President pledges to stop Ghana’s over reliance on foreign aid

New York, President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo- Addo has reiterated his determination to stop the over reliance on foreign partners to finance the country’s budget by ensuring that the citizens do so with from their own resources.

“So you will be hearing a great deal about the Ghana that I am seeking with your support that is a Ghana beyond aid. A Ghana that will free itself from a mindset of dependence, of charity, of aid and handouts. The Ghana that is going to mobilise its own resources to develop and confront its own problems,” he stated.

The President said this while addressing the Ghanaian community at a Town hall meeting at the New York University (NYU) in New York at the weekend.

This was on the side lines of United Nations High Level Oceans Conference that brought him to the US, for the first time since he became President.

Bubbling with confidence, the Ghanaian Leader maintained that “We are capable of doing it. We have the means to do it”.

Even though the country is grateful for the support of her benefactors, he pointed out that “frankly I don’t think that is the path Ghanaians should be committed to, that one will depend on others to be able to finance our budget, for others to set our priorities. We have to finance our own budget and set our priorities for ourselves”.

President Akufo Addo gave a picture of various efforts and strategies that his administration was using to make the Ghanaian economy a robust one, eliminate corruption and strengthen existing public institutions and to generate employment, especially for the youth.

“The matter of corruption in our society, in our public life cannot be ignored by any of us, if indeed we want to see a more prosperous future for the country, he noted.

Regarding the establishment of the Office of Special Prosecutor, the President said that it would be independent of the Executive, and shall be chosen in a transparent manner and also have security of tenure.

He disclosed that a bill to set up that Special Prosecutor’s office would be placed before Parliament before it rise and expressed the hope that it would be passed by the middle of July.

On the declaration of assets by public Office holders, he said Parliament would be asked to consider the possibility of making the assets public.

To forestall the abuse in the public procurement, he said that the issue of sole sourcing was being replaced by competitive bidding, to eliminate corruption.

To this end, he said a Minister of State has been assigned to ensure that there was transparency in the system.

He announced that a National Identification system that would cover all Ghanaians would be re-launched by the end of the year for purposes of planning and information.

Expressing total support for the on-going nationwide campaign against illegal mining (galamsey) that had resulted in polluting the country’s rivers and destroyed the environment, President Akufo Addo repeated that that cannot happen or continue to happen in the country.

He said that very soon those engaged in the galamsey would be made to fill the holes created and also to clean the countryside.

President Akufo-Addo said the government was not doing this because

we are against mining, after all the minerals have to be extracted, but what we are not going to allow is compromising the future of our country, drying up of our rivers, pollution of our atmosphere by illegal small scale mining. We are not going to allow that.

The moment the President mentioned Representation of the Peoples Amendment Law (ROPAL), it was greeted with shouts of acceptance but he quickly asked them to intensify their advocacy power to get the Electoral Commission to comply with the law that was passed more than eight years ago.

He said under the 1992 Constitution, it was only the EC that would make it happen.

He also invited the Ghanaian Diaspora to attend the Diaspora Summit scheduled for Accra in July 5 to 8 to map out how to mobilise and utilise their expertise and capital for the development of the country.

Welcoming the President and his entourage, Mrs Martha Pobee, Permanent Representative to the United Nations said the Mission and Consulate General in New York have active engagements with the Ghanaian Diaspora and recognised their dynamic and enterprising potentials for the development of Ghana.

Dr Cyballe Raver, Vice Provost, on behalf of the, NYU, said from research work, the outlook for Ghana was vibrant and exciting.

The Moderator for the event, Professor Yaw Nyarko, mentioned that the institution was really involved in Ghana.

He said the NYU has a campus at Labone in Accra, and had been providing technical support to farmers in Ghana.

He said a Member of the NYU faculty was helping with emergency medicine, apart from others giving technical advice to the Ghana Commodities Exchange Project team.

Before the event a minute’s silence was observed in memory of the late Major Maxwell Adams Mahama, who was cruelly murdered by some people of Denkyira Buase.

Source: Ghana News Agency