In the past few years, Nana Akufo-Addo, the president of Ghana, has advocated for a new relationship between Africa and the West. Over the preceding decades, African countries have developed relations with Western nations, where the West supplies aid. However, this has left these countries such as Ghana under the whims of the policy of the nations.
Akuffo-Addo expressed these sentiments in 2017, when he met with France’s President Emmanuel Macron, stating “We can no longer continue to make policy for ourselves, in our country, in our region, in our continent on the basis of whatever support that the western world or France, or the European Union can give us. It will not work. It has not worked and it will not work.”
And, he is correct. For a nation to properly develop they must have an economic system based upon their own natural resources and exports. A nation cannot rely on another country to stabilize their economy, as if this country decides to pull aid, their economy will fail. Following this same premise, the country giving fiscal support can threaten to remove their aid, resulting in the underdeveloped country offering unfair benefits for the supporting country.
Thus, Akuffo-Addo has gone on a diplomatic warpath against european countries to reinvent Ghana from being a nation dependent on Europe to a nation dependent on its economy. Most recently, on February 28th, he visited Switzerland, a trade partner in gold and cocoa beans. Many expected a cordial diplomatic meeting, but Akuffo-Addo changed the narrative. He told the Swiss council that Ghana is not looking to supply the swiss with cocoa beans, as well as other resources, in the future.
Akuffo-Addo reiterated that he hopes to transform Ghana’s economy from one based upon the export of raw materials to one that refines these materials into products that can be sold abroad. In turn, the Ghanaian economy will be able to be independent of other countries making deals with them. They will have the freedom to create deals with Western powers on their own terms. And, with his past visits to Europe and now to the Swiss, Akuffo-Addo is sending a strong message to the West from Africa: the African Continent will be its own economic power.