University Professor challenges African countries to shun foreign aid

Professor Stephen Kendie, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) has expressed concern about Ghana’s over dependence on foreign aid and export of raw materials.

He noted that the situation cannot facilitate the country’s development.

Prof Kendie said there was the need to change the structure of the economy and more prudent measures put in place for the better management of resources, particularly as the country is now raking in revenue from the oil find.

Prof Kendie who is a Development Planning and Environmental Management Specialist, was delivering an inaugural lecture on the topic: “Reclaiming development: appreciating the basics for effective local level development,” at UCC campus in Cape Coast on Wednesday.

The Social Science Professor indicated that Ghana face a lot of challenges in the quest for development, notable among them being its human development index which he said had dwindled with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

He said the approach to poverty reduction should not be couched in the tenets of capitalisation and trade liberalisation, arguing that “development should be seen as a political project and discussed within the perspective of critical modernism”, he said.

Prof Kendie stressed the need for Ghana to take a second look at the whole concept of globalisation.

He pointed out that despite reports that per capita income and gross domestic product had recorded appreciable figures with inflation rates being at a single figure, the ordinary Ghanaian is yet to feel its economic benefits and called for better measures to address issues on the economy.

Prof Kendie cited high unemployment rate, low supply of skilled personnel both in quality and quantity and the dwindling foreign direct investment inflows as some of the country’s developmental challenges.

He suggested that the economic restructuring should include the modernisation of agriculture, redefining the link between agriculture and industry, massive support for agro-processing, and the setting up of more industries to process the country’s raw materials instead of exporting them in their primary state.

The country should also improve its governance structures for effective planning and make decentralisation more effective and fully implementable, free from centralised control to ensure efficient planning of development at the grassroots level, he emphasised.

He also stressed the need for the activities of non- governmental organisations, which he described as “inventors of disaster and laws of poverty”, to be refocused because many of them exist in their own interest and not in the interest of the communities they claimed to be serving.

The Vice-Chancellor (VC) of UCC, Prof Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang noted that issues that deepened poverty was not the lack of money but the absence of a free mind to discern for the common good, adding that there is hope for the country if its people decide to think and act for themselves.

“We have to walk away from solutions suggested by others that would not be in our best interest”, she said, adding that development should be rather be human-centred and not profit oriented.

The VC also urged Ghanaians to stop complaining and find solutions to problems while the country’s universities should ensure that they provide answers to the challenges facing the country because they were established to do so.

Source: GNA

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