Africa is poorly managed – Obasanjo
Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has said that Africa is, potentially, not poor, but rather poorly managed.
“Africa is working but not achieving the intended results because the leaders of countries are not doing the right thing,” he said at the launch of a new book touted by the many leaders across the continent as ‘a book for the next generation’.
Africa has been blighted by decades of mismanagement corruption, and state sponsored embezzlements with many advocates, stating that should the continent promote transparency and good leadership, endemic poverty will be eradicated.
The book, titled ‘Making Africa Work’, was authored by Dr. Greg Mills, Head of the Brenthurst Foundation, a Johannesburg-based think-tank seeking ways to fund African development; Jeffrey Herbst, an American political scientist; Olusegun Obasanjo; and Dickie Davis, an associate of the Brenthurst Foundation, and Managing Director of Nant Enterprises Ltd, an engineering consultancy.
The book was launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City in Accra, with politicians, diplomats, academicians, students, and corporate executives in attendance.
Speaking about the essence of the book and how it can improve the lives of African, Mr. Obasanjo noted that “this is a blueprint for a prosperous Africa, based on how, rather than what to do to improve the fortunes of Africa’s people,” he said.
Making Africa Work is regarded, by literary experts, as a practical book and not an academic one, and thus devoid of conspiracy theory and other exploitative theories which have over the years been regarded as the courses of African plight.
Dr. Mills, in introducing the book, said the book emphasised on the key role of private sector in African development and the need for governments to perceive private sector as a prism through which governments operate.
“We want people to start thinking about different choices for different African countries because the constructions of the political terrains are vastly dynamic,” he said.
The book is divided in three parts and a conclusion. The part one themed, ‘The state of African’s people, institutions and structures,’ talks about people and cities, democracy and development as well as infrastructure.
The part two, themed ‘The state of African’s economy’ tackles Agriculture, Mining, Manufacturing, Service and Technology.
The part three themed ‘Making Africa Work’ is focalised on mobilising resources, de-risking investment. It also addresses ‘Planning for Success’ and ‘Leadership and Delivery’.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the most important challenge facing African countries today is youth unemployment, explaining that the continent has to create about 10 to 12 million jobs a year to be able to deal with this issue.
“Let’s make no mistake, in the global market place every single country is a competitor including the most powerful countries in the Western world. I was elected to create jobs and tackle corruption, these two are related and so dealing with corruption is a major opportunity to job creation,” he noted.
By September this year, the president noted, the government will put in place three measures to curb corruption at the ports: going paperless, removing internal customs officers from the port and making sure containers are cleared within four hours.
The president added that key on his agenda is achieving a successful planting for food and jobs programme, efficient agro processing plants and ready markets for products.