Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has urged African heads of state to begin to look beyond aid for the economic transformation of the continent.
Dr Bawumia made the call yesterday in Accra in a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the first meeting of finance ministers from seven African countries on the G-20 Compact With Africa (CWA) initiative.
According to him, African nations must remember that the aid landscape was shifting and that aid flows from traditional donors were dwindling.
“This surely means that we must begin to contemplate a future beyond aid and also a future with enhanced productive capacity with a robust private sector and one where our infrastructure gaps are met,” he said.
“We must create space for our private sector to thrive and to provide the jobs and finance needed to grow our economies, and we must create the environment to mobilize domestic financing,” Dr. Bawumia stressed.
Reduce Tax Burden
To encourage the type of private investment that is needed, he advised African governments to promote an environment of transparency and reduce tax burdens.
He stressed the need for strong collaboration among African nations to achieve the transformational agenda of the continent.
“While each of the Compact With Africa countries face specific challenges and are at different paces of development, the Compact With Africa also reinforces that in many respects we face common challenges and that it makes sense for us to learn from each other,” according to Dr. Bawumia.
He stressed that “the Compact With Africa provides yet another opportunity for us to work together as Compact With Africa countries and also together with our international partners.”
“We need to own and drive the implementation of the Compact With Africa,” he said, adding that “let us use the compact to harness our transformational opportunities.”
For Ghana, the Compact With Africa has been an opportunity to refocus our attention on areas where investment is badly needed and where we have created a positive business environment, he noted, adding that this includes areas such as renewable energy, agriculture, financial sector, infrastructure, agro-processing, industrial sectors, petrochemicals and tourism.
The pillars of the compact, he said, fall in line with the Government of Ghana overarching goal of building a very business friendly environment in Africa.
Challenges in the European Union (EU), continuous falling global economic indicators, increasing migration and demographic pressures and lack of political cohesion on climate change have made the job of leading the G-20 under the German Presidency a challenging one, Dr. Bawumia noted.
But despite the challenges, he said, there has been a steadfast focus on Africa,” adding that “In fact, if I might say it has been one of the few areas of strong agreements and progress for the G-20.”
African governments, the World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank and the G-20 nations, he said, have made commitments.
“It is our responsibility and duty to live up to our commitments,” he urged.
About the meeting
The meeting, the first of its kind, organized by Ghana’s Ministry of Finance with technical support from the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), provided the opportunity for the various ministers to explore the critical role that the CWA can play in the economic transformation agenda of the said countries.
The CWA programme engages African countries in building a reliable financial and macroeconomic framework in order to expand investment opportunities, create employment and push for more sustainable infrastructure on the continent.
Other observer countries that attended the meeting were Burkina Faso, Benin, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia and Togo.