Home / Africa / A speech by Ghana’s president calling for Africa to end its dependency on the West is a viral hit [+video]

A speech by Ghana’s president calling for Africa to end its dependency on the West is a viral hit [+video]

Quartz Africa | The idea that African countries have long been independent and free to pursue their own destinies seems obvious to young Africans across the continent.
(Video in French and English)

Yet, the everyday reality often feels far from that. Some 50 to 60 years after independence for many countries, Africa’s fortunes seem to still closely aligned with developmental support and financial aid from former colonial rulers, the United States, the European Union or multilateral institutions like the World Bank and IMF.

After the most recent rounds of African debt forgiveness and rising commodity prices over the last decade, that conversation seemed to have shifted somewhat. There are now more calls for investment and trade rather than aid.

But with the crash in commodity prices and many of the usual long-term structural problems laid bare again, the calls for support from wealthy nations comes up again. It seems deeply ingrained. However, few African leaders, regardless of their personal beliefs, ever publicly question the idea that international support is needed for development or, in the worst cases, day to day running of their countries.

This is probably why young Africans on social media have been heaping praise on Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo for his response to a question at a joint press conference in Accra with the visiting French president Emmanuel Macron.

The idea that African countries have long been independent and free to pursue their own destinies seems obvious to young Africans across the continent. Yet, the everyday reality often feels far from that. Some 50 to 60 years after independence for many countries, Africa’s fortunes seem to still closely aligned with developmental support and financial aid from former colonial rulers, the United States, the European Union or multilateral institutions like the World Bank and IMF.

After the most recent rounds of African debt forgiveness and rising commodity prices over the last decade, that conversation seemed to have shifted somewhat. There are now more calls for investment and trade rather than aid. But with the crash in commodity prices and many of the usual long-term structural problems laid bare again, the calls for support from wealthy nations comes up again. It seems deeply ingrained.

However, few African leaders, regardless of their personal beliefs, ever publicly question the idea that international support is needed for development or, in the worst cases, day to day running of their countries.

This is probably why young Africans on social media have been heaping praise on Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo for his response to a question at a joint press conference in Accra with the visiting French president Emmanuel Macron.

The idea that African countries have long been independent and free to pursue their own destinies seems obvious to young Africans across the continent. Yet, the everyday reality often feels far from that. Some 50 to 60 years after independence for many countries, Africa’s fortunes seem to still closely aligned with developmental support and financial aid from former colonial rulers, the United States, the European Union or multilateral institutions like the World Bank and IMF.

After the most recent rounds of African debt forgiveness and rising commodity prices over the last decade, that conversation seemed to have shifted somewhat. There are now more calls for investment and trade rather than aid.

But with the crash in commodity prices and many of the usual long-term structural problems laid bare again, the calls for support from wealthy nations comes up again. It seems deeply ingrained. However, few African leaders, regardless of their personal beliefs, ever publicly question the idea that international support is needed for development or, in the worst cases, day to day running of their countries.

This is probably why young Africans on social media have been heaping praise on Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo for his response to a question at a joint press conference in Accra with the visiting French president Emmanuel Macron.

Others have said, it showed the difference between Anglophone and Francophone African countries which are still closely aligned to France.

For example, all of Ghana’s Francophone neighbors are members of the CFA franc, the currency of 14 African countries.

The CFA and its structure, in which the countries, through two regional central banks, deposit 50% of foreign exchange reserves at the Bank of France in exchange for fixed-rate euro convertibility, are facing their most significant criticism in decades.

Macron has defended the CFA, but only to the extent of pointing out that separate currencies would still need their own forex backing.

For many Ghanaians, this will not be the first time they have heard their president’s pet peeve as he has been consistent about his catchphrase ‘Ghana Beyond Aid.’ In October, Ghana’s vice president gave the keynote address at an event that officially started the clock for the cessation of aid from Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands in 2020. Instead, the government is pushing for trade and investments and embarked on massive tax collection effort in order to fund its many ambitious projects including free secondary education.

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15 comments

  1. To study the nature and extent of a tumor, we make a biopsy(a slice of tissue for microscopic study). In like manner, Africa can be seen by taking a close look at Africa in miniature (a.k.a. Cameroon or Absurdistan). Here is one country replete with expertise in every conceivable domain in academia. Yet the deployment of this brain pool leaves much to be desired. Worse still, this expertise suffocates under a leadership obsessed with politics for politics sake. Growth – vertical as well as horizontal is stymied!

    A country cannot grow on theory; its needs pragmatism. The Chinese should teach us fishing and let us try our hands at fishing. Our news should not BOOM only the AID the nation receives from a given country without mentioning also what that country gets in return!

  2. Ghanian president didn’t do anything special.The issue is not saying but talking the talk and walking the walk

  3. Well said, Mr President.

    Not all those French puppets that were in Abidjan, exhibiting the bulkiness of their mandibles in front of a small French.

    Even our own grand pa was begging for some attention from his French grandson—what a shame from somebody who can only show his muscles in front of his own kinds, who are asking for nothing but a fair distribution of resources.

