A speech by Ghana’s president calling for Africa to end its dependency on the West goes viral (Video)

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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.

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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