Former President of Nigeria Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has attributed the problems that militate against Africa’s development to poor leadership noting that the continent needed committed leaders who had its people at heart and would work to propel prosperity.
He said leadership was crucial to the development of the continent saying that “Africa will continue to wallow in poverty if it doesn’t get good and committed leadership”.
Chief Obasanjo was addressing a press conference at Tamale on Tuesday as a prelude to a three-day lecture at the University for Development Studies (UDS) on the maiden edition of the Africa Lecture series organized by the university, as part of activities marking its 20th anniversary.
The three-day lecture is on the theme: “Leadership in Africa from pre-colonial to contemporary times”.
Reports say Chief Obasanjo will be honoured with a doctorate degree (Phd) by the UDS on Thursday 25th, the last day of his lecture.
Chief Obasanjo noted that leaders were either born or acquired but must have innate characteristics to enable them to achieve their goals.
Answering questions from the press, he described the status of UDS as good but said it must make its courses and curriculum relevant to the development of the nation saying, “All Universities on the Continent have problems…UDS must not hold its hands in desperation”.
He described the “Boko Haram” situation in Nigeria as a security one, which must be addressed but wondered if the problem was as a result of lack of education, employment, religious fanaticism or indoctrination.
Chief Obasanjo commended the Government of Ghana and the authorities of the UDS for giving him the opportunity to address a public lecture on African leadership, which he indicated would include the success, challenges and the way forward for the Continent’s leadership.
Vice Chancellor for the UDS Professor Haruna Yakubu,described Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as one of the few leaders in Africa who had succeeded in their administration and was grateful to have partnered him for the development of the university.
The Northern Regional Minister Mr Bede Ziedeng, said the UDS has four campuses across the three regions of the North and suggested the need for people of the area to acquire quality education and skills to reduce poverty.