Prof George Ayittey: Ghana Doesn’t Need Foreign Aid.
A Ghanaian Economist and President of the Free Africa Foundation in Washington DC, Professor George Ayittey has stated that “Ghana really doesn’t need foreign aid” because the country is self sufficient in funding its projects and policies.
Media reports have revealed that the flow of budgetary and other forms of donor support to Ghana will cease due to the country’s new economic status; a middle income country.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday, Professor Ayittey stressed that the time was right for Ghana to wean itself of foreign aid because according to him, “any foreign aid comes with strings attached, it comes with foreign governments dictating to you what you should do and what you shouldn’t do.”
He opined that Ghana, and Africa as a whole, did not need to rely on foreign aid if the continents economy, natural and human resources were to be properly and efficiently managed.
Citing one such resource, Professor Aryetey noted that Ghana’s discovery of oil in commercial quantities was enough to make her self reliant. According to him, a lot of money was being wasted in Ghana.
“Look at the government sector, it’s so bloated. We have something like 78 Ministers and Deputy Ministers and each one of the has a Pajero and some government Ministries even have four Deputy Ministers. There is a duplication of functions.”
He therefore advised that it was necessary for the existing bureaucracies to be cut in half, “to improve on the infrastructure.”
The Advocacy Officer, for the Ghana Coalition of NGOs on Health, Michael Boadi however holds a differing opinion.
In his view, it was imperative for the country to build the capacity to sustain growth and development before the dependency on aid ends.
“The discussion should focus on strategizing so that we can be self dependent. We can build our capacities so that we will be able not to depend on external support but we can be able to raise the revenues from within. But for now, we haven’t gotten there yet.”