Several Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) gathered under the auspices of the Ghana CSOs Platform on SDGs, after a two-day (19-20 December 2019) intensive discussion on the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda (GBA) and its implications on civil society sustainability, decided to formulate a comprehensive CSOs position on this all-important national agenda. Our position espouses the view of stronger sustainability, collective development and long-term planning that guarantees effective implementation of the noble agenda.
Historically, Ghana’s journey to Ghana Beyond Aid started in 2012 when development partners and the government of Ghana agreed that Ghana’s political and economic development had reached a relatively high level, with the condition ripe to change from the delivery of aid to prosperity through trade. A Compact to that effect was signed that will wean Ghana off aid within a 10-year period.In 2017, United Nations Economic Commission of Africa (UNAEC) initiated a discussion of Africa Beyond Aid.The GBA agenda is therefore a logical follow up to this earlier initiative.
The GBA agenda represents a realistic recognition of the fact that donor fatigue is increasingly becoming a factor in the efforts to reach the poor countries of the world. The Ghana CSOs Platform commends the Ghana Beyond AID Agenda in the following lights:
- That the GBA seeks to build a Ghana that is wealthy, inclusive, sustainable, empowered and resilient (WISER)
- That the GBA agenda seeks to instill positive values, mindset, attitudes and behaviors
- That Ghana Beyond Aid is not anti-aid or rejection of aid if available but it is designed to ensure that all available aid is aligned with the developmental prioritiesof Ghana.
- If effectively implemented, the GBA agenda, will promote the sovereignty of the state
- If consistently implemented,the GBA agenda will rebrand and reposition Ghana as a relevant and equal partner in the global development front.
- The Ghana Beyond Aid will also inspire the creativity and innovation critical to diversify our economy to lift Ghana to the next level of development.
- The Ghana Beyond Aid agenda further underscores the importance of the private sector as the engine of growth of the Ghanaian economy.
We therefore support the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda in the context of ensuring inclusiveness of the Agenda 2063 and 2030 for Sustainable Development to leave no-one-behind.
- The concept and definition of aid is not clear in the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda.
- The lack of clearly articulated roles for CSOs in the GBA agenda is of a great concern to the CSOs.
- The national consensus building on an agenda of this nature is crucial for collective ownership andlong-termsustainability in view of the fact that this can only be achieved over a long period of time.
- The absence of legal framework for the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda will affect its continuity and sustainability during alternating of power.
- The critical role of the larger informal economy is not clear in the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
- The African Continental Free Trade Agenda has a huge potential for the attainment of the Ghana BA Agenda, yet this potential is not fully explored.
We hereby recommend the following for the effective and successful implementation of the Ghana BeyondAid Agenda:
- The role ofCSOs in the GBA agenda should be clarified.
- The policy should focus on the larger informal economy that has the potential to significantly boost the economic growth of Ghana towards self-reliance
- Empower state institutions to function efficiently and independently without political interference.
- In relation to the GBA, there is the need to emphasize Pan-African values as part of the core values of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 of the African Union.
- There is the need to emphasize explicitly the role of the youth, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and other vulnerable groups in the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda.
- The potential of The African Continental Free Trade Area should be explored in the GBA agenda.
It is imperative that countries become more self-reliant, independent and control its economic destiny for human development and prosperity. It is in this light that we share in the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda.Therefore, the business of government is to improve the wellbeing of its citizens by accepting that development is about people and their environment. To ensure economic stability, prosperity and development, government must reposition and redefine their programmes and policies to meet the needs of current generation without compromising the needs of future generations.