Stop begging for handouts: EU Amb to GIS
EU Ambassador to Ghana, William Hanna, has urged Ghanaian authorities in public institutions to stop begging for handouts and charity from international partners, especially as the country’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo, has been talking of building a country “beyond aid”.
Mr Hanna’s comment was a response to a plea by the Comptroller General of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Kwame Asuah Takyi, who, after recently receiving some vehicles and IT equipment from the EU as donation, quoted Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist to ask for more.
“The GIS is very grateful for the continuous support we receive from the European Union and its member countries, but like Oliver Twist, we shall be grateful for more, particularly in the development of our border infrastructure and systems,” Mr Asuah Takyi said.
In direct reference to the GIS Comptroller General’s begging for more, Mr Hanna said: “One comment of my own about the reference to Dickens and Oliver Twist is just a little problem of mine: I’m thinking that in a country where the president is talking of [going] beyond aid, we should, maybe, move away from the Oliver Twist reference and have a reference [of] Great Expectations – another book by Dickens.”
On Monday, 20 March this year, President Akufo-Addo told a roundtable of Chief Executive Officers of leading African and international companies on the sidelines of the 5th edition of the Africa CEO Forum that: “We want to build a Ghana beyond aid, a Ghana which looks to the use of its own resources. We want to build an economy that is not dependent on charity and handouts, but an economy that will look at the proper management of its resources as the way to engineer social and economic growth in our country.”
Mr Hanna, therefore, expressed reservations about Mr Asuah Takyi’s begging attitude and rather urged partnership. “We have this summit coming up at the end of the year in Abidjan. … All the European leaders; they’ll all be coming down to Abidjan and the African leaders and they’ll be debating the question of youth – investing in youth. How do we assist in creating jobs for young people? And we hear that the new government is putting a lot of emphasis on creating jobs and that, indeed, will address the root causes of migration, so, let’s, perhaps, have great expectations about what we can do together,” he added.
He, however, praised the GIS for “doing a very good job and we support you in that job and there’s more that we can do together in the future”.
The donation was made under the EU-funded Ghana Integrated Migration Management Approach (GIMMA) project to improve border management, strengthen data collection mechanisms, and enable potential migrants to make informed decisions when they want to migrate.