‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ stoke up argument in Parliament

Mr. Annoh-Dompreh

Mr. Annoh-Dompreh

PRESIDENT Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ mantra stoked up argument in Parliament yesterday when the member for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh called for full support for the agenda.

 

The Ghana Beyond Aid mantra, according to President Akufo-Addo was to insulate the country from depending on foreign aid while harnessing local resources for development.

 

Addressing the 61st Independence Day parade in Accra on March 6 this year, President Akufo-Addo explained that the agenda required “a deliberate, qualitative change in all aspects of our lives, especially, in the structure of our economy, the nature of our infrastructure, the education of our young people and acquisition of skills and, above all, in our attitudes and holding firm to the values that define us.”

 

Courting the support of his colleagues on the floor of Parliament in a statement, Mr Annoh-Dompreh said Ghana was at the crossroads and must decide to either remain economically dependent on donors to fund its development or mobilise resources from within.

 

“The latter choice,” Frank Annoh-Dompreh said “means a paradigm shift where Ghana, despite all odds must take her destiny into her own hands and forge ahead a path of development underpinned by self-sufficiency and interdependence instead of the current dependency and reliance on foreign aid and donors for its development.”

 

He said after failed attempts to successfully execute similar programmes by successive governments since independence, “the time to make this vision a reality is now, else as a nation we risk a perpetual doom for future generations”, adding that the advent of President Akufo-Addo offers “us a new path of hope.”

 

But an unconvinced minority said the President’s call for a Ghana Beyond Aid is “rhetoric.”

 

Tamale Central MP, Inusah Fuseini said the mantra would remain a rhetoric, if it was not properly situated in the African context where the country could produce to feed the African continent for foreign exchange in return to support the development.

 

Inusah Fuseini said promising to create a factory in each district of the country and constructing a dam in every village was not enough, but solid infrastructure and refocusing energy toward critical sectors of the economy, urging the President not to make Ghana Beyond Aid his personal vision.

 

Sekondi MP, Andrew Agyapa Mercer, on his part said the call was not rhetoric but a call to action which must get every citizen’s attention.

 

Noting that it was not a flash in the pan, Mr Mercer said the government’s flagship programmes were linked to industrialisation which would enhance the lot of the citizenry to make the country self dependent.

 

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu commenting on the statement, said missing in the President’s coordinated economic policy presented to the House, in accordance with article 36 (5) of the constitution, was Ghana Beyond Aid vision, wondering what the President really meant by the mantra.

 

The Tamale South MP said a timeline in which the vision would be achieved ought to be made clear and urged the government to elevate the discussion beyond partisan politics because “it is our bane.”

 

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader, however said the Ghana Beyond Aid vision needed the support of every patriotic Ghanaian because that was the only way the country could wean itself from relying on foreign loans.

 

He dismissed claims by the Minority that the mantra was limited to the term of President Akufo-Addo, saying the government’s policies “cannot be said to be lip service. They are sustainable.”

 

The First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, urged the government to focus on technology to harness the resources of the country, because if this was done there would be no need to solicit assistance from any country.

 

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CAPTION: Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh

 

 

 

 

 

 

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