President Kufuor Calls for Aid to End Aid Dependency-“Remove Systemic indignities of permanent aid through social and economic empowerment of the recipient countries”
Accra, Ghana – 4 September 2008 – Ghanaian President, John Kufuor, has called on developing and developed countries to deploy and manage development assistance to enable poor countries exit from aid dependency.
"We have an opportunity today to reach for a future based on a shared common commitment to overcome poverty, a future where no country will depend on aid," Mr. Kufuor said while opening the ministerial session of the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-3) on Thursday in Accra.
He urged conference participants to come up with "bold and ambitious resolutions, to minimize existing impediments to Aid Effectiveness in recipient countries", to make way for sustained growth and development.
He added that the driving force for shared humanity behind these conferences shows that the concept of development partnership has attained a critical acceptance as a major vehicle to further enhance Aid Effectiveness in recipient countries.
The Ghanaian president underscored the need to empower developing countries in order for them to play proactive roles in the global village of interdependence, adding that the Forum had a responsibility to remove the "systemic indignities of permanent aid through social and economic empowerment of recipient countries".
With regard to the performance of Ghana’s economy, Mr. Kufuor said the country was close to attaining the Millennium Development Goals. He said daily minimum wage was way above the US$1 dollar target while free and compulsory universal basic education was on course. In addition, the country provides adequate healthcare through its national health insurance scheme while pregnant women enjoy free birth delivery.
"Today, Ghana is able to issue bonds on the international capital market," he said, adding that the ultimate objective was to completely wean the nation from perennial and structural dependence on aid.
The Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Angel Gurría, for his part, said the primary task of the forum was to endorse an Accra Agenda for Action (AAA), a blueprint of what developing and developed countries must do to achieve their commitments under the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness by 2010.
Mr. Gurría noted that surveys, case studies and evidence from countries suggest that while some progress had been achieved in meeting Paris Declaration commitments, much more remains to be done.
"A large number of developing countries have improved their management of public funds. Donors, in turn, are increasingly improving their co-ordination at country level. Yet, the pace of progress is too slow. Without further reform and faster action, we will not meet our 2010 commitments and targets for improving the quality of aid," he emphasized.
Participants at the session included Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Former Irish President, Mary Robinson, as well as the Presidents of the African Development Bank Group and the World Bank, Donald Kaberuka and Robert Zoellick, respectively, among other dignitaries. The 3-day conference attended by more than 1,000 stakeholders in the development business, had earlier conducted a general review of the implementation of the Paris process, launched a pictorial exposition competition on development business tagged "Marketplace of Ideas", and held nine round-table meetings on key commitments of the Paris Declaration.