The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has called on the World Bank to respect Africa human rights values.
“The World Bank should dissociate itself from some of this modern re-interpretation of human rights, for example on gay rights,” he asserted.
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According to the Speaker, the practice of tying aid to the recognition of gay rights and marriages in Africa was unhealthy.
He said if African countries did not want to embrace gay rights, the group must respect that and stop linking such issues to aid assistance and economic development.
Receiving the World Bank Country Director, Mr Pierre Frank Laporte, in his office during a courtesy call, Prof. Oquaye said: “These are some of the issues that concern us deeply and we want that we rather emphasise the many problems we need to tackle.”
The call was to allow Mr Laporte, who was accompanied by other officials from the group, to introduce himself to the Speaker and the leadership of Parliament.
Prof. Oquaye commended the World Bank for its work at enhancing anti-corruption, good governance, transparency and human rights in Africa through the economic conditionalities of the group.
Those conditionalities, he said, were strong measures that had enabled Ghana to satisfy the requirements for economic assistance towards political pluralism, democracy and good governance.
He said in a bid to halt Ghana’s dependence on aid, the President conceptualised the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda to make Ghana self-reliant.
“Ghana’s economic relationship should not be one of perpetual dependence but one that enables us to stand on our own feet,” he said.
Review economic order
The Speaker urged the World Bank and its allies to review the world economy to ensure a relationship that empowered developing nations to compete favourably on the world market.
He noted that the old economic paradigm, which allows European countries to use Africa as a ready market to push down their goods, continued to affect Africa’s infant industries, and cited the difficulties programmes such as One-district, One-factory faced “due to cheap products that are dumped in our countries due to the global economic order.”
“You know that no country can develop without a certain amount of protective measures for local industries, but that is the burden under which Africa is suffering now,” he said.
Support for Ghana
Responding to the concerns raised by the Speaker, Mr Laporte said the objective of the group was to support efforts to eliminate extreme poverty across the globe, especially in Africa.
He indicated that the group was supporting many projects in Ghana, such as water and sanitation, as well as infrastructure, to curb rural and urban poverty and inequality.