Senior Minister holds consultations with CSOs on ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’

Accra- Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, Senior Minister, has held consultations with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as part of efforts to broaden discussions on the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ charter document for effective implementation.

The consultations will enable the CSOs appreciate the details of the document while they make inputs to reflect the aspirations of the various civil organizations in the country.

In a presentation on the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ charter document on Friday at the Alisa Hotel, Accra, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, observed the need for Ghanaians to take control of their resources and harness them for national development saying, that could be done when citizens worked with a healthy mindset that was geared towards advancing the interest of the nation instead of individual aspirations.

What Ghana needs is progress that would last forever, and that progress depends on our character, our minds, and how we do things, the Senior Minister educated.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after the programme, Mr. Osafo-Maafo said, God has blessed Ghana with a good land which supports everything we do. We have arable lands and numerous mineral resources, but we are not progressing as we should. So why are we not prospering when those who don’t have what we have are prospering. It depends of how we work and how we treat government.

In that regard, the Senior Minister informed that Ghana belonged to every Ghanaian and therefore the need to put in measures that would make the nation progress. In this case, it means everybody should do his part as is expected, particularly in the area of taxation, he said.

Mr. Nicholas Ekow De-Heer, Head of Programmes, Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), in his submission, insisted that what had largely caused Ghana not to fully achieve her potentials was the issue of policy discontinuity.

So where as we want to advance in a certain direction, after another era, we have a different policy direction, and that is not helpful, he observed.

Mr. De-Heer, therefore, insisted that the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) should be fully involved in the planning and implementation of the Charter document in order for NDPC to supervise the continuity of the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda beyond the current government.

During an open forum, some participants saw the need to include technocrats in the proposed Governing Council of the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ Forum, and the need to involve opposition parties in the planning stages of the charter so that the document would become more nationalistic.

Others observed that, for such a document to work effectively, there was the need for an effective law enforcement regime in Ghana to remove all forms of crime and corruption that could fight against its implementation.

Some participants observed that ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ also means the need to use local experts in the building of Ghana’s infrastructure which would make Ghanaians be in control of designing the kind of infrastructure that suites local needs instead of allowing foreigners to do so.

Others said the need to change the Ghanaian mindset should be a collective responsibility that ensured that both citizenry and government officials renewed their minds in terms of pursuing agenda that would serve the interest of the nation.

Some of the participants said the Ghana Beyond Aid’ should trickle down to ‘Communities Beyond Aid’ as a means of helping local communities to look for ways of pursing development with local resources instead of waiting for central governments to do so.

Prior to meeting the CSOs, the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ committee met the Council of State and Ghana’s Development Partners. The committee is scheduled to meet the National House of Chiefs, the Press and other institutions such as the Parliament of Ghana before the document would be finalized.

Source: Ghana News Agency