May 15, 2012 at 2:45pm
President Mills’ Invitation To G8 Forum
COMMENTARY ON THE INVITATION EXTENDED TO PRESIDENT MILLS TO ATTEND THIS YEAR'S G8 FORUM
The invitation extended to President Mills and three other African Leaders to join the upcoming G8 Summit for a discussion on food security in Africa is quite opportune.
Even though the criterion for choosing the four African Leaders is not clear, the reasons are not far-fetched.
According to the Executive Director of the Center for Policy Analysis, Dr.
Joe Abbey, the invitation to President Mills is a recognition of Ghana's economic success story which the leaders of the top industrialised nations would like it shared with the rest of the world.
The G8 was set up as a forum for economic and trade matter.
It brings together the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy Japan, Russia, the UK and USA.
Recent Summits of the G8 have considered the developing world, global security, Middle East and reconstruction in Iraq.
This is not the first time Ghana has been invited to attend a G8 forum.
In 2008, Ghana's Former President, John Agyekum Kufour attended the Group's meeting in Berlin, Germany.
The fact that the G8 has devoted part of its discussions at this year's forum to food security in Africa is most heartwarming because we live in a world of interdependency and no country is an island onto itself.
Achieving food security in its totality continues to be a challenge to developing countries and the industrialised ones as well.
The root cause of food insecurity in developing countries is the inability of people to gain access to food due to poverty.
While the rest of the world has made significant progress towards poverty alleviation, Africa in particular sub-African continues to lag behind.
Agriculture is largely underdeveloped on the continent and is characterised by over reliance on primary agriculture, low fertility soils, minimal use of external form inputs, environmental degradation, significant food crop loss, minimal value addition and a lot more.
Zeroing down on Ghana, even though the large economy has posted strong growth agriculture has recorded some challenges.
There have been constraints including erratic rainfall patterns, high cost of agrochemicals, lack of knowledge on improved farming, post harvest practices as well as lack of production credit and market for farm produce.
Nevertheless government has introduced interesting interventions likely to pull the country out of the woods in the not too distant future.
In the poverty stricken regions in the North for example, the introduction of the
Savannah Accelerated Development Agency provides a silver lining.
Our elders say ‘a journey of a mile begins with the first step’.
As he appears before the G8 President Mills definitely has a success story to tell and a plea to make.
Ghanaians have taken their destiny into their hands and there is no looking back.
We look forward to President Mills making a strong case for more capital inflow especially in the areas of agriculture, technology transfer, cheaper inputs and large export markets in the long term.
Heaven they say helps those who help themselves.
Ghanaians since the return to constitutional rule have not hidden their determination to be self reliant.
What is however needed as a push factor is a more foreign direct investment to propel the economy to appreciable heights.
It is hoped the other three invited leaders, President Yayi Boni of Benin, currently Chairperson of the African Union, Prime Minister Meles Znawi of Ethiopia and President Jakaya Kikwete will be true ambassadors of their countries and the continent at large.
They must together champion and project the African situation in the light of globalisation.
It is no gainsaying the fact that the food security threat currently confronting Africa is the product of over liberalisation of our markets and the dumping of heavily subsidised produce on developing countries.
It is good President Atta Mills and his Beninois counterpart Yayi Boni at a recent meeting in Accra, resolved to coordinate their participation in the G8 meeting and speak with one voice.
The time has come for the developed world to support Africa to unleash its potential.
We cannot continue to go to them with cup in hand soliciting for their crumbs.
It is about time African leaders harness their collective efforts and resources towards accelerating the process of continental integration.
Democracy is thriving in Africa and the investor community needs to be assured of the safety of their investments on the continent.
The G8 meeting should be a restatement to Africa's commitment to good governance and self reliance, for it is said it is better to show the people how to fish than give them fish.
BY: JUSTICE MINGLE, A JOURNALIST.