Last week, prior to the Easter break, a though-provoking seminar titled: “Ghana beyond Aid; from Vision to Action” was held in Accra with various speakers giving their interpretation of the slogan.
The event was organised by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) and its Executive Director, Professor Kwasi Prempeh, believes should the country attain the feat, it would be the truest expression of the country’s independence.
In fact, ever since the country attain lower middle-income level status, aid from development partners has dwindled since we are not considered a poor country anymore, and it is meet that we start considering a future where we take full control of our destiny, be it politically or economically.
This requires a change of mindset, which entails that internal revenue generating mechanisms need to be strengthened and the country’s exports which are usually in its raw state needs value addition in terms of processing to fetch better prices on the international market.
Revenue leakages that has been a bane of our development these past 61 years needs to be sealed, once and for ever. Ghana beyond Aid requires a new kind of citizen – a citizen as a taxpayer, a citizen as a stakeholder in national affairs and a citizen that is alive to his/her responsibilities.
The President used ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ as the theme for this year’s independence anniversary, with the purpose of pointing out that as an independent nation, it is high time we take hold of our destiny in no uncertain terms.
Aid usually comes with strings attached and sometimes it reduces the recipient to a pliant ‘beggar’ whose dignity is erased and that is not an acceptable legacy to bequeath to our children.
So it is important that we prepare our minds to look within for the solution to the myriad problems that confronts the nation. Assistance has always been given to states for different reasons but we feel this dependency syndrome will not enable the country to realise its true potential.
It may temporarily mitigate financial constraints of a struggling nation but cannot be the panacea to our development challenges. Once we confront this challenge with all focus it deserves we shall surely find a pathway to realise our dreams. The adage says once there is a will, then there is a way!