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Let’s change our economies – Nana Addo
Source : ghanaweb.com    Date : Tuesday 19 Sep, 2017 | 16:31 GMT
President Akufo-Addo has launched another campaign seeking to get countries and their leaders to change the structure of their economies.

He believes without that, it would be extremely difficult for them to achieve the United Nations (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that they have set for themselves by 2032.

Delivering a keynote address at the 5th International Conference on Sustainable Development to a packed auditorium at the Earth Institute, Columbia University in New York yesterday ahead of the 72nd UN General Assembly meeting, the president indicated that several countries on the continent, including his own Ghana, are taking steps towards converting the 17 SDGs into concrete outcomes for their peoples, with the conviction that they cannot expect others to do it for them.

But with the implementation of the SDGs agenda set to cost between 3.5 trillion to 5.0 trillion dollars per year, and with the news that aid to Africa will be cut significantly by the current US administration, President Akufo-Addo emphasised, “Africa must be efficient and effective not only in mobilising resources, but also looking beyond the benevolence of others to finance implementation of the SDGs agenda.”

His justification was, “We are a continent reliant on foreign aid, despite economic growth in parts of Africa significantly outpacing the global average. Truth be told, the full implementation of the SDGs in Africa cannot be done with a mindset of dependence.”


President Akufo-Addo therefore noted that the first priority of African countries must be to change the structures of the economies on the continent, which are dependent largely on the production and export of raw materials.

According to him, “This reliance on raw material exports feeds our dependence on foreign aid, and subjects us to the politics of the West.”

Citing the example of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, which produce nearly 60% of the world’s cocoa and yet earned, in total, in 2015, only $5.75 billion out of the $100 billion chocolate market, the president stressed that such scenarios can no longer continue.

“We certainly cannot finance the vision of building sustainable development on the continent with such scenarios. There can be no future prosperity for our peoples, in the short, medium or long term, if we continue to maintain economic structures that are dependent on the production and export of raw materials,” he said.

Nana Akufo-Addo therefore insisted, “We must add value to our resources, and we must industrialise. Unless we do so, we cannot finance our own, the full implementation of the SDGs. The agenda surely has to be an Africa Beyond Aid.”

Case study

It is for this reason that President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that his government had introduced measures to stimulate the private sector, through the introduction of a monetary policy that is stabilising the currency, reducing interest rates and reducing significantly the cost of borrowing, in addition to a raft of tax cuts to bring relief to and encourage businesses.

He believes that it is the competitiveness of Ghanaian enterprises, particularly in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, that would determine Ghana’s capacity to create wealth for her youth and women, and wealth in our society, and the sustainable development of the country.

“The competitiveness of Ghana’s private sector is key to addressing issues of inclusion, economic development and growth of Ghana. That is the way to building a self-reliant Ghana, with a strong economy, capable of generating jobs and prosperity for the mass of her people,” Nana added.
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