President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the World Bank and the IMF, to partner Africa countries to leverage more of their her resources for national development.
This, the President said, would enable Africa realise her dream of a self-reliant continent that would no longer depend on the receipt of aid and charity.
Addressing the African Caucus Meeting of African Governors of the World Bank and IMF on Thursday, President Akufo-Addo said the mindset of self-reliant informed the recent strategic partnership between Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, to defend the collective interests of their cocoa farmers, and the development of their economies.
The President said it was imperative that Africa harnessed effectively her resources, deployed them creatively and efficiently for rapid economic and social transformation.
"We need a lot of resources to generate the prosperity we want in Africa."
President Akufo-Addo said Africa has 30% of the earth's remaining minerals and an important player in the world production of coal, oil and gas, but most of the resources were exported in their raw state, adding, "Africa does not derive its fair share of the values of these resources."
This paradigm, the President noted, should be corrected to enable African economies to transform from raw material producing and exporting economies to one based on value-addition and industrial activities, anchored on things made and grown in Africa.
In this respect, the creation and the important role to be played by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), according to the President, has assumed catalytic proportions.
It will be recalled that the AfCFTA became operational this month after an Extraordinary AU Summit in Niamey, the capital of the Republic of Niger. Fifty-four (54) of the fifty-five (55) African countries have signed the agreement and 28 have ratified it. Twenty-two (22) ratifications were necessary for it to become operational.
Describing the AfCFTA as a game-changer about moving Africa to a situation Beyond Aid, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the increased trade and investments emanating from the free trade area presents a significant boost to the continent's efforts at industrialisation and agricultural modernisation.
"The prosperity will also come from the free movement of skilled Africans, moving across the continent to make better use of their talents, and contributing to growth and prosperity right here in Africa, rather than in other continents," he added.
Touching on the creation of jobs for African youths, the President stated that it was the structural transformation of African economies that would enable jobs to be created for the teeming masses of African youths.
Africa is the youngest in the world, with a median age of 19.5 years. By 2050, it is projected that Africa's population will reach 2 billion, half of which will be under 25 years of age, and will have the world's largest labour force of 25 per cent, compared to 14 per cent in China and 7 per cent in Europe.
This, he explained, is both a challenge and an opportunity.
"The opportunity is the chance for a youthful and dynamic workforce to drive African economies, and make the continent a powerhouse in the global economy," President Akufo-Addo said.
He continued, "The challenge is how to provide this bulging population with the education, skills, digital literacy and vibrant economies that provide them with jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities."
In Ghana, the President indicated that, despite predictable constraints on the nation's resources, his government has made education in public schools from kindergarten to the senior secondary level, including technical and vocational schools, free.
"This has led to rapid, dramatic expansion, in the last two academic years of enrolment in senior high schools, as access has now been provided to many who were previously barred by poverty. But we know it is only the beginning. We will focus on building world-class educational institutions that will produce scholars, especially the scientists, engineers, technicians, and agricultural experts that will transform our economies and create remunerative jobs," he added.
President Akufo-Addo told the African Caucus of Governors to feel privileged that they were in positions that offer opportunities to take action to enable Africa realise her possibilities, possibilities which, when realised, would give a great impetus to the expansion of the world economy, and a substantial increase to global, general living standards.
"We should seize the occasion; each one of us in our various positions! Together, working with the people of Africa, and with our educated, skilled, dynamic and growing youthful population, we can build a prosperous and self-confident Africa, an Africa Beyond Aid. We can, and we should; so, let us get to work!" he said.