Accra, Sep 4 (IPS) The President of Ghana, host to a global aid meet, told gathered ministers here today delays by rich nations in releasing aid money were threatening democratic governments in poor countries.
At the same time, he said Ghana – “in time – wanted to stop being an aid-dependent nation.
“Many recipient nations have established various frameworks for financial monitoring and accountability and procurement process,” John Kufuor said while opening the ministerial meeting at the 3rd High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra.
“Our partners should demonstrate commitment on their part by matching such efforts with increased support and goodwill. Such support should manifest in the timeous release of resources for critical programmes in the shared country plans.
“For delays in the implementation of programmes that society has bought into frustrate expectations and tend to cause political disenchantment and render governments, especially a democratically elected leadership, vulnerable,” Kufuor said.
The Forum which brought together about 1,200 delegates from over 120 countries ends on September 4 after discussing and agreeing ways to make aid more efficient.
President Kufuor urged the delegates to come out with “some bold and ambitious resolutions, to minimise existing impediments to aid effectiveness in recipient countries, to make way for sustained growth and development.”
He said Ghana has used development assistance to stabilise the national economy to move from a status of poverty onto a trajectory of sustained long-term growth.
“Ghana is closer than most countries to reaching the Millennium Development Goals,” Kufuor said, adding that current minimum wages at two cedis has overtaken the global target of USD 1.
“Today Ghana is able to issue bonds on the international capital market. In time, the aim is to totally wean the nation of out of a perennial and structural dependence on aid.”
Listing other “success stories”, he said some fragile states with strong and good leadership were showing signs of “remarkable progress on aid effectiveness and development.”
“Liberia, a country that has just emerged from the throes of war and destruction, has completed the first phase of its Poverty Reduction Strategy in one year and is about to start the second phase.
“Such demonstration of committed leadership which is carrying the citizenry deserves urgent unalloyed support from the development partners.” Kufuor said.
He said the message from Liberia is that “aid should be used chiefly to assist with capacity building in recipient countries, both in terms of human resource development and infrastructure laying to improve productivity.
The Ghanaian president said harmonisation of development assistance among donor countries and agencies, and alignment of aid with the development programmes of recipient countries will help make aid more effective.
“In the face of multiple donors, harmonisation of assistance reduces the strain and sometimes costly burden of dealing with them individually by a recipient country,” he said.