The Ghana Beyond Aid Committee has met Faith-Based Organizations as part of its efforts to broaden consultations on the drafting of a comprehensive charter document that would guide the nation towards to self sufficiency.
The meeting was also to solicit the help of the religious organizations to join in the effort to educate Ghanaians on the need to embark on a path of progress and development that would end the nation’s dependency on aid as she evolved a true means of development.
In a presentation on Tuesday at the Alisa Hotel, the Senior Minister, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, observed the need to “mobilize our resources and deploy same in a transparent manner. To achieve this there is the need for policy and institutional reforms for economic transformation.”
Mr. Osafo-Maafo, who was also the Chairman for the Committee, informed that, “Ghana Beyond Aid requires a new mind set and a commitment to do things differently by all members of society. We can achieve this if we all play our part.”
Mr. Osafo-Maafo bemoaned the lack of patriotism that had made people to care less about societal well being and to indulge in activities that were inimical to the progress of society.
The Senior Minister reiterated the need to harness Ghana’s potentials in producing the her needs instead of spending huge sums of money just to import products.
“You will be amazed to hear of the huge sums of money we spend in importing rice when Ghana has fertile land that could produce rice to feed the whole of West Africa,” he informed.
The Senior Minister indicated that all that had been made possible because of the wrong mindset that the Ghanaian had accepted—the mind set of dependency that ensured that Ghanaians always looked outside the country for help instead of generating resources from within.
Mr. Osafo-Maafo informed that this wrong mindset had also made many Ghanaians, especially those in the public sector, not to work diligently to ensure that they promoted the welfare of the state even though they were paid to do that.
He asked the religious organizations to take advantage of the trust their membership posed in them to join in the crusade to transform the mind of the Ghanaian which was a key ingredient in the struggle for self-sufficiency development.
The Representative of the Catholic Bishops Conference, Bishop Gabriel Kumodzi of the Keta Akatsi Diocese, observed that “in the past few years, we have had many initiatives and slogans, now we have WISER Ghana. We’ve had ‘Operation feed yourself’ and ‘Eat what you Plant and Can what you eat.”
The Cleric indicated that there was the need to incorporate all those ideas into a single approach which would help Ghana to be consistent in her drive to achieve self sufficiency.
Bishop Kumodzi informed that changing one’s attitude did not come easy,“It must be supervised. You need gadgets to do that and the gadgets that can do that are our system. People come to work anytime and receive the same salary and that doesn’t encourage hard work. And so the bad ones are converting the good ones, which means there must be a system that reward the good ones and punish the bad ones.”
The Head of the Council of the National Chief Imam, Alhaji Gado Mohammed, informed that the Faith-Based organizations should be in a position to assist government when it came to changing the values and attitudes of citizens through their regular sermons.
He admonished religious organizations not to only teach religion, but also social issues as a way of motivating their members to work in the interest of national development.