The Programme Supervisor of the Korea Institute for Development Studies (KDS), Professor Seung-Hun Chun, has discounted the western notion that aid is not effective in developing coun-tries because of corruption and the lack of good governance.
He was of the opinion that corruption and lack of good governance were not the intrinsic nature of developing countries, but that lack of education with the right mindset was the major challenge facing developing countries.
The KDS Programme Supervisor said the Korean example had provided the proof that development was attainable with the right education and the “can do spirit.”
Prof Chun was delivering a lecture on “National Tasks for Development Choice” at a High Level Partnership Programme for Economic Development Strategy for Ghanaian Chief Directors from various ministries, at the KDS located in the Kung Ki Province, a 30 minute drive south from Seoul, capital of the Republic of Korea.
Prof Chun, one of the architects of Korea’s development strategy, said aid was only meant to temporarily give relief to the recipient, and that it did not provide for long-term investment for sustainable development.
He said industrialisation was the surest way to development without which “we cannot achieve development”.
Prof Chun, who submitted personal reports on national development strategies to the governments of Ghana, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, was of the opinion that there had not been a “significant step” put forward for industrial development in Africa, though admitting that it was a real challenge.
He said the core of Korea’s national development strategy was put in making the best use of the people which was the only resource the country had.
Prof Chun said the Korean economy was turned around within the past four decades based on the three Jung Principles of Jung-sung (devotion), Jung-Hwak (accuracy) and Jung-jik (honesty).
He said the three Jungs had become the bedrock of the Korean educational system adding that countries like Tanzania, South Sudan and a number of Asian countries were benchmarking their educational system along the lines of the three Jung principles.
“Endowed with no resources, Korea realised the miracle by their sweat and endeavour under visionary leadership,” he added.
He said Korea had grown to become a leading player of the world in steel, automobile, Information and Communications Technology, shipbuilding and petrochemical industries, and became a global partner country of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development and G-20, adding that Korea had benefited from “benevolent dictatorship”.
He urged Ghanaian technocrats to provide leadership to inspire people to achieve socio-economic development, noting that Ghana’s natural resources and the favourable environment were conducive for rapid development.
Prof Chun mentioned export drive, motivating people to work, industrial development, and skills upgrading as the drivers of economic development.
Tracing the economic indicators between Ghana and Korea, Prof Chun said in the early 1960’s Ghana’s per Capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 190 dollars and that of Korea was 91 dollars.
He added that Ghana’s export was 343 million dollars and import 431 million dollars with a trade balance of 88 million dollars in 1960, while that of Korea was 123 million dollars export and 490 million dollars import with trade balance of 367 million dollars.
From Salifu Abdul-Rahaman, Kung Ki Province, Korea