The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Prof Abednego F. O. Amartey has called on African leaders to make the Africa beyond aid agenda a reality by focusing on interventions that would lead the continent to becoming self-reliant.
He asserted that the Africa beyond aid agenda should not be a rhetoric, but rather an opportunity for African countries to break the cycle of dependency on donor communities.
Pointing to the UPSA story of sustainable development through internally-generated funds, Prof Okoe Amartey, said Africa beyond aid is feasible and achievable if pragmatic strategies and deliberate tactics are put in place by political actors and policymakers towards self-sufficiency.
The Vice-Chancellor made the call at the opening ceremony of the 22nd Academy of African Business and Development (AABD) Conference on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at the Kofi Ohene-Konadu Auditorium.
The five-day international conference, being hosted by the University of Professional Studies, Accra, is under the theme: “Sustainable Development beyond Aid: The focus for Africa?”.
“Today, I can say with certitude that UPSA is on the path of sustainable development beyond aid,” he said. “The rapid expansion of the university, the increase in our admissions, the robust reputation we have built and jealously guard, the global recognition we have received and the countless awards we have received are all fruits of our growth based on internally generated funds.”
He added: “We cut out waste, we changed our mindsets, and we allowed prudent management to be the order of the day and that is what has brought us this far. UPSA has gone from being totally dependent on Government to a self-propelled engine of sustainable development without aid. UPSA beyond aid is working; Ghana beyond aid must work [and] Africa beyond aid can work.”
For his part, the President of the Republic, Nana Akufo-Addo bemoaned the fact that despite Africa being the most resource-endowed continent in the world, most of her people are impoverished and many of her countries have had to rely on foreign aid from less endowed countries outside the continent.
“The concept of Africa beyond is about acknowledging that we must develop in a sustainable manner, recognize that we must take the bull by the horn and take responsibility for our sustainable growth while perceiving our fellow African countries as key stakeholders in our won development,” the President said.
He added that conferences such as the AABD provide the opportunity to rethink Africa’s development trajectory as well as explore other critical issues of importance on the continent that require immediate attention.
The annual AABD Conference brings together researchers, business practitioners, consultants, community leaders and policymakers from across Africa and around the world to engage in strategic dialogue aimed at fostering business and development on the continent.