Find home-grown solutions to Africa’s problems

Business News of Saturday, 17 January 2015

Source: B&FT

Prof. Gabriel Teye UDS

The Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Development Studies, Prof. Gabriel Teye, has said the time has come for Africans to find home-grown solutions to the immeasurable problems confronting Africa, rather than to over-rely on ‘ready-made solutions’ from others.

He observed that African leaders have for far too long depended on non-productive development approaches to try and reverse Africa’s poor showings as against making efforts to identify and harness the continent’s vast resources to bring about development.

He said it is time to look at practical approaches to bring about sustainable change and development to Africa. Although he reckoned that this may not be an easy task to accomplish, he said with determination and the right mindset/mental attitude, