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COVID19 presents best opportunity for Ghana to be self-sufficient – Osafo-Maafo

BY: Emmanuel Bruce
Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo (left) interacting with Bishop Charles Palmer Buckle after the forum. Also in the picture are Mr Kwame Pianim (right) and Mr Isaac Jay Hyde (2nd right). Picture EBOW HANSON
Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo (left) interacting with Bishop Charles Palmer Buckle after the forum. Also in the picture are Mr Kwame Pianim (right) and Mr Isaac Jay Hyde (2nd right). Picture EBOW HANSON

The COVID 19 pandemic which has brought economic activities around the world to a standstill presents the best opportunity for Ghana to become a self-sufficient country.

He said if the country would ever be self-sufficient, then this was the right time to start working towards that.

Speaking at a forum on Ghana Beyond Aid which was held under the theme ‘COVID-19 and our march towards Ghana Beyond Aid: Turning adversity into opportunity, the minister said the pandemic also provided the best opportunity for the country to achieve Ghana beyond aid agenda.

Quoting the President, Mr Osafo-Maafo, said a Ghana beyond aid was prosperous and confident Ghana in charge of her economic destiny, and a transformed Ghana that was prosperous enough to be beyond lean aid.

“Ghana beyond aid is a Ghana that engages competitively with the rest of the world through trade and investments,” he stated.

To achieve this agenda, he said the country must harness effectively its own resources and deploy them efficiently for rapid economic and social transformation.

“This require hard work, enterprise, creativity and a consistent fight against corruption. It will also require that we break from the mentality of dependency and adopt a confident can do spirit, fueled by love for the country.

“We cannot subordinate the common good to a prosperous nation to the self-interest of a few,” he noted.

Best and worse times  

An economist, Mr Kwame Pianim, also noted that the pandemic presented both the best and worse times.

“Whether it becomes best or worse depends on how we all move to help Ghana.

He said building local capacity was key if the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda would be realised.

He said the agenda was a development initiative that needed all stakeholders on board to survive political regimes and become a national dream.

"While putting this Ghana Beyond Aid document together, the second largest political party in this country was not part of it, so there is no guarantee that it will not be changed in the future. We need to build more consensus for the GBA, going forward," he stated.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic was an opportunity for more to be done for the mobilisation of resources and strategic investments to make Ghana self-sufficient.

"It is time for us to be walking the talk, not just talking because it is a challenge for us to walk our way out of poverty," Mr Pianim said.

Human factor

Also speaking at the forum, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast, the Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, said Ghana beyond aid was a big dream for the country and for it to succeed, every Ghanaian must be on board.

He said the human factor was indispensable in the quest for Ghana beyond aid.

“We need to renew our minds and change our attitudes for our collective development under Ghana beyond aid,” he stated.

For the country to achieve the values under the agenda, Rev Palmer-Buckle said the Ghana Education Service, the National Commission for Civic Education, faith based organisations and civil society organisations must be tasked to work out a pertinent syllabus and curricula on the fundamental values outlined in the agenda and how they can be inculcated into every Ghanaian.

“We need a systematic and sustained goals oriented formation programmes for these values. We just don’t need to renew a mindset but need an emancipation of our mental forms of slavery of all kinds.