Ghana needs proactive, visionary and capable leaders who can capitalize on the available local resources to accelerate the growth and development of the country, Dr. Baffour Agyemang-Duah, a Senior Special Advisor to the United Nations Mission in Liberia, has said.
He said to ensure a sustainable socio-economic development, the country should have a functional political leadership that could regulate the environment, provide strategic policy frame work and ensure appropriate utilization of national resources both human and material, for the collective good of all citizenry.
Dr. Agyemang-Duah said this when he delivered a lecture as part of the University of Cape Coast’s (UCC) “Occasional Lecture Series” on the theme “Reflections of Poverty and Wealth Creation in Ghana”.
He said how governments utilize power and manage available resources was critical and crucial to the socio-economic development of every country and called on the current leadership of the country to strategize to provide the needed tools for wealth creation.
In his view, Ghana was not a poor nation as the Western World had made it to believe and said “the more we believe and think poverty, the more poverty will stay with us.”
He said the country had both the natural and human resources that could facilitate its growth, citing bad governance as its bane adding that it was time the country stopped depending on international handouts for poverty reduction strategies but ask for investments in wealth creation.
Dr. Agyemang Duah appealed to current leaders to advocate for economic emancipation like previous leaders did for political emancipation by capitalizing on abundant indigenous resources putting in place progressive policies and modalities to help create wealth.
He said even though the country abounds in rich natural and human resources, paradoxically, majority of its people were poor and called for the utilization of the resources to help create wealth to develop the country.
He cited instances of countries like Tanzania and South Africa which have transformed their cities through its minerals reserves and bemoaned Ghana’s Obuasi mining town which is still in a sham after a 100 years or more of gold mining in the country.
On the country’s natural resources, he called for better contractual arrangements and effective monitoring to stem the over exploitation by foreign investors who always come with already prepared draft contract to the detriment of the country.
Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, the Vice Chancellor of UCC, appealed to civil societies to take up initiatives on how to help advance the country.
She said the country has abundant human resource, particularly in the oil industry , and added it was two Ghanaians who led the discovery of the Jubilee Oil Field