“Ghana beyond aid” is the vision of Ghana’s President Nano-Akufo Addo, for a prosperous, competitive and economically independent country. While speaking at a conference in Dakar in February on how to finance education in Africa, he said that African countries have the means to self-finance their education budget. He cited former South Africa’s president Thabo Mbeki’s report on illicit financial outflow in Africa. According to the report, Africa loses more than USD 60 billion yearly due to illicit financial flow. This amount far outstrips all the aid received by the continent given any year.
Furthermore, while speaking at the UNDP high-level dialog in Accra, Ghana, the president extended his strategic vision of “Ghana beyond aid” to “Africa beyond aid”. According to him, aid would have solved Africa’s problems long ago if it was the solution to Africa’s developmental challenges.
What does Africa Beyond Aid mean?
Africa beyond aid will mean a prosperous competitive and economically independent Africa. In this vein, Africa will confidently engage with the rest of the world in trade and investments instead of looking for handouts. Furthermore, the mentality of aid dependency will have to be replaced with a ‘can do for self ‘ mentality.
In addition, Africa will need to embark on an economic sprint growing at a minimum of 7.5% yearly for the decades to come. This growth will have to be catalyzed by rapid agricultural and industrialization transformation. African will have to be self-sufficient in all its food needs by utilizing the 60% of the remaining agricultural land in the world to feed herself and even export to the rest of the world. Africa will have to process all its natural resources inside the continent to provide millions of jobs to her population. Factories and industrial parks will have to spring up in all African cities and towns.
It is time for an Africa Beyond Aid
Africa can completely transform itself in the next two decades if it strategizes now by following in the footsteps of “Ghana beyond aid” vision. The African development bank can play an important role by making sure that all the African countries have the same strategic plans regardless of government changes in any country. This will enable a continuity of the strategic plans to facilitate the achievement of this vision.