General News of Wednesday, 12 June 2019
The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo has held consultations with Ghana’s development partners on the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ policy of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government.
Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo had engaged stakeholders to seek their inputs to enrich the policy and make it more adaptable to their policy formulation and implementation regime as far their dealings with Ghana are concerned.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after the consultation on Tuesday at the Ghana office of the World Bank, Mr. Osafo-Maafo said the stakeholder meeting was significant because “when you are talking about Ghana beyond aid, you are talking about our development partners, therefore their understanding of the policy is critical.”
Mr. Osafo-Maafo explained that some of the partners had misinterpreted the policy to mean Ghana did not need or was not interested in aid.
“We are saying that, yes, Ghana may require aid, but the aid must be directed to suit our priorities. We must be in the driving seat, we must decide which areas we need the aid, what kind of aid we need and how we want to use the aid. So we must discuss this with everybody,” he explained.
In that regard, he observed that no nation could ignore aid, because even the advanced nations needed some of aid in terms of technological transfer and trade, and therefore aid must be looked at in the envelop of cooperation which suited the recipient’s own ideals and developmental agenda.
He believed that with the kind of natural and human resource Ghana possessed, the nation should be able to turn her situation around should she employ correct standards of doing things and depart from policies that had not worked for the nation in the past.
Mr. Osafo Maafo indicated that to do that, there was the need to change the Ghanaian mindset about aid and that the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda was designed to do just that.
The Chairman of the Development Partners and Heads of Missions, Ambassador Christoph Retzlaff, said the Development Partners agreed after the consultation that the Ghana Beyond Aid document was a very good visionary work and they were in full support of it, especially the economic transformation agenda, and the emphasis of the document on Ghana reaching the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).
Ambassador Retzlaff said, “Germany is ready to support Ghana on this ambitious journey, and it is now important that government reaches out to civil society organizations, to all stakeholders to development partners to make sure that this Ghana beyond strategy is a strategy endorsed by all Ghanaians.”
In reacting to the question of whether the success of the policy would threaten the relations between Ghana and her development partners, the Ambassador indicated that Germany would not be worried at all by the success of the agenda which was to be achieved in 2028, “Because it was basically what we also want to achieve in our cooperation with Ghana.”
After the consultation with the Development partners, the Senior Minister intends to consult the Council of State and other relevant stakeholders on the Ghana beyond aid agenda after which parliament would debate and vote on it, and then the final document would be put together.
The meeting was attended by Ghana’s key development partners which included heads of missions of the Netherlands, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Russia and Japan.
Also in attendance were the Minister of Planning and other members of Ghana Beyond Aid committee.