‘We just don’t get up and say no to aid’ – Kufuor
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has said Ghana still needs the support of international donors to support the economy and drive development at all levels.
Government’s decision to sign eight new Co-operation Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding with China in different sectors of their respective economies, has been widely criticized by some stakeholders who have primarily argued that government has no new ways of generating wealth internally for development.
The criticism in most cases, has been occasioned by the government’s own pledge that it is seeking to build a Ghana Beyond Aid. There are also concerns that the country is not getting the best from the aid largely due to rising corruption levels.
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Speaking to the media at the graduation of first batch of students of the Kufuor Scholars programme , former President Kufuor insisted that Ghana’s current phase of development requires some form of financial support from international partners.
“It is a matter of phasing. We are in a phase of development. We just do not get up and say no aid. They have exploited us enough so we take to empower ourselves, to build ourselves through education and through attracting investment, creating employment, so it gets to a point where now when they come, they meet their equals. So we have to be careful to say that now where we are, we will not go and ask for aid. We will do it, but only as a stage to empower us.”
The former President added that Ghana needs to strategically position itself to get the best out of international agreements.
“We need to build our negotiating skills up so we get a fair share around the negotiating table because whether from the East or West, none of them come because they love us. They come for what they can get and we must also learn what we want from them and learn to negotiate and take it.”