Ghana’s president is calling for a new aid paradigm that will lift the poor and vulnerable from the lower rungs of society and make them independent.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said every aid programme adopted must now come with a clear exit strategy to the beneficiaries.
Speaking at the 4th Rotary International District Confab, the president said after 60 years of Ghana’s independence the country must break out from charity driven programmes to self sustaining initiatives.
Making reference to the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Programme (LEAP) introduced in 2007, the president said the intention was to make aid a “hand up not a handout” programme.
To that end, a clear exit programme was made available to all beneficiaries so that they will be able to stand on their feet at some point in life and will no longer be given aid.
While inviting members of the Rotary club to join government in the collective effort of fighting poverty in Ghana, the president said “we must not rely on long term aid programme. There must be an exit programme,” he insisted.
“It is not enough to get help to feed family,” he stated, adding whatever program introduced must make people stand on their own.
The Rotary Club is a service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services.
The Club is also to encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world.
The non-political and non-sectarian organization which is opened to all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, or political preference converged at the International Conference Centre Friday for the 4th District Confab.
The president Nana Akufo-Addo made the strongest call yet for the members of the Rotary Club to partner his government in the one district-one factory policy that is intended to create jobs for thousands of Ghanaian youth.
“There are lots of opportunities in the one district-one factory programme. Come and let’s make a success of it,” he stated.
“The role of rotary in politics is testimony of what collaboration with government can achieve,” the president said and congratulated the group on the “roll back malaria project,” which he said has been instrumental in Ghana’s fight against malaria.
According to the president, the Rotary family health day which offers free medical screening has already benefitted over 120,000 people, an initiative he described as commendable.
He also commended Rotary Club for the significant intervention in water and sanitation programmes through the provision of bore hole and waters systems that have brought relief to many people
“We could not ask for a better initiative from rotary as we seek to fight sanitation,” he stated.