Former Secretary-General of the United Nations(UN) Kofi Annan has asked the youth of Africa not to be in a hurry to make quick money but rather utilize their potentials to become responsible leaders.
Speaking at a forum in Accra organised by the old boys association of Mfantsipim dubbed ‘An Afternoon with Kofi Annan on leadership and public service’, the seventh UN Secretary General said, the quest to earn money would only make the youth corrupt.
He asked African leaders to create employment opportunities for young people in their countries to engage them in decent careers in order to become responsible adults in the society, adding that they are less likely to engage in acts of corruption if assured a comfortable and decent life.
“I have hope in the younger generation and it is important to help them harness their potential to become the best they could,”
He found it disturbing that Ghanaians and other youth in Africa are among immigrants who make perilous journeys over the Mediterranean in search of greener pastures in Europe and challenged leaders to build strong institutions and think beyond their states, to provide equal or better prospects on the continent, as there are in the West.
Kofi Annan argued however that for the continent to make that realisation, it will need courageous and democratic leaders who would be willing to serve the interest of their people.
The former UN Secretary General outlined three pillars which he believes would aid the developmental agenda of the African Continent;- peace and security, inclusive development and rule of law/respect for human right if applied holistically as the foundation of Africa’s developmental agenda, will create a better future for the incoming generation of the continent.
He urged Africans to elect leaders that are courageous, persistent and compassionate to tap into the vitality of the continent to make life better for its people.
Kofi Annan also lamented the over dependency on raw material and foreign aid by leaders in Africa despite many talks on how they can create a self-sufficient economy.