Africa Beyond Aid is achievable – President Akufo-Addo

Africa

By
Ken Sackey, GNA

Accra, Nov. 7, GNA –
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the quest of Africa to
completely wean itself of foreign support, transform its economies and become
self-sufficient was achievable.

He said looking at
the vast resources that the continent was endowed with there was the need for
Africans to change their attitude and mindset of dependence on overseas
assistance, and leverage on those resources, via proper management, for its
growth and rapid development.

The President was
contributing to a panel discussion at the maiden high level Dialogue with
African achievers held in Accra on Thursday, on the theme: “Africa’s Money for
Africa’s Development: A Future beyond Aid.”

He insisted that it
would be unrealistic for African nations to continue to depend on aid when the
continent had the wherewithal to move itself to the level of the developed
world.

President Akufo-Addo
was emphatic that an Africa Beyond Aid was achievable, but this demanded that
the Continent prioritised its needs, protected its interest and looked at ways
to optimise the use of its resources and human capital to drive development.

He pointed out that
an Africa beyond Aid meant a continent using its resources to stand on its feet
and not hostile to foreign investment.

“We need to ask
ourselves what our priority is. Are we protecting our interest? What are we
doing for the mutual benefit of the continent? That is my understanding of
building an Africa Beyond Aid and the future of our continent,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo
told the gathering that the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade
Area (AfCFTA), which would make the continent the world’s largest free trade
area, was the game-changer in moving Africa to a situation beyond aid, as the
development would boost its integration drive and development.

He called on African
states to pursue value-addition in the exploitation of its resources, instead
of becoming raw-material exporting economies.

“We cannot be doing
the same things and expect different results. We need to create an enabling
environment for the private sector. It is Africa’s time and we need to chart
our own course.”

The President
further called on Africans to desist from aiding foreigners to plunder the
continents resources.

He said it was not
acceptable for Africans to allow foreign persons who, under the guise of
investing in the Africa, “steal from us.”

“People come to do
business with us and they steal from us but we help them to steal. These people
have nothing to lose in the end but we have everything to lose if we continue
to assist them to loot our resources,” he said, urging Africans to seek their
interest above any other consideration.

The Presidential
Dialogue was organised by the United Nations Development Programme and hosted
by President Akufo-Addo.

It was to enable
participants, drawn from 45 African nations, to explore how the continent can
use its own resources, creativity and innovation to effectively finance its
development.

GNA

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