Former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama on Thursday said Africa’s development lies in the hands of Africans and called on well meaning Africans to rise to the occasion and develop the continent.
Mahama made the assertion while presenting a keynote address themed “Challenges of Governance and Development in Africa” as part of events to commemorate the graduation ceremony of participants at the Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) 10 organized by Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS).
The three-day event which started at the Institute of Security Studies (ISS), the Organization’s study centre located in Abuja also had the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, Chief Dele Momodu and Ghana’s High Commissioner to Nigeria in attendance.
In his welcome address, the Director General of the DSS, Alhaji Lawal Daura said the four key problems of Africa identified by Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1976 in his lecture titled; “The Problems of Africa: the Need for Ideological Reappraisal” subsist. He listed the problems to include “the problem of underdevelopment, the problem of individual freedom, the problem of constitution making, and the problem of African Unity. For Africans generally, many of these problems still subsist albeit in different degrees and dimensions given the passage of time”.
“For Nigeria, it is noteworthy that constitution making and agitation for same has become a perennial preoccupation. In the light of the foregoing, your Excellency can appreciate the essence of our invitation to make a presentation on the Challenges of Governance and Development in Africa. Though the problems identified by Awolowo have muffed overtime to assume newer forms and complexity, it is my assumption that the developmental challenges that your Excellency grappled with during your very eventful tenure as President of Ghana were not very dissimilar.
“And so we look forward to an insightful and illuminating presentation by a true son of Africa who gave his best in furtherance of the developmental trajectory of Ghana and Africa as President and is still giving in his present capacity as an African statesman”, he said.
In his presentation, Mahama said so many challenges are frustrating the desired growth and development in Africa. He listed the challenges as the problem of leadership, security, energy and infrastructure. He however called on Africans to rise up to the occasion and confront these problems.
According to him “Africa’s destiny lies in the hands of Africans. We cannot expect that anybody will come from anywhere and develop our continent and our nations for us. We must take our destinies into our own hands. And it is possible to do. In some sectors we have put in the right policies and the effects are there to show. If the policies are right, you will reap the result.”
He further stated that what African countries did in Telecom industries must also be replicated in the energy sector to address the issue of power supply.
“If we allow strong private investment by putting in the appropriate policy, to enable power supply to spread across the continent… Because without power you cannot develop,” he said.
“There is no way we can develop and catch up with the rest of the world if you don’t have power. Because you need power to establish those businesses to put in the processing capacity. And you can’t compete if you get to generate power from more expensive sources”, he added.
The Executive Intelligence Management Course is a nine months programme organized by Institute for Security Studies. The course aims to develop and impart knowledge to senior officers of various services preparatory for higher responsibilities in strategic roles both locally and internationally.