Mobilizing Africans for economic development


For significant economic development to take place, the available human resource must be mobilized. For effective mobilization to occur, leadership must be seen as democratic and understand human values ​​and sensitivities. Therefore, democracy is at the center of mobilizing Africans for economic development.

I recently had a meeting with the chairwoman of the Dutch Labor Party (PVDA) in Amsterdam and in the course of the discussion she said: ‘I can’t imagine living without democracy.’ The statement of this noble woman is very profound, very true, and yet it eludes many nations.

The number one resource of each nation or continent for its development is its people. At the center of the mobilization of the people, as stated above, is true democracy. Democracy should not end after elections, democracy means more than standing in line and voting once every four, five or seven years for our leaders.

There are some people who credit me with the title of father of democracy in Ghana and, by extension, in Africa; I say no to these people because democracy is neither new nor foreign to Africa. What I did was disempower the dictatorship of the presidency and the central government in the hands of the people where it belongs, empower the people with their right to moral outrage, restore their right to judicial conscience, restore their right and ability to demand responsibilities to leaders. And I obediently submitted to him and championed the cause of liberty and justice without fear.

Several decades ago, Marcus Garvey wrote that he went around the world looking for a nation of blacks and ruled by blacks, and could find none.

I was going to create one. It was not successful. That failure was not for lack of trying nor was it deficient in his efforts. He failed because there were nations that existed on the African continent that were ruled by traditional leaders. These were potential chiefs nominated and chosen by the wise council of the elders, held to account by the people, and suffered the humiliation of dethronement (being removed from office) if they were not up to the task of leadership.

As I review the annals of history, I can see various cultural and traditional systems of government whose existence at one point or another provided a platform for the unification of their peoples. More importantly, they brought their people together to solve their immediate problems and meet their needs, and they were a beacon of unity.

However, today on the African continent, particularly in my country Ghana, the introduction of Western-style democracies has all but relegated our cultural and traditional personalities to a forgotten existence alongside democratic institutions and value systems.

Shouldn’t we be allowed to retain some of these cultural and traditional practices, the good ones that are still relevant, and marry them with newly found Western-style democratic dictates? Should we not hold on to those cultural values ​​that helped us deal with conflict, famine, etc. and complement them with the principles of Western democracies?

Should we give up what we have to access Western-style governance? I don’t think so, and I’m not sure most, if not all, feel the same way.

Much of the continent’s political instability stems from the inability to design viable political systems for the development of individual countries. There are two living realities in my world, that is our traditional way of life, which is rich in democracy and the ‘exported-from-the-west’ form of multi-party democracy. If we could embrace his brand of multi-party practices without trampling civility, sensibilities, and sensibilities into the logic of our rich culture, Africa might be teaching a thing or two about human values.

As political leaders and statesmen, we have a responsibility to pursue an agenda that allows this to happen, but would the greed and savagery of certain economic practices and the lust for power inside and outside Africa allow Africa to succeed in this priceless human quest? ?

To paraphrase the great African-American philosopher and poet Langston Hughes, the African continues to yearn for knowledge and understanding of his ancestral past, to know where he has been, where he must go, and how he will get there.

I believe that African cultural and value systems have played a significant role in our past and should be allowed or helped to feature prominently in our democratic dispensation so that it can bridge the political divide where necessary and provide the unifying force for mobilize the African people for economic reasons. development.

We cannot have a meaningful dialogue on mobilizing Africans for development without discussing the issue of corruption that has been the bane of development across the continent.

How to mobilize a people for development when they know that a few can take everything they have worked for and deposit it in Western banks?

How do you continue to mobilize Africans for development when you see Western societies, whose governance systems you want to learn and emulate, give shelter and protection to personalities who have squandered relatively large sums that could have built a hospital, provide good drink? water and build schools and do some good in certain deprived communities?

How to mobilize a people for development when basic needs such as drinking water and three full meals a day are an unaffordable luxury for them? However, some corrupt leaders with whitewashed images by the west continue to find friends where they unabashedly hide their loot.

How is it that Western institutions do not shed light on the bank accounts of African personalities as they would in most cases where the sources of income cannot be easily determined, as in the case of drug dealers and drug dealers? weapons?

Why can’t the world’s leading countries insist on value for money for the projects their contractors undertake in African countries?

Why don’t the major countries of the world insist on social justice, fair and accessible and accountable judicial governments for the African people instead of throwing money at these problems, most of which suffer from acts of corruption?

For the African people to rediscover their collective sense of patriotism and energy to mobilize for development, they must want to see some, if not all, of the above issues addressed in ways that lift their spirits, give them hope for the future and give true meaning to freedom and development as known in any civilized society.

Certainly, some of the measures and methods that I have prescribed here can be considered a long time ago. But I know that some may be considered controversial and that is where I would like to take refuge in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King when he said that ‘the ultimate measure of a man is not where he is in times of comfort and convenience, but where he is in times of challenge and controversy.’

I want equity, justice, better living conditions, opportunities in education, health care, jobs, and true happiness for my people.

How do we solve the task that would lead to what we collectively want for our people?

First of all, to request your participation and collaboration to put lasting pressure on the many issues that I have listed.

Second, once you yourselves have accepted the hand of partnership we extend to you, we ask you to join us in making the following appeal to the economic powers of the world: From now on, foreign governments, international agencies donors and the Bretton Woods institutions will link their aid to non-corrupt practices on the part of governments and not eliminate subsidies and safety nets for the poor and vulnerable in necessities such as medicines, water, electricity, etc.

We want institutions to be challenged to do everything possible to identify hidden resources and repatriate the loot thus discovered to Africa so that development benefits everyone.

We want our institutions of government to be strengthened by insisting on a fair and just justice system, accountable governments, and a truly democratic parliament.

We want our educational institutions to be strengthened and expanded to provide more opportunities for our peoples.

We want the scholarships to be available not only in foreign institutions, but also in African institutions.

We want those who travel for further academic work with scholarships to have said scholarships subject to a condition that sees them return to Africa to help it develop.

We want our professionals to be assisted with such facilities so that they find it attractive to return to serving the interests of their peoples and that such assistance continues to the extent that they behave in the best interest of their fellow citizens.

We want for Africa and its people what you want for Africa and for you. We want to live and develop with dignity and not as poor people with a beggar’s cup in hand, and fighting against one plague or conflict after another.

We want to live the true meaning of the creed that all men are created equal. Although this may seem like a tall order, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s not too much to ask.

The challenges facing the world in resolving Africa’s economic situation – poverty – are daunting. Africa cannot solve its problems on its own. The developed world, on the other hand, cannot solve Africa’s problems. A combined and renewed effort must be made by all to find the answers that ensure the growth required to eradicate poverty and minimize the adverse social effect that globalization entails.

Africa needs external support in the form of financing, debt relief and review of protectionist measures in developed countries. At the same time, some of us need to clean up the misdeeds of the last (eight) years, misdeeds that seem to have taken on a life of their own. Time is not on our side. Let us seize the attempt by President Obama and the United States to restore political and economic morality to the fabric of governance.

Thank you.