Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday inaugurated a 13-member committee to develop a Charter for the ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ vision of his administration.
The Committee had been given a deadline of September 2018 to present to Parliament, a roadmap for the achievement of the vision that seeks to harness and prudently manage the country’s vast natural resource to finance Ghana’s development agenda without recourse to foreign assistance.
The document is expected, after approval by the legislature, to become the policy document to guide the actions of government as well as those of the various stakeholders in the country.
The Committee, chaired by Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo, includes Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, Labour and Employment Minister Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Planning Minister Prof. Djan Baffour and the Local Government Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama.
Others are Dr Anthony Yaw Baah and Mrs Philomena Sampson, both of the Trades Union Congress, Mr David Ofori Acheampong of the Ghana National Association of Teachers, and Messrs Kwaku Agyeman-Duah and Nana Osei Bonsu of the Private Enterprise Federation.
The rest are Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi of the Association of Ghana Industries, Dr Eric Yeboah of the office of the Senior Minister and Dr Yaw Ansu, a senior policy adviser at the Finance Ministry.
At a short ceremony at the Jubilee House in Accra, President Akufo-Addo said it could not be right that 60 years after Ghana’s independence, the country was still dependent on external assistance with its extraordinary natural and human resources.
He said that the country had been dependent on aid largely because “we have not been able to develop our economy to the extent that allows us to do things for ourselves,” adding, “by now, we should be in position to fund activities for reasons that is obvious, then, we will have control over our own destiny.”
He continued, “We will then decide for ourselves what things are priorities for us and go ahead and address them and not have to be at the receiving end of other people’s instructions….I think the time has come for us to realise that potential; to make a conscious effort together as a people to get there.”
The President was unhappy that the country did not have control over most of its critical economic elements, saying, “The situation where foreign entities dominated the important sectors of Ghana’s economy “cannot be right” and ought to change.
He, therefore, stressed the need for a paradigm shift, and charged the members of the Committee to live up to the expectation of Ghanaians that its, work would bring dignity and pride to the country and enable the nation “walk on our own feet”.
He further entreated the Committee to craft the Charter in such a way that all the estates of Ghana, would find resonance with the final outcome to enable the document to become a mobilising instrument to develop Ghana.
Mr Osafo-Maafo thanked the government and people for the confidence reposed in them and assured that the Committee would work to the best of its ability.