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Archive for the tag “Development Aid”

Opinion: President Akufo-Addo message on development is what the world needs!

Yesterday, the Ghanian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo addressed the Press together with the French President Macron. As he did this he asked serious questions about governance and development. Akufo-Addo proved with brilliance what many people are saying about the African continent, but isn’t heard from the people in power. Akufo Addo actually wants like all other sovereign states to be charging his own people for the services they are getting and not handouts from strangers abroad. That isn’t noble, that is Statesmanship and responsibility. As he don’t want aid, but trade. The President wants Ghana to make it on its own and with its own resources, instead of billing the tab from afar.

All nations and all presidents should seek this paradigm. His own words are powerful and it is needed, in times when states are either addicted to aid or borrowing funds at levels that are destroying the economies. These words and shift should be taken by all states who are used to aid. So they can prepare their citizens and their institutions to be built. So that governance and the government can deliver services to their public.

Addressing a press conference with France President Emmanuel Macron during the latter’s one-day working visit to Ghana on Thursday, President Akufo- Addo said African countries cannot continue to make policies based on the support the Western world can give. He said, “Our responsibility to charter a path which is about how we can develop our nations ourselves. It is not right for a country like Ghana, 60-years after independence to still have its health and education budget being financed on the basis of the generosity and charity of European taxpayers” (…) “We need to have a mindset that says we can do it… and once we have that mindset we’ll see there’s a liberating factor for ourselves,” he said. Akufo-Addo said the only way Africa can stop its young men and women from migrating to other countries to seek greener pastures is to put in place systems that work. “We want to have those energies working inside our countries and we are going to have those energies if we begin to build systems that tells the young people of our country that their hopes, the opportunities are right here with us,” he stressed” (…) “Our concern should be with what we need to do in this 21st century to move Africa away from being cup-in-hand and begging for aid, for charity and for handouts,” he said” (Ghanaweb, 2017).

I’m European, I don’t care what Macron said or wanted to say after hearing Akufo-Addo speech. It was powerful and needed. The words that is expressed and the needed shift is there. Not that charity or aid should automatically stop. But the world, the leaders and the states themselves. Needs to find their way to sustain and develop mechanism for collecting revenue and also tax properly services. Secondly, needs proper guidelines and institutions to sufficiently create growth and stagger inflation. Combined with investment in not only extraction and producing crops, but also create products with it. So that the state don’t only get the low value export, but get refined and developed products on the world market. That isn’t an easy fix and has been tampered-on ever since independence and the world order hasn’t made it better too.

Initially, the power lays in the hands of the leadership. In the hands of people Akufo-Addo and others. Who can leave behind institutions and markets, that can leave behind educated and industries that brings wealth not only to a chosen few, but to the GDP of their respective nations. While stopping the current fix and re-up of more aid donations and charity from European taxpayers.

I hope that the African leadership are listening to this and actually follows this. To be truly independent. Be developed and generate the wealth the African people deserve and the stability of institutions it also should create to prosper. Maybe, not leadership as western-democracies, but in states and elected leadership that takes responsibility and uses the skills and resources for the benefit of all citizens. Not only for corporate citizens, but all of them. Building states and building democracies where the people and state are working for a common-goal. The betterment and changing today for the future. Not awaiting handouts from Berlin, Paris or London. The Ghanaian republic deserve this, they deserve to handle on their own, all former colonies and former protectorate deserves this. Just like the European republics and kingdoms are responsible for their own finances and economy. They are not awaiting funds from China or US to save them…

The same we should wish to say about African state, who are begging for donors and loans to fill the void of own taxation and revenue. Therefore, the speech from President Akufo-Addo deserves credit, not because he is African and wants to get rid of the hands-out. But because he speaking the truth in general. Every single statesman on planet earth, should work for this goal, no matter which continent and whatever country they are running. It doesn’t matter, all citizens and states should work for this common goal that President Akufo-Addo speaks off. Also, European Nations that are struggling with debt and with deficit like Greece and Italy, should also work for this goal and not be saved by other institutions. This is a world-wide issue, not only on the African continent. Peace.

Reference:

Ghanaweb – ‘Africa must stop depending on foreign aid – Akufo-Addo’ (03.12.2017) link: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Africa-must-stop-depending-on-foreign-aid-Akufo-Addo-606111

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Inspiring words from Tom Mboya at the ‘Symposium on Industrial Development in Africa’ (27. January 1966)

I know that Thomas Joseph Odhiambo (Tom) Mboya was a vital politician in the first part of the independent Kenya. He was a charismatic person, who even got himself on the front-page of the Time Magazine in 1960. His assassination in 1969 are still unanswered, like so many other extra-judicial killings. But that should not overshadow the impact and the wisdom of the man, who helped to form Kenya after Independence. He was part of the Kenya African National Union (KANU) and worked together with Jomo Kenyatta.

His words in this speech, should not be a fading memory, but something that the leaders of the continent should have worked upon. Since some of it has already been proven to be right. I myself wished it was different, since the trade-imbalanced with the former colonial states and the other developed countries. Therefore, the knowledge he had should be enforced now. As there are to many generations who has been lost and hasn’t gotten what they deserved. Here is the pieces of the speech that should be taken to heart.

Meanwhile, we in the poorer. countries are faced with a rapid growth in population and’ with the standards of life demanded by the. Masses. It has been calculated that a 1% increase in the per capita income of an industrialised country increases the demand for. food and raw materials by only 0.6%, but that the same increase in per capita income in a country importing manufactured articles will lead to an increase of 1.8% in the demand for imports. Super imposed on this has been a tendency for the terms of trade to move against the less developed countries. Unless we in Africa build up quickly our domestic services of supply for enough of the industrial products which are required for the modernization of our countries, we will either become increasingly” indebted’ to and “hence” politically dependent on foreign countries, or have our. progress undermined by balance of payments difficulties” (Tom Mboya, 1966).

