President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on the managers of African countries’ economies to formulate plans that will use the continent’s own resources for development and provide jobs rather than relying on aid.
Speaking at the African Caucus meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors of the World Bank and IMF in Accra, under the theme ‘Africa Beyond Aid: enhancing institutional capacity and innovative financing for sustainable growth’, the president said to lift the continent out of poverty, it is imperative that leaders tap into their country’s resources for industrialisation.
“Despite the peculiarities of circumstances in African countries, there are a few fundamental conditions that must be satisfied in order to accelerate our drive to wealth and development, and to realise the vision of an Africa beyond aid— that is, a self-reliant Africa exploiting its immense resources to provide a dignified, decent standard of living for the mass of its peoples.
“To get to this destination, we will have to effectively harness our own resources and deploy them creatively and efficiently for rapid economic and social transformation,” he said.
The president further decried that even though an estimated 30 percent of the earth’s remaining minerals can be found on the continent, poverty still abounds. He therefore advised that countries must improve their lot by moving into production rather than the present practice of exporting resources in their raw state.
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“The future economy of Africa cannot be the raw material-producing and exporting economy of the past. It has to be an economy based on value-addition and industrial activities if we are to create prosperity and generate jobs for our people, especially our youth. Our economies must be anchored on the things we make so that we can trade at the high end of the global value chain,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said even though the continent is experiencing growth, its impact on job creation and prosperity has been little – hence the need for the African Caucus to come out with solutions to address this unpalatable situation.
“Although growth has resumed in Africa, the pace is not high enough. It is not high enough to provide decent job opportunities to our burgeoning youth population, and to incentivise them to stay here on the continent and contribute their talents rather than risking their lives on perilous journeys across the Sahara and Mediterranean to Europe. And this level of growth is not enough to generate the prosperity needed by our people and to engender the respect that Africa deserves in the world.
“The finance ministers and central bank governors gathered here in Accra will work assiduously in contributing to the realisation of Africa Beyond Aid, by coming up with a common position that helps to firmly place the continent’s key development needs at the centre of strategy and operations of the two Bretton Woods Institutions, so they can more effectively support accelerated growth, transformation and job creation in Africa,” he said.