Ghanaian President Akufo-Addo's quest to see Africa move beyond aid was once again on full display, after his latest speech in the presence of French president Macron sent a strong message to the western world.
French President Emmanuel Macron visited Ghana as part of his first African tour. Macron's advisers say he hopes to modernize France's relations with Africa by emphasizing business links, education and sport rather than development aid. In addition he aims to counter hostility towards France's influence over its former colonies, which is particularly strong among young people.
Ghana, is a former British colony, not a French one, a sign that Macron has a "continental approach to Africa", according to his advisers.
"I am proud to be the first french president to visit Ghana. Long live the friendship between France and Ghana."
Addressing journalists after a short meeting with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo Addo, Macron called for closer relations between Europe and Africa.
Echoing the call made for African unity by Ghana's first president and pan-Africanist, Kwame Nkrumah, Macron said: "Not only must Africa unite, but Europe and Africa must unite."
"I don't think that France or Europe can succeed without Africa. I don't think Ghana can succeed without a stronger Africa and a stronger partnership between Africa and Europe," he said.
Macron's statement was however not echoed by Ghanaian president Akufo Addo who felt strongly that although European-African relations are favorable Ghana and Africa must move towards autonomy from the dependency on aid and charity that has been the trait of the relationship so far.
"We can no longer continue to make policy for ourselves and our country in our region, in our continent on the basis of whatever support the western world or France or the European Union can give us. It will not will not work, it has not worked and it will not work. Our responsibility is to charter a path which is about how we can develop our nations ourselves.
"It is not right for a country like Ghana 60 years after independence still having its health and education budget being financed off the generosity and charity of European taxpayers. By now we should be able to finance our basic needs ourselves.
"Our concern should be with what do we need to do in this 21st century to move Africa away from being cap in hand begging for Aid, for charity, for handouts. The African continent when you look at its resources should be giving monies to other places. We have huge wealth on this continent."
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