Mr. Kofi Bentil, Senior Vice President, IMANI Africa, a policy think tank, says the country needs service-minded leaders to achieve the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
“We need to produce leaders who will be dedicated and patriotic to their jobs and not see their offices as an opportunity to enjoy to the detriment of national interest”, he said.
He was speaking at the 71th Annual New Year School and Conference being held in Accra on the theme “Attaining Ghana Beyond Aid: Prospects and Challenges”.
The School of Continuing and Distance Education of the University of Ghana, Legon, is organizing the event.
Government in May 2019, unveiled a strategy document to guide the nation in attaining the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, the goal is to break the country’s over-reliance on foreign support for development.
Speaking on the topic, “Ghana Beyond Aid: A National Transformation Agenda or Another Political Rhetoric”, Mr. Bentsil said the agenda could be a mirage if the country accepted the culture that celebrated political positions.
It was imperative to develop a system that would develop leaders with sense of service to duty rather than working for their own parochial interest.
He called for a national consensus to amend the Constitution to ensure that the Legislature was detached from the Executive, so that Parliament could critically check the President’s policies and programmes without fear or favour.
That was the way to go to ensure that there was proper “checks and balances” in the governance system, to enhance transparency and accountability in the use of the state’s resources.
“To achieve the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, government must institute a system to avoid revenue leakages, and ensure that public officials are accountable to every state money they spend”.
He added that civil and public servants must be effective and efficient in the discharge of their responsibilities to earn public confidence.
Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, who also spoke at the conference, said government engagement with stakeholders had provided a medium for building a sense of cohesion, trust, self-management, and open discussions to champion the course of development towards realising the vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.
He made reference to the government’s signature interventions including the Planting for Food and Jobs, and the One District One Factory and said they were making great strides, providing a solid basis for industrialization and propelling the country to achieve that agenda of self-sufficiency.
Mr. Ofori-Atta said they had worked assiduously to stable the financial sector with an improved growth rate, reduction in inflation and interest rate.