The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Marfo has recognized the relevance of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda in shaping the country’s progress in a post COVID-19 era.
He gave the remarks at a COVID-19 and Ghana Beyond Aid forum held at the Ministry of Information on Thursday, 11 June, 2020.
Speaking on the theme “COVID-19 and our march towards Ghana Beyond Aid: Turning adversity into opportunity”, the Senior Minister noted that the policy should be devoid of partisan politics but rather encourage local participation.
According to him “what is important now is setting a system of implementation. It should not be reduced into another talking shop. We should not just be talking about it but we should find a way of getting these lofty ideas implemented and I am already discussing with some members of the leadership of parliament to get the matter cast in parliament.”
The Ghana Beyond Aid policy was introduced by the Akufo-Addo administration in 2017 with the aim of moving the country toward self-sufficiency. The policy forms part of government’s agenda of pushing the country towards providing for its needs and engaging competitively with the rest of the world through trade and investment.
Today’s forum, however, was centered around stepping up public education about the virus in the country and at the same time mobilizing the vast majority of Ghanaians towards achieving the much touted Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
Mr Osafo-Marfo indicated that “this is the time for us to be self-sufficient in certain specific production units. Health is not for debate. We must be inward looking. There must be import substitution which fit our own requirement as a country”.
The forum was organized under the chairmanship of the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo and was addressed by the Archbishop of Cape Coast, Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle, Mr. Kwame Pianim, a renowned economist, the President of Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Dr. Yaw Adu Gyamfi, the Chief Executive Officer of EXIM Ghana, Mr Lawrence Agyinsam and the President of the National Union of Ghana Students, Isaac Jay Hyde.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Yaw Adu Gyamfi, the President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) noted that the country has all what it takes to make sure we meet our basic needs and that the country has a workforce that is innovative enough to build a Ghana that is beyond aid and donor funded.
However, the Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Dr. Yaw Baah recommended that government should focus more on transforming the structure of the economy from a low productivity informal sector to a high productivity formal sector.
The Managing Director of the Exim Bank, Ghana, Mr. Lawrence Agyinsam advised that the country has over the years developed taste for foreign goods and if we need to build a Ghana Beyond Aid, we have to move away from the westernization of our necessary supplies such as food and drugs.
Speaking on the overview of Ghana’s Economic Development History and the role of aid, Mr. Kwame Pianim, a renowned economist pointed out that Ghana Beyond Aid is a clarion call to shift our attitude from business as usual. He added that COVID-19 provides us with an opportunity to reset the button and that we need to harness our resources into building a better Ghana.