Ghanaian President Nana on foreign aid
Compiled by Odongo Odoyo
There was a fundamental misstatement of this issue in question. We can no longer continue to make policies for ourselves in our country, in our region, in our continent, on the basis of whatever support the western; or France or the European Union can give us. It will not work! It has not worked, and will not work! Our responsibility is to charter a path which is about how can develop our nations ourselves. It is not right for country like Ghana, 60 years after independence, to still have a health and education budget being finance on the basis of the generosity and charity of European tax payers. By now we should be able to finance our basic needs ourselves. And if we are going to look at the next 60 years as transition period, a period whereby we can stand on our own feet our perspective has not to be what the French taxpayer decides to do with whatever services that they have in France, they’re welcome, they are appreciated. Whatever intervention the French taxpayer through their government, make to us, are appreciate. We’re not going to look a gift horse in the mouth but this continent, and with all that’s happened, still today the rapacity of at least 30 percent of the most important. All the best of the world (is in Africa). It is continent of vast arable fertile land. It has the youngest population than any of the continents in the world, it has the energy and the dynamism. These young men who are showing so much resilience and ingenuity in crossing the Sahara, finding ways to across with rickety books, across the Mediterranean Sea; we want those energies working inside our countries. And we gonna have those energies working inside our countries if we begin to build systems that tell the young people of our countries, that are hopes, there are opportunities are right here with us. Migration and the movement of people is being presented in a manner which suggest that somehow it’s a new phenomenal. There’s nothing new about it, it’s as old as man! It has always been linked to the same thing: the failure of where you are to provide you with an opportunity so you move somewhere else. Those of you who are familiar with 19th century European history will know that the biggest waves of immigration in Europe, the latter part of it, came from Ireland and Italy. Waves upon waves, generations of Italian and Irishpeople left their countries seek the American paradise, blossom because Ireland was not working, Italy was not working. Today, you don’t hear it, Italian young people are in Italy, and Irish young people are Ireland. We want young Africansto stay in Africa. Andthe glue is that, we have to get away from this mindset of dependence, this mindset about ‘what France can do for us?’ France will do whatever it needs to do for its own sake. And when those coincides with us, ‘tantmieux’ as French people say. But our main responsibility as leaders and citizens, is what we need to do to grow our own countries.Whatever our institutions of work that will allow to have good governance, to have accountable governance, to make sure that the monies are placed to the disposal of leader are used for the interest of the state and not for the those of the leaders to have systems that allow for accountability, that allow for diversity, that allow for people to be able express themselves and contribute to fastening the public will and the public interest. Our concern should be with what we need to do in this21st century, to move Africa away from being cup-in-hand and begging for aid, for charity, for handouts.
The African continent, when you look at its resources, should be giving monies to other places. We’ve huge wealth on this continent,and our own country of Ghana! We need to have mindset that says, we can do it, others have done it, and we can also do it. And once we have that mindset, we will see as liberating factor for us ourselves. We keep talking about it was that Koreans, Malaysians, Singaporeans who got their independence as the same time with us, we’re of…told that at the time of Ghanaian independence, per capita Ghanaian income was higher than that of Korea. Today, Korea is part of the first world, so is Malaysia, and so is Singapore. What happened,why have they made that transitionand 60 after the independence why are we still where we are? Those are the matters that should concern all of us as Africans, as Ghanaians and not France-and I say so with greatness and respect of the French President, the cooperation of France is something I am we hold high and you know I am strong fun of France, I am a Francophile, so I don’t have any difficulty with that- but I’m talking about our own propulsion, what we need to do to get our countries to work so that we can create the conditions that will allow our young people to forgo these hazardous efforts to go to Europe. They are not going there because they want to, they’re there because don’t believe they have anyopportunities in our counties so that should be our focus and I believe that if we change that mindset of dependence, that mindset which is contingenton aid and charity, we will see that in the decades ahead of us, the….. of the African peoples will take place and that new African personality that was talked about at the time our independence will become real and imminent in our times.