President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said after 60 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-dependent and charity-driven economic outlook.
“I want programmes that will be dynamic in content and help us to think big and be dissatisfied with remaining poor,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo made this known yesterday when he delivered the keynote address at the 4th Rotary International District 9102 Conference in Accra.
The President, who is a Paul Harris Fellow of The Rotary Club, Accra South, stated that programmes designed to help the poor and the vulnerable must have clear-cut exit strategies.
He said the citizenry must not unduly rely on long-term aid programmes, stressing that such programmes and initiatives must be structured to enable beneficiaries to exit and lead independent lives.
Making reference to the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) initiative, the President said: “I remember when the LEAP programme was envisaged and introduced under President Kufuor. We were clear in our minds that whereas we wanted it to cover all those who would qualify under the definition of the programme, it was meant to be a hand-up, not a hand-out.”
“If someone has to go on the LEAP programme, it should not be for the rest of that person’s life. There should be a definite time limit to being a LEAP beneficiary, and the beneficiary should be able to stand on his or her own after the stated period,’’ the President added.
Focus of Rotary
Touching on the “Six Areas of Focus of Rotary,” President Akufo-Addo noted that members of the Rotary Club had always been well placed to influence events and policies in Ghana.
In the area of health, he stated that the infection rates of poliomyelitis, one of the six childhood killer diseases, had been reduced from an annual 350,000 cases in over 125 countries, to just 75 cases in only three countries.
That feat, he noted, was achieved with the involvement of Rotary.
“You have taken on the other great killer of our part of the world, malaria, and I wish to congratulate Rotary on your Roll Back Malaria project. It does look as though we are finally making headway in the fight against malaria. This is also the result of collaboration between the government and non-governmental organisations,” he said.
On water and sanitation, President Akufo-Addo stated: “I am pleased to learn that you have started the second phase of a US$6 million Rotary International/USAID Water Collaboration. We could not ask for a better partner than Rotary as we seek to implement our government’s programme to provide potable water and good sanitation for all our people.”
Another area of focus of Rotary was basic education and literacy, where the President stressed that “education is the only way to give a good head start and provide equal opportunities for all our children.’’
“This government believes that a lot hangs on the success of our education programmes, and we welcome enthusiastically all the help that we can get from organisations such as Rotary in delivering quality education to our people,” he told the gathering.
President Akufo-Addo charged Rotary to partner with the Minister of Inner City and Zongo Development so as to develop and initiate projects which would help people in the rural areas.
He also urged Rotary to partner the government in the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme, which was launched in Goaso in the Brong Ahafo Region last Wednesday, and also in the implementation of the one-district-one-factory programme.
“It is a programme in which private sector participation is essential. Come and join us make a success of it. You have a lot of people with good business acumen and experience among your ranks. There are a lot of opportunities and I invite you to join us bring prosperity to our people,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that “we are determined to build a new Ghanaian and African civilisation, where the rule of law works, where individual liberties and human rights are respected, and where the principles of democratic accountability are the foundation of public policy. “
“We are determined to forge a new Ghanaian and African who is neither a victim nor a pawn of the world economic order, but who will be a dignified member of a successful, thriving, prosperous society,” he said.
Source; Ghana | Graphic.com