Ghana committed to moving forward without aid – Bawumia

By
Desmond Davis, GNA’s London Bureau Chief

London, Oct 24, GNA – Ghana is pursuing an
“aggressive private sector-led investment drive” to fulfil a commitment by the
government to reduce dependency on aid, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, has
said.

The move “Ghana beyond aid” is being driven by
President Nana Akufo-Addo, who wants the country to use its vast natural
resources to fund its development.

“We are under no illusion that this is easier
said than done,” the Vice President told delegates at the two-day Ghana
Investment and Opportunities Summit 2018, held in London.

“But an even greater illusion is to think that
we can build a sustainably good society on the inexhaustible charity of
others.”

“History provides no such examples. And we
cannot hope that our fortunes will be different”, he added.

He said, to achieve a Ghana less dependent on
aid for its development, there would be a need to build “some long-term
pillars”.

“We are clear in our minds that aiming for a
Ghana beyond aid requires the mobilisation and leveraging of domestic savings
and revenues, as well as our vast resources in a more effective and efficient
manner to ensure development and create wealth for the people.”

“The vision to build a Ghana beyond aid should
not be seen as mere rhetoric. Nor should it be seen as one of the many passing
political platitudes in the past.”

Dr Bawumia said the President and his
government were clear in their thinking about where they wanted to take the
nation and the pathways of getting there.

“Judging from our history and our vision for
the future, there is no doubt that we need to rethink how we develop as a
country.

It has become obvious that we need to be more
efficient and effective in managing our resources to ensure rapid economic
growth and transformation to shift from over reliance on foreign aid.”

The Vice President noted that to be able to
attract the right level of fair, mutually beneficial investment and trade, the
local economy should be seen to be sound and business friendly.

“This has been a major pre-occupation of the
government since coming into office in January 2017.”

He said in the past 22 months, “we have
secured significant improvements in the trends of key macroeconomic indicators
such as inflation, exchange rates, and real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth
rates,” adding: “Ghana’s economy is projected to record one of the highest
growth [rates] in the world in 2018”.

Vice President Bawumia told prospective
investors at the Summit: “We are with you here in the UK for strategic
reasons”.

“Apart from the historical political and
economic ties between the UK and Ghana, both countries have been business
allies for many years.”

According to the Ghana Investment Promotion
Centre (GIPC), in the last 30 years almost 430 UK-owned businesses were
established in the country while over 150 were joint ventures.

During this period foreign direct investments
by the UK-owned projects totalled US$6.6 billion while the joint venture
projects had total investments of US$6.3 billion.

Mr. Graham Stuart, Minister for Investment at
the UK’s Department for International Trade, said that “Ghana beyond aid” was an
ambitious vision that the UK would like to be part of.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May, he said,
planned to make the UK the G7’s largest private sector investor in Africa by
2022.

Mr Stuart said that the recent UK-Ghana summit
in Accra and that in London were the first steps to turning Mrs. May’s words
into action.  

He announced that Mrs May would host a
UK-Africa Summit in 2019.

The Ghanaian High Commissioner to the UK, Papa
Owusu-Ankomah, said the Summit, under the broad theme “Mobilising for Ghana Beyond
Aid”, was “aimed at positioning Ghana as a true partner for economic
development and also bring into sharp focus the critical role of the Ghanaian
Diaspora in this endeavour”.

“This Summit is also taking place on the heels
of the recent release by Standard and Poor giving Ghana a B Credit Rating with
a stable outlook after several years of B with a negative outlook” and he said
“the current rating makes Ghana a low-risk but high investment return
destination”.

The two-day summit was organised by the Ghana
High Commission in the UK in partnership with the GIPC.

GNA

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