President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed optimism that African countries can thrive without having to depend on aid and assistance from the west.
According to the President, it is possible to “move Africa beyond aid” given the numerous natural resources the continent has at its disposal.
Speaking at an event organised by the Royal Africa Society, Facebook and the Ghana 60 Years on Committee, on the theme “Africa Beyond Aid” on Tuesday, November 21, 2017, President Akufo-Addo said that it was imperative for the countries on the continent like Ghana, to make the most of the “riches” they had been endowed with in order to gradually wean themselves off aid.
“We no longer want to offer the justification for those who want to be rude and abusive about Africa and her people. 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.
“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.”
Speaking at an earlier event, the President had spoken of the importance of moving African economies from ones dependent on the export of raw materials to industry-rich ones.
“We are on the path to creating wealth and improving the lives of our people. We’re determined to do that by transforming the structure of our economy. The neo-colonial economy, based on the production and export of raw materials, cannot form the basis of a new era of prosperity for our people,” he said.
The President reiterated this point on Tuesday, referencing Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, who despite producing most of the world’s cocoa output, receive less than 10% of the total windfall.
He attributed this largely to a failure to consolidate their influence over the commodity by processing it for export, and instead exporting it in its raw form.
“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.
Nana Addo added that, if “we, in Africa, must manage our resources well, to generate wealth for our populations.”