Economist, Kwame Pianim, has asked government to involve all relevant stakeholders such as the largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress, NDC, in discussions around the President’s Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda.
He indicated that ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ is a call for a paradigm shift through attitudinal and mindset change by all citizens on how to develop the country.
The Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda as espoused by President Akufo-Addo seeks to move the country beyond dependence on the charity of others to self-sufficiency through competitive trade and investments with other countries.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum on the theme, ‘COVID-19 and Our March Towards Ghana Beyond Aid: Turning Adversity Into Opportunity’, Mr. Pianim cautioned that without a collective ownership of the vision by Ghanaians, the agenda is likely to fail.
“My regret is that in the stakeholders call to put together this agenda, the second largest party was not made a part of it. That can be changed. As the Senior Minister who is one of the most consensus building people in charge of this, it gives me hope that, it would be changed. Without a Ghana Beyond Aid vision to drive our new trust for transformation, we may continue prisoners of our past dueling on poverty in the midst of abundance of wealth and the power of our ideas,” he said.
He further noted that the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda has serious implications on how the country manages its assets and prepares for the future, and called for support for the vision since it provides the current generation with a call towards building and securing economic independence for the country.
“It also had a cardinal bearing on the kind of legacies the current generation would leave behind as today’s leaders for the benefit of the future generation”, he said.
The Ghana Beyond Aid, which was launched in 2019 is a government initiative that seeks to harness the country’s resources and deploy them in a creative and effective manner for rapid economic and social transformation.
President Inaugurates “Ghana Beyond Aid” Charter Committee
In June 2018, President Akufo-Addo inaugurated the’Ghana Beyond Aid’ Charter Committee to give substance to the Ghana Beyond Aid concept.
Pursuant to this, the President said, the Committee “will set out a charter which will present the true meaning, purpose and also the calendar of implementation that will allow the country to reach her goal.”
The Committee, chaired by Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo was inaugurated on Wednesday, 13th June, 2018 at the seat of the presidency, Jubilee House.
Delivering his remarks, President Akufo-Addo stated that once the charter is developed, it “will be subjected to the scrutiny of Parliament, so that it becomes a policy document that will guide the actions of government, as well as the actions of the various stakeholders in our society.”
The members of Committee drawn from varying sectors of the governance structure also include the Minister for Finance, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta; Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, MP; Minister for Planning, Hon. Prof. Gyan Baffour, MP; and the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Hajia Alima Mahama, MP.
The rest are drawn from the Trades Union Congress, the Private Enterprise Foundation, the Ghana National Association of Teachers, as well as the Association of Ghana industries.
Notwithstanding this composition, the President charged the Committee to, in the course of their deliberations, co-opt other relevant stakeholders into the deliberations of the committee.
He said “It cannot be right that sixty years after Kwame Nkrumah hoisted the flag at the old polo grounds, the budgets of our country are still dependent on external assistance largely because we have not been able to develop our economy to an extent that we are unable fund things by ourselves.”
The President continued, “We should be in a position to fund our own activities, then, we will have control of ourselves.”
He stressed that “for the sake of dignity and pride, as a country, as a people, we need stand up for ourselves and say that we are looking up to ourselves. This is important for our self-esteem.”
President Akufo-Addo was hopeful that the charter will be drawn in such a way that all the estates and social groupings of Ghana will be able to find resonance from it, “and that it will become a mobilizing instrument to be able to develop Ghana.”