UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, Mr. Andrew Mitchell is optimistic that Ghana might not need aid to develop if the country maintains its current rapid growth acceleration.
According to Mitchell, Britain will help Ghana to prepare for a future without aid and ensure that the poorest benefit from the country’s record growth.
Mr Mitchell, who is in Ghana, made this known following his first meeting with Ghana’s new President Mr John Mahama, according to a press statement issued by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) August 29, 2012.
“…if the country can maintain its rapid progress it may no longer need aid,” Mitchell said.
However, the UK Secretary of State warned that a failure to address inequality between the north and the south would delay Ghana’s success in pulling itself out of poverty.
Andrew Mitchell therefore indicated that aid from Britain to Ghana will be targeted towards kick starting growth and development in the poorest areas, helping 50,000 entrepreneurs and businessmen to bring their goods to the market.
“Ghana is fast becoming a West African success story and shows that well-targeted aid can help to make a lasting difference. The economy has grown well in recent years, but this growth has bypassed many of the poorest. Britain will help ensure Ghana can free itself from poverty for good,” he said.
Mitchell further stated that for the coming years, aid from Britain will boost education for girls and enable more than 100,000 children who are out of school to receive an education.
The UK acknowledged that Ghana is firmly on track to half the level of poverty by 2015 despite the fact that more than two out of every three people in Northern Ghana currently live on less than $1.25 a day.
The UK government together with Ghanaian authorities yesterday August 28, 2012 launched the Millennium Village Project in the north of the country. The Millennium Villages Project is expected to improve the health, education and future chances of up to 30,000 people currently living in abject poverty, officials say.
By Ekow Quandzie