I still believe Africa needs to end dependence on Western aid – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says he remains one hundred per cent convinced that Africa and Ghana for that matter, need to stop depending on foreign aid and funds as a source of capital for its economy.

Speaking in a recent interview with CNN, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana needs to become self-reliant and the emphasis in achieving that is evident in the acquisition of vaccines in this COVID-19 pandemic era.

“The need for us to look to ourselves to find ways of resolving our problems has been intensified by what has happened in this last year with this vaccine. We cannot depend on charity; we cannot depend on the generosity of foreigners and foreign taxpayers for our sustenance. Those things that we can do ourselves, we have to,” the President stated.

Ghana and many other African countries have had to depend on Western donors in having access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Ghana in early March took delivery of its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines. The 600,000 AstraZeneca vaccines were received under the COVAX programme which was tagged as vaccine support to the world’s poorest countries.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2017 whiles addressing a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, stated the need for Africa to absolve itself from foreign aid.

“We have to get away from this mindset of dependency. This mindset about ‘what can France do for us?’ France will do whatever it wants to do for its own sake, and when those coincide with ours, ‘tant mieux’ [so much better] as the French people say…our concern should be what do we need to do in this 21st century to move Africa away from being cap 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 need to have a mindset that says we can do it…and once we have that mindset we’ll see there’s a liberating factor for ourselves,” he stated.

When the President made the statement in 2017, he was widely hailed across the continent for being bold to speak about a situation of over-dependence on foreign aid which has rendered several countries hugely indebted.

Almost four years after his famous speech, Ghana continues to rely on foreign donors and lenders for financing many things including its national budget.

Currently, Ghana’s debt stock is estimated to be around 30.54 billion U.S. dollars.