President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has outdoored the Ghana Beyond Aid document which sets out the national plans and strategies of making the country self-reliant, without any form of external support.
The document provides a roadmap to achieve the vision of building an economically independent country prosperous enough not to need aid, and competitive enough to engage with the rest of the world through trade and investment.
It contains strategies on how the country’s resources can be harnessed effectively and deployed creatively and efficiently for rapid economic and social transformation. It also suggests how Ghanaians can break from the mentality of dependence and adopt a ‘can do’ spirit fuelled by love for the country.
President Akufo-Addo outdoored the document, which was developed by a committee chaired by the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo, at the May Day (Workers’ Day) celebration parade at the Independence Square in Accra.
The Ghana Beyond Aid Committee developed the document in consultation with 30 different institutions in academia, with inputs from the general public, and some Ghanaians in the diaspora.
The committee that developed the charter includes the Ministers of Finance, Employment and Labour Relations, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Local Government and Rural Development, and Information.
It also included institutions such as the Trade Union Congress, Ghana National Association of Teachers, Association of Ghana Industries, Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industries, National Union of Ghana Students, and the Private Enterprise Federation.
President Akufo-Addo commended the committee for working assiduously to develop the document which would guide the country’s path towards achieving the vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.
“On behalf of the people of Ghana, I wish to thank the Ghana Beyond Aid Committee for the good work done. Ghana Beyond Aid is setting our nation on an irreversible pathway of prosperity.
“With the blessing of the Almighty and our collective efforts, we will march boldly from poverty to prosperity so that we can create the Ghana our forefathers envisaged, the current generation aspires to have, and our posterity will be proud to inherit,” he said.
The President said the vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid was to build a self-sufficient and prosperous nation governed according to the rule of law, respect for human rights and individual liberties and the principles of democratic accountability.
He commended workers in the country for their hard work over the past year, urged them to work harder in the coming years, and pledged the government’s commitments to support and provide the necessary conditions for workers.
President Akufo-Addo announced that the Ministry of Finance had arranged for payment of GH¢200 million, and a bond of GH¢700 million towards the retirement of the arrears the government owed to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
“This will leave arrears of GH¢800 million which would be included in next year’s budget. We will build a robust economy and a prosperous society when we put in place a pension scheme for all workers, for far too many of our people the end of their lives is marked with poverty,” he said.
In 2017, he said more than GH¢3 billion of pension funds that had been outstanding for six years were transferred to the appropriate occupational pension schemes and expressed the government’s commitments to pay all the arrears.
He observed that too many Ghanaians had either no pensions or inadequate pensions to meet the needs of old age and noted that in the informal sectors of the economy especially, most people worked without any form of pension.
President Akufo-Addo stressed the need to focus attention on the informal sector which had engaged many of the country’s labour force and introduce pension schemes for workers in that sector to give them a secured future.
“Government is on course of establishing a Cocoa Farmers’ Pensions Scheme. This trend will be extended to all worker groups in the informal economy,” he said.
He said the government was working on an economic transformational agenda through the various job creation initiatives such as One District One Factory policy, Planting for Food and Jobs, Industrial Stimulus Package, Planting for Export and Rural Development, among others.
The initiatives, according to the President, are beginning to bear fruits and are creating decent opportunities for people to work, earn higher incomes, and contribute to the pensions.
BY YAW KYEI