Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has said that African countries must wean themselves off “begging” the West to earn global respect and change poor perceptions about the continent.
“If we stop being beggars and spend African money inside the continent, Africa will not need to ask for respect from anyone, we will get the respect we deserve. If we make it prosperous as it should be, respect will follow,” Mr Akufo-Addo said.
He made the remarks during the opening of the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC.
Mr Akufo-Addo urged greater solidarity among Africans to address shared aspirations.
“Africans are more resilient outside the continent than inside. We must bear in mind that to the outside world, [there’s] nothing like Nigeria, Ghana or Kenya, we are simply Africans. Our destiny as people depends on each other,” he said.
The president said that the continent had skills and manpower but needed concerted political will to make “Africa work”.
Mr Akufo-Addo’s remarks came on the day that the International Monetary Fund agreed to give Ghana a $3bn (£2.4bn) loan to alleviate an unprecedented economic downturn in the West African country.
Dozens of African leaders are in Washington to discuss cooperation with the US amid growing Chinese and Russian influence on the continent.