Invest in industry, human resource -African leaders urged
The South African Minister of National Planning Commission has asked African leaders to invest more in industrialisation and human capital, to expand and modernise the economies of their respective countries.
The minister, Dr Trevor Manuel, further asked African leaders to move away from signing of protocols to implementation of such agreements for the benefit of their people.
Dr Manuel made the recommendations when he delivered the third in a series of the John A. Kufuor Annual Global Development lecture in Accra yesterday night.
The lecture was organised by the John A. Kufuor (JAK) Foundation in collaboration with the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL).
Speaking on the theme: ‘Africa: Emerging Economies and Globalisation’, Dr Manuel centred his speech on five main pillars – Regional Integration, Healthcare, Education, Urban Policy, Investment and Infrastructure and Economic Diversification and Employment.
Dr Manuel noted that African countries had many laudable policies and were also signatories to many global agreements and conventions.
However, what seemed to be the bane of almost all African countries was the implementation of the many policies and agreements for which they had received tonnes of global commendations, he pointed out.
He said although the African Union (AU) had adopted a relentless plan of action to move Africa forward towards economic development and local integration, issues had remained on the table for a long time.
Dr Manuel thus urged that the plan of finalising them must be translated into concrete steps in the form of the Abuja Treaty of 1990.
‘We should go well beyond the satisfaction of signing protocols, treaties and statements of intent. We must now move seriously to maximise the advantages that flow to marginalise organised markets.’
‘Countries do not get rich by selling goods and services to themselves but by producing goods the world needs and moving closer to the global frontiers,’ he challenged.
Described as the ‘pillar of the South African economy’, Dr Manuel, who spoke on the topic: ‘The Drive for Economic Development and Investment in Africa’, said in spite of positive trends in Africa’s economic growth there was the contradiction that it was not self-evident Africa would prosper.
‘Whether we will succeed as a continent will depend on reforms we introduce to sustain development and to make them inclusive,’ he stressed.
In his acceptance speech, Chairman for the event, Dr Tony Oteng Gyasi, a former President of the Association of Ghana Industries, and Managing Director and Chairman of Tropical Cable and Conductor Ltd, stated that the recent election petition was a litmus test that proved Ghana’s love for peace.
While commending the 2012 flag bearer of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and President John Mahama for their show of maturity after the hearing of the election petition, the NPP flag bearer walked into the auditorium as if on cue.
By Edmund Smith-Asante/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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