Posted: Saturday 10th May 2014 at 18:06 pm

ActionAid condemns Ghanaians’ desire for foreign products


ActionAid Ghana (AAG), a non-governmental organization,  has condemned Ghanaians for their  incessant desire and taste for everything foreign, noting that such attitude kills local initiatives and makes the country poorer.

Mr Sumaila Abdul-Rahaman, Country Director of AAG said it was disappointing that Ghana imports almost everything from foreign countries,  including the landlocked ones, such as Burkina Faso and Niger,  where vegetables and livestock are imported.

This, according to him, was unacceptable considering the fact that the country had all the conducive geographical features, financial muscles and technical know-how to produce many of such products not only for local consumption, but for export.

Mr Abdul-Rahaman expressed these concerns on Thursday at Wulensi in the Nanumba South District of the Northern Region during a stakeholders’ meeting with the District Assembly and staff of the Ghana Education Service.

He advised the country to look inward and adopt local content ideas that would be used to solve local problems and stop borrowing ideas, stressing that many of those countries rely hugely on their local ideas and that has improved their economies.

The Country Director also urged District Assemblies to stop the habit of designing plans and wait for foreign or donor support, saying, “Make do with little resources and apply simple innovations to achieve your goals. You do not need intensive capital inflows to develop”.

Madam Adams Lamnatu, Coordinator of Songtaba, a partner NGO working with AAG, said its work in the Nanumba area had contributed greatly to the reduction of forced marriages, teenage pregnancies, violence against women and poverty reduction due to its pro-poor policies.

She indicated that many awareness had been heightened on the alleged witches, and has resulted in the reintegration of more than 100 of them within two years, and expressed the hope that the numbers would drastically reduce at the witches camps. 

Madam Lamnatu said even though the organization was not preventing people from their beliefs and cultures, it seriously frowned on the dehumanizing treatment being meted out to people accused of witchcraft, which must stop.

Madam Esther Boateng, Northern Regional Programmes Manager of AAG, said the NGO was in touch with the Ministries of Gender and Social Protection and  Chieftaincy and Culture,  to work out modalities in dealing with the witches camps.

She, however, condemned attempts by the First Lady to construct a permanent structure for the alleged witches in Gambaga, explaining that establishing such a structure for the women would create fertile grounds for the perpetuation of more witchcraft accusations with the associated problems.

Mr Mohammed Akalifa, District Coordinating Director for Nanumba South, said even though the district scored 54 per cent in the 2013 Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE), it was abysmal since the grades most students had were nothing to write home about.

He blamed the situation largely on teacher absenteeism and non-commitment by many teachers to teach, and announced that a stakeholders’ forum has been scheduled to look into the matter and chart a way forward so as to improve education in the district.

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