UK asked to help Africa devise new economic paradigm

Prof. Oquaye

Prof. Oquaye

Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, the Speaker of Parliament, has proposed to the United Kingdom to partner Africa devise a new paradigm for economic partnership which will seriously consider the economic welfare of Africa.

“Europe must be concerned about the poverty in Africa,” he said, adding that the effect of globalisation is that any bubonic plague in Africa may not remain in Africa.”

In a paper presented as part of 25th anniversary celebration of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, in London, Prof Oquaye made it clear that there cannot be a (fair) global order in which a whole continent (of Africa) is compelled to gravitate towards Europe in search of greener pastures.

“We cannot replace political refugees with economic refugees, we cannot forget that colonisation befitted Europe immensely and this could be the period for some New World Economic Order,” he noted.

Prof Oquaye recalled in the late 1980’s the insistence of the donor community for financial assistance to be based on the conditionality of good governance, brought a wind of change in the economic and political management of a number of countries in Africa.

“Consequently, new constitutions were drafted and promulgated and multi-party elections held.

“This resulted in Ghana’s current constitutional and legal framework with a new electoral register, political parties and revised electoral systems.

“Indeed, in Ghana, when  complaints arose about the 1992 elections, donors further assisted with transparent ballot boxes, new electoral register, the counting of the ballot papers at every polling station immediately after voting, photo identity cards and enhanced election monitoring by foreign observers,” Prof Oquaye said.

The resultant pattern of these interventions in Ghana, The Speaker indicated was peaceful change of government and the arbitrariness which accompanied military rule has largely been overcome.

Prof Oquaye observed that there were nonetheless “challenges which should be resolved before we can say that the second wind of change has been fully attained.

Just as development partners were critically involved in the first phase, he said they could participate in the consolidation process by strengthening the legal framework which regulated elections and identified weaknesses in the laws relating to elections and provided against the grey areas. -GNA

 

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