part of their vision to manoeuvre beyond aid, the Govt. Ghana has welcomed the United Kingdom’s support which can possibly trigger long-term economic growth. This is turn will enable Ghana to supply very important services for their own people and become a key future business partner with the United Kingdom.
Minister for Africa at the Foreign & Commonwealth workplace and the Department for International Development Harriett Baldwin has declared a serious new-job-creation and investment programme. This was during a visit to Ghana on 28 August 2018. The UK’s £20 million Jobs and Economic Transformation (JET) Programme is expected to facilitate over 15,000 jobs for Ghanaians and is predicted to give £50 million of extra private sector investment.
Minister Harriett Baldwin additionally declared this during a 3-day UK-Ghana Investment Summit which was held in Accra, Ghana this October. Over fifty British corporations and major investors explored new business opportunities in sectors like monetary and legal services, agriculture, producing and prescription drugs. The United Kingdom is already Ghana’s second largest commerce partner. This Summit hopes to open additional opportunities between the two countries.
During this visit, Minister Harriett Baldwin met Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Shirley Botchway. They discussed United Kingdom’s continued support for the President’s ambition to move Ghana Beyond Aid as well as build a contemporary partnership between Ghana and the United Kingdom.
Minister Harriett Baldwin additionally met Minister for Trade and business Alan Kyerematen to debate diversification and industrial enterprise within the economy and the way the united kingdom and Ghana will best work together to deliver prosperity and long-run growth for each country.
Criticism of Ghana Beyond Aid from Citizens and Government Officials:
The Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has met it’s fair share of criticism from citizens as well as Government officials, from continued Aid despite the launch of the program calls to focus on more pressing issues. On a series of articles posted in detail on Daily Guide Africa, My Joy Online and City FM Online by Nyamewaa, GNA, Marian Ansah, Bismark Awusah among others.
Ghana Beyond Aid: Experts warn against over-reliance on natural resources
Some experts have warned the government against over-reliance on the country’s natural resources as part of its commitment to move the country beyond aid.
The warning comes as the latest World Bank report reveals that environmental degradation is costing the country more than 12% of its GDP.
Resident Country Representative of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Burkhardt Hellemann has, therefore, urged the government to support other sectors of the economy to harness its much-touted agenda.
“I think, yes, natural resources can play an additional part in moving or developing Ghana beyond aid it gives as well some resources to the country in order to improve the business situation,” he said.
How about Ghana beyond filth- Madina Zongo Junction Accra
It has been one year and three months since President Akufo-Addo’s awe-inspiring inaugural speech and my faith in him is flickering at best and extinguished at worst. Here is why: In 2017 he established a Sanitation Ministry, promised to spend 200 million Ghana cedis to clean Ghana and then announced that he was going to make Accra the cleanest city on the continent.
I didn’t consider the Sanitation Ministry a useful creation, but I yielded, believing it may be what the government needs to finally free us from the filth drowning us across the country. But a year after that declaration, Accra is still submerged under piles of rubbish and I don’t see a coherent way forward.
To think that donor agency recently paid for adverts in newspapers urging Ghanaians not to practice open defecation! (A 2012 United Word Bank report revealed that 19 percent of Ghanaians practice open defecation)
Donor partners confused over ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ mantra – Bagbin
Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, has warned that President Akufo-Addo’s newfound mantra – Ghana Beyond Aid, is a dangerous rhetoric that could retard progress.
“He was my very good friend in Parliament, but I completely disagree with him because the development partners are completely confused as to what we mean by that.”
Mr. Bagbin, who was speaking to the media after a radio programme in Accra, said the propaganda that had become the personal gospel of the President has jolted the country’s donors into confusion that could possibly lead to an abrupt disengagement of badly needed help.
“Due to the confusion within donor circles, people have become expectant of an unavailable blueprint from the NPP government in respect of the rhetoric.”
Ghana Beyond Aid: Amissah-Arthur’s critique ‘dishonest’ – Casely-Hayford
Financial Analyst, Sydney Casely Hayford has strongly criticized former Vice President, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur for describing government’s ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda as a mere rhetoric.
The former Vice President had indicated that the government’s Ghana Beyond Aid mantra raises questions about what it wants to specifically achieve, given that adequate information had not yet been provided.
“I’m comfortable if ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ is saying we will only borrow for capital investment and not the current obligation. But the problem has not been defined for me to understand it. It is just the rhetoric. It sounds nice, but what goes into it?
People will support it, if they understand what the objective is. As at now, everybody is left to define it how he understands it, and then to decide to support it or to oppose it,” Mr. Amissah Arthur had suggested.
If you don’t want ‘Aid’, reject Microsoft’s donation – Amissah-Arthur
Former Vice President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, has suggested that the government rejects Microsoft’s assistance to a Ghanaian pupil teacher who recently went viral on social media for drawing the entire Microsoft Word window on a blackboard for his students because there was no computer for him to demonstrate to them.