Whatever industry we attempt to build the same sort of problems, arise an accurate knowledge, of natural resources is required. Although there is much more to be learned we already know that we have in Africa the natural resources to feed a vast range of industries. Cheap energy has to be obtained. While Africa is rich in energy resource only a fraction of them have been harnessed. Industry cannot grow without efficient transport, but we can get ourselves out of’ the vicious circle since new transport links can themselves be justified in strictly commercial terms by the specific development possibilities now opened up, These three subjects natural resources, energy and transport are Vitally important, but they are not on the agenda, of this Conference” (Tom Mboya, 1966).

These words from Mboya, should be cherished and remembered, as the powerful statement it was. That the will of development on own terms was key and that they could not continue with a trade deficit with the developed countries. This has happen since because the loans, the grants and direct aid from the developed countries to the African continent. That has been a paradigm to control and assess the situation in terms of donors, not on the governments who got the funds. Therefore, the circle of aid and donor aid prospered instead of industrial development and other shifts of supply.

There been many other factors as the leadership and the cronyism has eaten budgets and donor aid. We could have hoped the past had listened to Mboya, that the states and republic’s could have followed this. To build nations on dependent on donors, that in the end will work for their own benefit and not for the African development. They will use the aid and donor aid for their own gain and personal benefit for their constituents, not for the African republic. In an ideal world it would be different, but looking through history and you can say otherwise. Since the development aid and the slums are still there, where Tom Mboya left them. The poverty Mboya saw and discussed are there, the names of the streets and nations might be different, but the troubles are the same.

Tom Mboya spoke wisdom and that should be recollected and not forgotten, not only his vital role in Kenya, but beyond. Mboya’s words here should be discussed and used to change political and trade imbalances to benefit own republic’s, federations and kingdoms of Africa. The states deserves to stop the deficit and also develop themselves on their own terms. That is something they have deserved all along, but the International organizations, Multi-National Financial Organizations and Development Banks has stifled this with their creeds, their protocols and their agreements with the state. To get needed funds they have to open economy and stop government subsidizes to support local production in agriculture and industry. So, the history of the neo-colonial Africa, had deserved to follow the paradigm shift Mboya spoke of in 1966. Peace.

Reference:

United Nations – ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA AND CENTRE FOR INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT – Symposium on Industrial Development in Africa, Cairo, 27 January – 10 February 1966 – SPEECH BY TEE CHAIRMAN OF THE ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOE AFRICA THE HONOURABLE TOM MBOYA MINISTER OP ECONOMIC-PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT, KMYA, AT THE OPENING OF THE INDUSTRIAL SYMPOSIUM, CAIRO, 27 JANUARY, 1966

UNCTAD Warns on Debt, Says Africa Should Find New Ways to Finance Development

Ghana Currency

This year’s UNCTAD Economic Development in Africa Report 2016 finds that Africa’s external debt ratios appear manageable, but African governments must take action to prevent rapid debt growth from becoming a crisis, as experienced in the late 1980s and 1990s. 

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 21, 2016 – African governments should add new revenue sources to finance their development, such as remittances, public-private partnerships, and a clampdown on illicit financial flows, an UNCTAD report said on Thursday, warning that debt looks unsustainable in some countries.

This year’s UNCTAD Economic Development in Africa Report 2016 finds that Africa’s external debt ratios appear manageable, but African governments must take action to prevent rapid debt growth from becoming a crisis, as experienced in the late 1980s and 1990s.

“Borrowing can be an important part of improving the lives of African citizens,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said. “But we must find a balance between the present and the future, because debt is dangerous when unsustainable.”

At least $600 billion will be needed each year to meet the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa, according to the report which is subtitled Debt Dynamics and Development Finance in Africa. This amount equates to roughly a third of countries’ gross national income. Official development aid and external debt are unlikely to cover these needs, the report finds.

A decade or so of strong growth has provided many countries with the opportunity to access international financial markets. Between 2006 and 2009, the average African country saw its external debt stock grow 7.8 percent per year, a figure that accelerates to 10 percent per year in the years 2011–2013 to reach $443 billion or 22 per cent of gross national income by 2013.

Several African countries have also borrowed heavily on domestic markets, the report finds. It provides specific examples and analyses of domestic debt in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zambia. In some countries, domestic debt rose from an average 11 percent of GDP in 1995 to around 19 percent at the end of 2013, almost doubling in two decades.

“Many African countries have begun the move away from a dependence on official development aid, looking to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals with new and innovative sources of finance,” Dr. Kituyi said.

The report argues that African countries should look for complementary sources of revenue, including remittances, which have been growing rapidly, reaching $63.8 billion to Africa in 2014. The report discusses how remittances and diaspora savings can contribute to public and development finance.

Together with the global community, Africa must also tackle illicit financial flows; which can be as high as $50 billion per year. Between 1970 and 2008, Africa lost an estimated $854 billion in illicit financial flows, roughly equal to all official development assistance received by the continent in that time.

And while governments should be vigilant of the borrowing risks, public-private partnerships have also started to play a more prominent role in financing development. In Africa, public-private partnerships are being used especially to finance infrastructure. Of the 52 countries considered during the period 1990-2014, Nigeria tops the list with $37.9 billion of investment, followed by Morocco and South Africa.

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