Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has warned that President Akufo-Addo’s newfound slogan – Ghana Beyond Aid – is a dangerous rhetoric that could retard progress.
“He was my very good friend in parliament, but I completely disagree with him because the development partners are completely confused as to what we mean by that.”
Mr Bagbin who was speaking to the Media after a radio programme in Accra said the propaganda that had become the personal gospel of the President has jolted the country’s donors into confusion that could possibly lead to an abrupt disengagement of badly needed help.
“Due to the confusion within donor circles, people have become especially expectant of an unavailable blueprint from the NPP government in respect of the rhetoric.”
The Second Deputy Speaker, who is also the MP for Nadowli/Kaleo warned government to reconsider the sloganeering.
Mr Bagbin had called on government to come out with a comprehensive official document on Ghana beyond Aid to put to rest various speculations that were making the rounds.
Giving a historical background to the important global aid culture, Mr Bagbin said “Aid does not just come out of the blue, not from the magnanimity of the donor countries, aid come out of a struggle by the oppressed, the exploited and the poor nations.
“You will recall that after the first and second world wars, the economies of these (less developed) countries, were so devastated that they were struggling to survive and they had to look back at these poor nations and to use their might at that time to support the poor nations.
“And it is the economies of the poor nations that sustained them to develop. So when the poor nations started putting pressure for compensation, the developed nations quickly decided to respond,” Hon. Bagbin said.
Mr Bagbin said Ghana did not need aid to develop because the aid that the country was receiving over the years was in a way misapplied.
“Again, aid is not just giving out without being attached to a programme of government. If rather, we present a programme and end up not doing exactly that, then you can raise such issues but they are attached to programmes that are even approved by development partners.”
He said anybody that wanted evidence about Ghana’s dire need for aid, should go to the health sector where many Ghanaian children were dying of childhood killer diseases because donor countries had cut back on vaccine donations.
He also dismissed claims that Ghana had enough natural resources to ride on into the sunny days of “Ghana Beyond Aid” pointing out that in the digital age, natural resource is not what is needed for development.
“You don’t develop by relying on your natural resources, you develop a nation by relying on your education; developing your minds to be able to create things, not just the raw materials, no! You have to add some value to what actually you market and that comes from your mind. And that is why research, technology, mathematics and science are key to the development of every society.
“And so the natural resources we have to renegotiate the agreement but how do you do that when you don’t have the mind power to negotiate properly…You don’t need natural resources to develop software!” Hon. Bagbin said.