CDD Chief Chides Dev’t Partners
Dr. Baffour Agyemang-Duah, Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), has criticized Bretton Woods institutions for spearheading poverty reduction strategies in Africa instead of creating wealth.
He could not fathom why the African continent endowed with enormous natural resources could be described as impoverished, insisting that the Bretton Woods institutions have introduced poverty alleviation strategies as development frameworks and led subscribing nations to focus on that.
Delivering a paper during the 50 th anniversary celebration of the African Union (AU) Expert Group Meeting (EGM) in Accra on Tuesday, the CDD Director blamed Africa’s underdevelopment on the Bretton Woods institutions.
‘I have always wondered why the Bretton Woods institutions introduced poverty alleviation or reduction strategies as development frameworks and led subscribing nations to focus on what I call ‘poverty reduction development,’ he stated, adding that ‘you do not develop by reducing poverty; you develop by creating wealth.’
In his view, despite some progress with the ‘alleviation’ and ‘reduction’ strategies, the general picture had suggested that achievements had been palliative and tentative at best in most countries and that poverty had proved more resilient than experts had expected.
According to Dr. Agyemang-Duah, the more we believe and think poverty, the more poverty would come to us.
He indicated that instead of reducing poverty, Africans should rather create wealth.
He urged development partners to create wealth, especially when the necessary ingredients for wealth creation exist in abundance.
Ruby Sandhu-Rojon, the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident representative in Ghana, said we must accept the reality that Africa still faces daunting challenges in its efforts to institutionalize democracy and peace today.
Powerful external actors often dominate our economic spaces, she noted, stressing that corruption and poverty are often rife, election results often contested while ethnic and political divisions lead to violence.
Samia Yaaba Nkrumah, Chairperson of the Convention People Party (CPP), for her part, observed that a united foreign policy would give political direction to African countries.
She averred that democracy must address the basic needs of citizens and translate into the provision of portable water, electricity and health services.
The three-day expert group meeting, which ends today, is expected to provide a platform for governance experts drawn from various regions of Africa and the Diaspora to critically review the draft background paper and the five regional horizon- scanning studies covering Central, Eastern, North, Southern and West Africa.
By Jeffrey De -Graft Johnson
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