During the 2-day African CEO forum in Geneva, Ghanaian president, Akufo-addo pleaded with fellow African leaders to say no to foreign aid and embrace intra-African trade.
The president says that better than the aid, is building up a strong trade network within Africa. He has no iota of doubt that seeking internal ways of improving the economy is a much more better plan than what seems to be a perpetual dependence on developed countries.
On a serious note, the foreign aid most times are mismanaged and embezzled.
Akufo-Addo solicited for a self-sustaining economic growth. Logically, countries profit more if they produce most commodities that they need. With Africa, intra-African trade will help the continent attain a self-sufficient economic path.
“To construct a better path for the nation… Even more importantly is for us to position our nation’s economies on path of self-sustaining growth,”
The trending nationalism and protectionism in several western countries is a pointer that it is just about time Africa took economic independence seriously.
Akufo-Addo says individual African countries can start by first organizing both their human and material resources; and putting them into good use.
On the pursuit of self-sufficiency, it will be recalled that during the reign of former President Mahama, the Ghanaian government placed a ban on importation of goods from Nigeria and other countries.
President Nana Akufo-Addo will however not be the first one to suggest the boycott of foreign aid. It has been preached over and over but Africa seems to lack the will to take the bull by the horn.
The truth is that many struggling African countries may find it difficult to shun aid from the western world.
While he advocates Africa’s independence from foreign aid, he also did not forget to appreciate the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for supporting Africa’s development through key trade partnerships.
As it concerns Ghana, the West African leader mentioned the several challenges faced by the nation’s private sector- poor access to credit, high-interest rates, power supply and unfavorable business climate.
Ghana’s economy suffered a drastic setback in 2014.
As a catalyst to winning the elections, Akufo-Addo assured the people that the task of improving the economy was his first and foremost priority.
In line to that mission, he said during the forum that his administration’s first budget includes measures that will address economic improvement. Some of these steps includes the abolition/reduction of taxes.
“We have taken off as much as GH¢1 billion in taxes out of the revenue net for business operations in Ghana, with the commitment of doing more.”
He also disclosed his intention of reviving Ghana’s agriculture to modern taste.
Going further on he endeared other African leaders to concentrate on job creation for the people and empower their respective nation’s agricultural sector.
Senegalese President Macky Sall who was also present at the debate in Geneva concurred with Akufo-Addo’s point on intra-African trade.