Ghana: Let's Build Our Countries Through Hard Work, Not On Aid and Charity - President Akufo-Addo

press release

Ghana's President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged African leaders to discard the mentality of depending on aid and charity to sustain their economies, but work hard to transform their countries through trade and investment.

He said "once we change the narrative about Africa, we have to get away from the idea that there is some 'Father Christmas' somewhere who is going to come and develop our continent for us. There is no such 'Father Christmas'. There is just us. Once that mentality is changed, then our relations with other people will become much more structured."

Addressing the Africa Diaspora Summit on Thursday, July 11, 2019, President Akufo-Addo said it was unfortunate that the independence attained by most African countries, nearly six decades ago, had not led to the socio-economic transformation of these countries.

He said Africa countries relations with countries in Europe must be different from what has persisted over the years.

"That relationship has enriched Europe but has not enriched Africa. We need to change that dynamic, and we can only do it by taking the correct measures for our future.

That is where my focus is... It cannot be right that the continent that has allegedly the wealthiest resources of the world is also the home of the poorest people on the globe. That disconnect is not a good one, and we need to work to change that," President Akufo-Addo added.

Insistent on educating Africa's youthful population, he explained that "once we find the means to do the education of this population and giving it skills, then we are putting Africa on the path of very, very strong economic growth," he said.

President Akufo-Addo said, "we can replicate what has been done in Asia if, like them, we maintain the discipline and correct analysis of what we need to do to move our continent forward."

"They have been able to transform the lives of millions of Chinese, of Indians, why can we not replicate that same phenomenon on our continent," he retorted.

He said he did not doubt that "those of you here can make a big input into that transformation that we are all looking for."

President Akufo-Addo reiterated his stance of Africa not turning its back on the world, in her pursuit of self-reliance.

"We live on the same planet. We need the association and partnership with countries like France, the networks they have developed, their savoir-faire in all those areas that we can profit and benefit from.

It is for us to define that relationship that we want with the rest of the world. We should not be caught up in a language or narrative that says that we are appendages to other people's thinking and policies. That will not help us," the President said.

To the African Diaspora, he reminded them of the fact that the destiny of all black people in the world wherever they are is bound up with Africa.

"Let me repeat that the destiny of all black people in the world is bound up with Africa. A performing Africa elevates the status of all black people around the world. A non-performing Africa continues the situation where black people around the world are looked down on," President Akufo-Addo said.

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