Getting Out of Aid Syndrome


After 61 years of nationhood, Ghana continues to rely heavily on donor partners or foreign aid for survival and growth.
Notwithstanding this heavy dependence on aid, the pace of the country’s development is nothing to write home about, compared with developing countries such as the Asian Tigers, even though we all inherited similar economic conditions from our colonial masters on attaining independence.
Countries such as Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, India and Taiwan have been able to use less than two generations to push their economies to the current enviable heights they have attained, comparatively, within 40 years, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia have been able to move their infant economies from the clutches of aid dependency.
On the global stage, Asia buoyed by the performance of the Chinese economy, has emerged strongly as the showpiece of international commerce because of the prudent policies its governments adopted.
Sixty-one years of nationhood is long enough to look within and identify the fatal mistakes that have slowed down the pace of national development.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, delivering the keynote address at the Independence Day Celebration on Tuesday sixth March said: “After 61 years of Independence, Ghana must think big and break away from being an aid-dependent and charity-driven economy”.
“I want us, in Ghana, to break out from our aid dependence and charity-driven economic outlook. I want programmes that will be dynamic in content and help us think big and be dissatisfied with remaining poor”, he stated.
According to the President, programmes designed to help poor and the vulnerable in society must also have clear-cut exit strategies and structured to enable the beneficiaries to live independent lives.
From the viewpoint of the Business Journal the advice by the president must be taken very seriously by both the nation and its citizens if we are to pursue one sure path leading to economic transformation.
Ghana cannot continue to make the same unpardonable mistakes after years of independence and thereby fail the next generation.
If Ghana is determined to take its rightful place in global economic affairs, then there are a couple of hard decisions it ought to take immediately.
We need to be patriotic and nip in the bud corrupt practices which are gradually being institutionalized, if not already institutionalized. Corruption is still cancerous on our body politic.
If we do not change our ways of doing things, we will continue to lag behind through our deeds and actions and no amount of foreign aid can bail us out of our economic challenges.
Our first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, on the day Ghana attained independence, said “… the Black man is capable of managing his own affairs”.
He argued that what the Europeans and Americans had used hundred years to achieve, the black man could use the next generation to achieve.
Many years down the line, Ghana is yet to attain that dream of our former illustrious leader.
Fortunately, we have a new President who is remaining the nation of the huge responsibility ahead of all of us which calls for all hands to be on deck to make Ghana greater and stronger.