Iddi Yire/Dennis Osei Gyamfi, GNA
Accra, Mar 08, GNA – Dr Fred M. Dzanku, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana, Thursday said it is important to mobilise Domestic resources to accelerate Ghana’s socioeconomic development.
He said with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be financed largely from within, at a time when Official Development Assistance (ODA) was declining, DRM becomes more important today than ever.
ODA is a term coined by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to measure aid designed to promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries.
Dr Dzanku said since 1960, when Ghana attained a republican status, the Net ODA inflows had been growing at an average annual rate of about 5.1 per cent (compared with average annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of about 3.6 per cent over the same paired).
“But over the past decade, for which data was available (2007-2016), annual growth in ODA has slowed down to about 1.1 per cent,” Dr Dzanku stated, in Accra at the launch of an academic research project, dubbed “Curbing Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Resource-rich Developing Countries: Improving Natural Resource Governance to Finance the SDGs”
“Indeed, since Ghana attained Lower Middle Income Country (LMIC) status, annual growth in ODA has been negative (about -2.7 per cent). Meanwhile, compared with her LMIC counterparts, Ghana depends quite heavily on ODA for public investments,” he added.
Dr Dzanku, who is the Ghana Team Lead of the Research Project, cited that between 1965 and 2016, the Net ODA received as a per percentage of gross capital formation averaged 43.1 per cent for Ghana compared with 8.6 per cent for the average LMIC; declaring that there was a high correlation between ODA and public investments.
“By the way correlation between ODA and GDP growth is 2.7 times higher for Ghana than the average LMIC,” he stated.
He said the project sought to contribute to ways through which domestic resources could be mobilised in order to achieve the objective of “Building Ghana Beyond Aid”.
The project is being organised by ISSER in collaboration with the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (GIIDS), Geneva, Switzerland
It is a three-year project being funded by the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d programme), a joint initiative of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).
The objectives of the project are mainly to analyse the magnitude and push-pull factors influencing commodity trade-related illicit financial flows via trade and transfer mispricing from resource-rich developing countries like Ghana.
On that basis, this project aims to design and promote strategies to effectively harness resources for financing the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The Acting Director of ISSER, Dr Simon Bawakyillenuo, said the implementation of the project could not have come at a better time in Ghana, taking into account the current government’s push for the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ development paradigm.
He said for instance, it came to light in 2017 that, ‘Ghana loses $ 340 million annually, through IFFs (ISODEC, 2017).’
“Indeed, the success of this project could provide policy makers and implementers with ample scientific evidence to plucking the various channels and strategies, fuelling the illicit financial flows from Ghana, which will in turn enhance the revenue portfolio of the country to finance the SDGs,” Dr Bawakyillenuo stated.
Dr Gilles Carbonnier of GIIDS said the outcome of the research would accelerate the capacity building of public and private actors.
He said findings of the research would go a long way to encourage transparency and fair tax regimes.
Dr Rahul Mehrotra, also of GIIDS, said among the policy proposals was to boost custom capacity to curb mis-pricing and IFFs.