    Wish our armed forces in French Africa were full of Sankaras—all puppets would be sent back to their country, France…

  4. When the great professor and philosopher Thomas Sankara lectured Mitterrand in 1986 and rebuked him for hosting the apartheid government, the French president who was the chancellor cum puppet master of the university of puppets and and African dictators, immediately began orchestrating a mafia-styled assaination of the African philosopher king! Fast forward thirty years ahead and Akufo-Addo is the only other African who has talked the French down albeit with an air of humility. No matter how small, at least one punch is lashed to the face of the giant. Ask the kleptomaniac in Cameroon and he will tell you man cannot fight against god

  5. This is what you get when an elected official mounts the pulpit. No doubt they’ve made such advance strides in democratic pronouncements and be able to place a satellite in orbit. Ghana may have to thank Jerry Rawlings for wiping out the corrupt political age group now holdingAmbazonia and LRC hostage.

  6. Rubbish..tell us something new..we want actions not talk…go.away..traitor coming to amuse the gallery…black man is cursed…full of ego…now you guys are clapping this fools…what did he say that wa not said 100 years ago??

  7. Korup Forest

    He is right, its time for African countries to take care of themselves. As he said African countries still have so much natural resources and should be the countries who help other countries. The reality is totally different. But let him do what he says and not only talk. Do you know how many NGO are active in Ghana? Even my niece has worked for a NGO as nurse in Ghana.

    • And NGO effervescence is a sign of poverty?
      Do you know how many NGOs are active in the USA?
      Ghana pays unemployment benefits.
      Health insurance is available even for foreigners
      Education is free to high school.
      University education is heavily subsidised.
      The GDP of Ghana without much oil like francophone African states is double that of Cameroon $43BN versus $24BN as at 2016.
      Only 20 years ago Ghanaians littered the country side in Cameroon teaching in schools.
      Today they have a satellite in orbit, tar roads by day and by night. Process almost 2BN USD in mobile money, manufacture cars, have 5 locally owned airlines which ply the sub region as well.
      When man pass you carry e bag.
      When we get to Buea, we will emulate them.

  8. The Spanish Supreme Court today, 05.12.2017, withdrew the international warrants of arrest against the leaders of Catalonia. The reason: to create a conducive environment for an INCLUSIVE and GENUINE dialogue

    Can the kangaroo Supreme Court of LRC learn from Spain????

    Believe me or not, there is no military solution to the Anglophone Question. LRC military is simply creating more enemies in SC.
    No country has ever succeeded in using the military to force a “people” to remain in a “one and indivisible” country against their will. The Roman Empire, the Ottoman empire, the USSR, Indonesia, Sudan, Ethiopia, etc, all tried and failed woefully. LRC is simply wasting precious time, energy and scarce resources on SC.

  9. I was taught in school, like many of us here, that the western world was the cradle of everything. Similarly, most Africans know more about European history than they do about their own great history because we were told that we have no history worth celebrating.

    To transition from the slave mentality enshrined in the colonial educational system in place in the African curriculum, we need to start with a united African leadership ready to pronounce and promote positive messages about the greatest of our continent as set here by the convincing speech of the Ghanaian president. Aid to Africa must be abolished completely and if given we should refuse. Nothing is given for free.

    Problem with Francophone Africa is that for some reason they think they are French men and women. What a joke!

    • No sir, what is glibly called AID to African countries is a modified form of trade by barter in which emphasis is placed on what the recipient nation gets but not much echo of what it gives. And Africa gives a lot!!!!!

      The much tooted brouhaha about “slave mentality” is a farce which can equally be put straight. All it takes is people willing and able to do research and advance human knowledge. Yesterday the world was FLAT; thanks to Christopher Columbus, you, me and others, today we know it is ROUND, n’est-ce pas?

      Africans need to do research in their areas of competence, publish it and slowly upgrade knowledge and advance progress. Do we still wear leaves and hides for clothing? No. Do we eat with fingers? Yes and no. do we sleep in caves? Do we summon the village by beating drums?

      • Any trade that is one sided and benefits by the systematic erosion of the values of a group of people by the imposition of the values of the one who openly benefits from the trade, amounts to slavery. It is worse when the enslaved sees his despicable situation as a favour.

        We work for the west, keep our money in the French treasury for no gains; France siphons our resources and somehow keeps us blind under the flashing red lights of purported AID to the public coffer.

        Africa has to stop collecting this chicken feed and enter into proper trade agreements with the west, because AID has transformed us into experienced beggars. And a beggar has no dignity, no authoritative voice to stand and negotiate in the presence of those who feed him. AID has not moved us forward for over 60 years!

  10. President Macron homed in on getting French school into the country and did a sales pitch for arms and instability .
    President Akkufo Addo let rip about his country earning its own tax packet to pay for itself ….is he the same President who got the front page and two full inner pages of the finacial times a couple of years ago intricately explaing why trancparency and fair pricing of Africans oil industry is so important AND got posative results afterwards?
    Pretty surprising that President Macron thought he could get away with making a speech in the same room as this guy.It could of got a lot worse for him if the Ghanian President had been given equal time.

  11. Did u see how the King of France was nervous.—
    he heard words he is not used to during his Francofoolie meetings..
    His slaves from Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Togo, Gabon etc etc are always smiling and dancing when the big brother fro France is around…
    I hope this opens the eyes of many frogs…….