25
Sun, Aug

AKUFO-ADDO URGES FINANCE CHIEFS TO HELP MAKE AFRICA SELF-RELIANT

Business & Economy

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged finance ministers, central bank governors and African governors of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to help realise the vision of a self-reliant Africa that is no longer dependent on aid and charity.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged finance ministers, central bank governors and African governors of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to help realise the vision of a self-reliant Africa that is no longer dependent on aid and charity.

 

The President made this call as he addressed the Caucus Meeting of African governors of the World Bank and IMF in Accra yesterday.

He appealed to the ministers and regulators to increase collaboration among themselves because this will enable them to leverage more resources for Africa’s development and transformation.

“We should seize the occasion, each one of us in our various positions,” the President said. “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 urged.

Whose resources?

The President told the meeting that in order to attain the vision of Africa Beyond Aid, “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.”

Thirty per cent of the Earth’s remaining minerals are to be found in Africa, and the continent is becoming an important player in world production of coal, oil and gas.

Referring to these shifts, President Akufo-Addo bemoaned how most of the continent’s productive output is exported in raw form, observing: “Africa does not derive its fair share of the values of these resources.”

This, the President Akufo-Addo said, can be corrected by African economies transforming themselves from raw material-producing and raw material-exporting nations to economies based on value addition and industrial activity.

Free trade

The President said that, in this respect, the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area and the role to be played by AfCFTA have assumed a catalytic importance.

It will be recalled that the AfCFTA became operational last month after an extraordinary AU summit in Niamey, Niger. Fifty-four of the 55 members of the African Union have signed the agreement and 28 have ratified it. Twenty-two ratifications were necessary for it to become operational.

Describing the AfCFTA as a game-changer for moving Africa to a place beyond aid, President Akufo-Addo said that the increased trade and investment emanating from the new trade bloc present 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.

Jobs

Touching on the need to create jobs for young Africans, the President said that it is the structural transformation of African economies which will enable jobs to be created for millions of young African.

Africa has the youngest population in the world, with a median age of 19.5. It is projected that the continent’s population will reach two billion by 2050. Half of that number will be under the age of 25 and Africa will have the world’s largest share of the labour force: 25 per cent, compared to 14 per cent for China and 7 per cent for Europe.

This, the President explained, is both a challenge and an opportunity.

“The opportunity is the chance for a youthful and dynamic workforce to drive African economies and make the continent a powerhouse in the global economy,” President Akufo-Addo said.

He continued, “The challenge is how to provide this bulging population with the education, skills, digital literacy and vibrant economies that provide them with jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.”

Growth impetus

In Ghana, the President told the gathering, despite predictable constraints on the nation’s finances originating from past years of mismanagement, his government has made education in state-run schools free from kindergarten to senior secondary level, including technical and vocational schools.

“This has 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 said.

President Akufo-Addo told the ministers and central bank governors to feel privileged that they are in positions which offer opportunities to take action to enable Africa to realise her potential. When these possibilities are realised, he said, it will give a great impetus to the expansion of the world economy and bring about a substantial increase to living standards around the globe.

Follow Us