According to Amissah-Arthur, the government must learn to weigh various forms of assistance and intervention, and reject those that are “too small that we are able to do ourselves.”
Speaking in a Citi News interview, the economist and former Bank of Ghana Governor indicated that the New Patriotic Party government’s ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda is ambiguous and fails to indicate what exactly it means for the country’s development.
“Ghana Beyond Aid, but we are accepting a Microsoft computer…. So when is aid not aid?” he quizzed.
Ghana Beyond Aid: ‘We won’t say no to gifts’ – Oppong Nkrumah
The government has clarified that its ‘Ghana Beyond Aid agenda is not intended to reject support from donors, but rather depend on local resources for the execution of its planned programs.
A Deputy Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who made the statement on the Eyewitness News on Thursday said the government had outlined major policy pillars to drive the agenda by ensuring that enough resources were generated locally to enable the government carry out all its major developmental programs.
He said the government among other things was working to ensure value for money in all its spending in order to save money that could be invested in its developmental projects.
He added that other investments such as human capital and revenue mobilization through taxes were part of the pillars the government was using to drive the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda.
US Determined To Help Akufo-Addo Achieve Ghana Beyond Aid – USAID Boss
Mark Green, USAID Boss: The administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Ambassador Mark Green, says the US government is prepared to work with the government to achieve its ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda.
President Akufo-Addo has made this agenda a priority by focusing on using the country’s extensive natural resources as a bridge to financial independence.
This has seen him set up a Ghana Beyond Aid Committee chaired by the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo, which has drawn up a charter to manage the process towards the attainment of the vision.
Speaking exclusively to Citi News, Ambassador Green, who is in Ghana as part of US First Lady, Melania Trump’s visit to Ghana, said the US is excited about the vision.
“When we heard President Akufo-Addo speak on Ghana beyond aid, I immediately thought we are singing the same song and we are approaching things in the same way. During this trip, we have met the Vice President and also the Ghana beyond aid committee to talk about ways we can help to make this happen.”
Article by Research Gate – Africa’s Development beyond Aid: Getting Out of the Box
This article by Research Gate – Africa’s Development beyond Aid: Getting Out of the Box argues that Africa’s development rests not on aid, but on three key pillars: knowledge, entrepreneurship, and governance. Africa needs to think outside of the box when establishing these pillars. However, to make these three levers work, a change in mindset is a prerequisite. Africa has to start dreaming big dreams that empower it to see long-term.
Africa must restructure societies so that networks beyond closed ethnic networks are more prominent. The larger social capital that will result will build a foundation for development.
Africa also needs to incorporate new actors in its development agenda, including faith-based organizations, the diaspora, and the business class; and it must encourage immigrant entrepreneurs, especially Asians, to come in as chase rabbits.
Better governance will come from the transformation of people from subjects to citizens. For success in international trade, Africa needs to learn the lessons of the Savannah, where the effective pack is the king. (PDF) Africa’s Development beyond Aid: Getting Out of the Box.
Kofi Annan founded ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ – Akufo-Addo
According to Ghana Web: President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has credited Late former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, with his “Ghana Beyond Aid” mantra, saying the latter founded that vision for both the nation and the African continent.
He stressed: “Kofi Annan was an ardent believer and the capacity of the Ghanaian and African to chart his/her own course onto the path of progress and prosperity.”
In a tribute read by the Ghanaian leader during the final funeral rites of the late former UN Boss and the International diplomat, President Akufo-Addo said: “He gave me sensitive, deeply appreciated advice when I became the President of the Republic”
Where can I download the Ghana Beyond Aid PDF document?
Download the Ghana Beyond Aid Pdf here: Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning – MOVING BEYOND AID—REVENUE MOBILIZATION G20 Compact with Africa. This was the result of a conference jointly organized by the Government of Ghana, the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), and the IMF April 4-5, 2018, Accra, Ghana.
Alternative Download Link: The Open University – GHANA BEYOND AID: CALLING ON THE DIASPORA DR FREDA OWUSU & PROFESSOR NICOLA YEATES
5 Ghana Beyond Aid Articles for Academic Research and Further Reading:
- Mohan, Giles (2002). The disappointments of civil society: the politics of NGO intervention in northern Ghana. Political Geography, 21(1) pp. 125–154.
- Yarrow, T. (2011) ‘Development beyond politics : aid activism, and NGOs in Ghana.’, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Non-governmental public action.
- “Seizing Opportunity from Crisis: Making Multilateralism Work” Robert B. Zoellick President The World Bank Group Thomson Reuters Building, Canary Wharf, London March 31, 2009
- Porter, G. (2003) ‘NGOs and poverty reduction in a globalizing world : perspectives from Ghana.’, Progress in development studies., 3 (2). pp. 131-145.