By Maxwell Ofori
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has indicated that for Africa to be able to develop itself and move to a position beyond, it would have to harness its own resources.
According to the President, after harnessing the resources, they should be deployed creatively and efficiently for rapid economic and social transformation.
“We will have to harness effectively our own resources and deploy them creatively and efficiently for rapid economic and social transformation. We need a lot of resources to generate the prosperity we want in Africa,” he stated.
President Akufo-Addo was addressing the African Caucus Meeting of African Governors of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on Thursday, 1st August, 2019, a two-day meeting which opened in Accra yesterday.
He charged Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors and African Governors of the World Bank and (IMF), who were at the meeting, to help realise the vision of a self-reliant Africa that is no longer dependent on the receipt of aid and charity.
President Akufo-Addo appealed to them to increase collaboration amongst themselves to enable them leverage even more resources for Africa’s development and transformation.
The President bemoaned the fact that most of the resources in Africa are exported in their raw form, adding: “Africa does not derive its fair share of the values of these resources.”
He, however noted, that can be corrected by African economies transforming themselves from raw material producing and exporting ones to economies, based on value-addition and industrial activities, that is economies anchored on things made and grown in Africa.
It will be recalled that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) became operational this month after an Extraordinary AU Summit in Niamey, the capital of the Republic of Niger, after 54 of the 55 African countries had signed the agreement and 28 had ratified it. 22 ratifications were necessary for it to become operational.
Juxtaposing that with Africa moving beyond aid, President Akufo-Addo described the AfCFTA as a game-changer, indicating that the increased trade and investments emanating from the free trade area presents a significant boost to the continent’s efforts at industrialisation and agricultural modernisation.
“The prosperity will also come from the free movement of skilled Africans moving across the continent to make better use of their talents, and contributing to growth and prosperity right here in Africa, rather than in other continents,” he added.
Touching on the creation of jobs for African youths, the President stated that it is the structural transformation of African economies that will enable jobs to be created for the teeming masses of African youths.
In Ghana, the President told the gathering that his Free Senior High School policy had led to a rapid, dramatic expansion in the last two academic years of enrolment in senior high schools, as access has now been provided to many who were previously barred by poverty.
“But, we know it is only the beginning. We will focus on building world-class educational institutions that will produce scholars, especially the scientists, engineers, technicians, and agricultural experts that will transform our economies and create remunerative jobs,” he added.
He further told the African Caucus of Governors to feel privileged that they are in positions that offer opportunities to act to enable Africa realise her possibilities, possibilities which, when realised, will give a great impetus to the expansion of the world economy, and to a substantial increase to global general living standards.
“We should seize the occasion; each one of us in our various positions! Together, working with the people of Africa, and with our educated, skilled, dynamic and growing youthful population, we can build a prosperous and self-confident Africa, an Africa Beyond Aid. We can, and we should; so, let us get to work!” he said.