President Akufo-Addo of Ghana has said that Africa must build value-added,
industrialized economies with modernized agriculture, leveraged on the digital
revolution if it wants to ensure wealth and prosperity for its people.
Akufo-Addo said Africa as a rich continent had the world’s second fastest
growing economy and had a youthful population that puts it in a good position
to develop at a faster pace.
President Akufo-Addo made the statement on Tuesday when he delivered the
keynote address at the 5th German-African Economic Forum, held
in Dortmund, Germany.
|Ghanaian President Akufo Addo with some investors at the 5th German-African Forum held in Germany.|
“Indeed, six of the world’s ten fastest growing economies in 2018 are in
Africa. And yet, the masses of the African people remain poor, when we have no
reason to be poor,” he said.
He said in order to create prosperity for the African people, “our first
priority must be to change the structures of the economies on the continent,
which are dependent largely on the production and export of raw materials. It
is this reliance on raw material exports that feeds our dependence on foreign aid,
and subjects us to the politics of the West.”
The willingness of many African youths to cross the Sahara desert on foot
and drown in the Mediterranean Sea, in a desperate bid to reach the mirage of a
better life in Europe, he explained, should serve as a wake-up call for
governments on the continent.
“Africa needs to transform stagnant, jobless economies, built on the export
of raw materials and unrefined goods, to value-added economies that provide
jobs, to build strong middle-class societies and lift the masses of our people
out of dire poverty. We can only do so if we participate in the global market
place on the basis not of the exports of raw materials, but on the basis of
things we make,” he added.
The continent’s second priority, he said, should be to increase trade and
investment co-operation, and not aid, as it is one of the ways healthy economic
relations can be developed between Africa and Germany, and indeed with the rest
of the world.
“With Africa’s population set to reach some 2 billion people in 20 years’
time, there are immense opportunities to bring prosperity to Africa, and to
Germany too with hard work, enterprise and creativity. I urge German
organisations and companies present to take advantage of this and enhance their
trade relations with Africa,” the President said.
He continued, “The time to deepen German-African trade and investment is
now. We must generate investments in agro-industry, the energy and power
sectors, and infrastructural development of Africa, capable of producing positive
outcomes for the private sectors, especially small and medium-scale enterprises
(SMEs), of Germany and Africa.”
Thirdly, President Akufo-Addo urged for co-operation between Germany and
Africa in ensuring the promotion of transparent, and inclusive policy and
decision-making processes at local, national, regional, continental and global
“Fourthly, in order for us to build an Africa that meets the aspirations of
the African peoples and opens up opportunities for all, especially its youth,
we must also prioritise our budgetary arrangements to ensure that funds are
available to strengthen key institutions of state, such as the Legislature,
Judiciary, and fiscal institutions,” he said.
He continued, “It is important that we promote and develop a culture of
accountable governance, free of corruption, whereby these institutions of state
see themselves as independent public entities serving the wider public
interest, not the temporary conveniences of governments of the day. We have a
responsibility to make our countries attractive to our young people. They
should feel they have a worthwhile future, if they stay and help build their