Madam Tove Degnbol said it was time Denmark to move beyond giving aid to Ghana under the country’s strategy of development cooperation and rather increase collaboration in trade and investment.
She said for the past after 25 years Denmark has been a long-standing and trusted partner to Ghana which has been based on development cooperation in social and economic sectors, human rights, and good governance.
She noted that Ghana was different today in terms of development and that having gained lower middle income status the country was no longer depending on development aid to the same extent as previously.
“Ghana now wants to pursue inter alia trade, commercial investments and credits. Denmark aims at upscaling political and commercial cooperation while at the same time downscaling development assistance to the country and by 2020 development cooperation will seize”, she added.
Madam Degnbol was speaking at a forum organized by the Embassies of Denmark, Netherlands and Norway in collaboration with Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) on the theme ‘Ghana Beyond Trade’.
She said her government last year released $20million for its third and final phase of the Support to Private Sector Development (SPSD) programme as it phases out its development aid.
The aim of the programme according to her, was to promote inclusive and greener economic growth through private sector development leading to increased income and better welfare of Ghanaians.
The Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC) which empowers private sector organisations (PSOs) to pursue issues that affect the performance of their members and their business environment by enhancing the advocacy skills of the PSOs to influence the government and other duty bearers to create a better business enabling environment is also in its last phase.
Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia who gave the key note address indicated that domestic revenue mobilization was the most sustainable way of growing the country’s economy if Ghana was to move beyond aid.
He said aid from donor partners was dwindling and it was imperative that the country puts measures in place to move beyond aid.
Dr Bawumia said if governments in Africa need to borrow, it should be targeted at priority areas such as education, agriculture and the production sector.
He said the government of Ghana was embarking on policies such as the Free Senior High School programme which was aimed at investing in the youth, building capacity of human development through the promotion of Public Private Partnerships as well as investing in connectivity like the digital address system.
He explained that the digital address system would open up the country especially in enhancing effective domestic revenue mobilization and accountability.
A panel consisting of representatives of GIPC, academic and entrepreneurs held a discussion on how the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda could be realized.
By Gloria KYEREMEH, ACCRA