Interest payment on loans alone is having enough toll on Ghana’s economy. More debt is synonymous to more interest payment. According to the Ministry of Finance, Ghana paid Ghs 15 billion in 2018 for interest payment alone. In the face of huge interest payment, it sounds like a great idea to take aid if not for some of the stringent conditions aids attached to aid.
Ghana can rely on its own generated revenue through taxes, fees charged for public service and state owned enterprises. However, these streams of public revenue generation need transformation, more taxes will become a problem, the delays in public services need improve to be effective and efficient to the ease of citizens, and state owned enterprise cannot afford to be running at loss. What is more cancerous as Ghana seek to go beyond aid is the fact that about 70% of income generated by the country is used in paying salaries of government workers leaving the country with only 30% for developmental agenda.
What is the problem, if Ghana beyond aid is a solution? The truth is aid in Ghana has reduced significantly from 14.4% (2010), 3.4% (2014) and 1.7% (2018) of the country’s annual budget. This means as a country, already we are doing well in reduction the aid received to supplement our budget.
Ghana beyond Aid is significant for three tenets; paradigm shift in mindset, attitudes and behavior. It is important to note that Ghana Beyond Aid is not about a rejection of aid rather a transforming and progression out of dependency. Interestingly, the Ghana beyond aid charter is not binding on successive government. Currently, Ghana is under the influence of the Medium-Term National Development Policy Framework dubbed as an Agenda for Jobs: Creating Prosperity and Equal Opportunity for All (2018 – 2021).
The constitution of Ghana mandates each successive government to development its own medium term plan, the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I & II) was with us from 2001 to 2008, followed by the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (vol I & II), 2009 – 2017. Each national development plan last for four years, should a government get elected after the first four years, then such a government is lucky to continue their medium term plan in vol 2 or part 2. Therefore, since the Ghana Beyond Aid is not a national driven agenda, there is the likelihood that the charter can be abandon by a different government.
Development must be people centered and should be able to evolve to meet the need of people in the next twenty years. “Real Development is all about systematically building a country’s economic, political, technological and social structures into a unified system that continually delivers Well-being to its citizens and which continues to adapt to the changing needs of its citizens”.
These were revealed by Marricke Kofi Gane, International Development Expert, at the Ghana Beyond Aid public lecture organized by the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI) on 12th July, 2019 at the Koforidua Summit Lodge.
In his conclusion, he admonished that pricing should not be the only component in considering value for money for developmental projects. However, effectiveness and efficiency should be considered before pricing.
The public lecture was one of the events marking the Education Week in partnership with the Network for free Society, UK, and Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI), Ghana.
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