The British Government has affirmed its commitment to working closely with the Government of Ghana for the realization of its development goals.
Dr Nicholas Westcott, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, said the two countries share common interest in tackling the challenges that face the world as a whole, such as climate change, the fight against drugs and crime, poverty, job creation and waste of public funds, as well as investment in the people.
“It is in Britain’s interest, as much as that of developing countries, that their economies should grow and poverty be reduced”, he said, adding that, the British Government had made a long-term commitment to supporting Ghana with development assistance as it had consistently embraced democratic principles and rule of law.
Ghana currently receives about 85 million pounds a year, much of it in budget support from the British Government, to spend on its priorities with a chunk of the money going into educational and health development programmes.
Delivering a Paper on the topic “The New Approach to Africa” at a public forum in Kumasi, Dr Westcott urged leaders of the country to continue upholding good governance, to foster accountability and transparency in their endeavours and to help the country to sustain its goodwill with the British Government.
The programme was held under the auspices of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The British High Commissioner observed that, there was a time scope for traditional foreign aid, and for that matter developing countries such as Ghana ought to get its development policies and programmes right, to promote more private sector investment for economic and social transformation.
The government should work hard in building an internationally-competitive economy “otherwise its tax payers will carry on paying to subsidize inefficient and loss-making industries for years to come”.
Dr Westcott indicated that China’s smooth economic take-off, for instance, was funded largely by investment from Chinese businessmen overseas in bringing money back into the economy, noting that it was about time that Ghana pursued well-sustained and vibrant economic policies to encourage private sector investment.
Professor William Otoo Ellis, Vice-Chancellor of the KNUST, commended Britain for her role in helping the nation achieve her development goals and called for more collaboration in raising the standard of educational development.