NEWS COMMENTARY ON THE GHANA BEYOND AID
Dreams, visions, ideas or plans are very essential in the life of individuals, families, communities, nations and even continental blocks. They help shape direction and serve as road map to the attainment of aspirants. It is instructive to state that the creator of the Universe encourages people to dream dreams when He declared in the book of Acts 2:17 that quote “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” Unquote.
President Akufo-Addo upon assumption of office envisioned a country where its development will be driven by the ingenuity of Ghanaians leveraging on the nation’s endowed human and natural resources. He believed in a paradigm shift where Ghana will cut down on its dependence on foreign assistance. This belief birthed the now popular vision, Ghana Beyond Aid. The President and his team must be applauded for the bold initiative to change the narrative where the nation can dig deep into its own resources for accelerated development. In May last year, the President outdoored the Ghana Beyond Aid document which sets out the national plans and strategies of making the country self-reliant, without any form of external support. The document provides a road-map to achieve the vision of building an economically independent country prosperous enough not to need aid, and competitive enough to engage with the rest of the world through trade and investment. This is great. What else can we ask for?
However, many doubting Thomas’s have criticized this idealistic vision. They claimed this is just one of those slogans and visions that lack spirit. They argued that actions and inaction of the proponents of the Ghana Beyond Aid have not wholly demonstrated commitment to walking the path to the set goals. This, they explained by citing the continuous reliance on foreign assistance. Actions they say speak louder than words. Ghanaians want to see visible actions and not rhetoric. How can we for the past three or so years be touting a slogan Ghana Beyond Aid while our public debts have almost doubled as a result of excessive borrowing? Some analysts say borrowing in itself is not bad but the use of the money is what is important. This idea led to the term smart borrowing. Thus, borrowing to support key strategic National assets that have the potential to pay for the loan. This is not the first time Ghana is attempting to dream dreams. What happened to the famous Vision 2020? What did the nation derive from the Structural Adjustment Programme and other strategies aimed at fast tracking national development? The successes and failures of such programmes and visions in the past are visible in the four corners of the country. Yes, one may say if you dream of something and it does not come to fruition that must not prevent one from dreaming again.
It is our hope that with the new vision Ghana will soon wean itself from the Breton Wood institutions like the World Bank and the IMF. A lot of ideas were discussed during the Ghana Beyond Aid forum which must engage the attention of the team working on the realization of the vision. All-inclusiveness as suggested by the Economist Kwadwo Mpianim is very critical in realizing the vision. It is important to get Ghanaians to buy-in to the vision to ensure a holistic approach to working towards achieving the goals. It is vital to ensure that this vision of Ghana Beyond Aid is anchored on pragmatism and realism and not idealism. It is our prayer that the dreams of the present leaders for the future comes to reality for the betterment of us all and the generations to come.
BY: DOMINIC HLORDZI, A JOURNALIST.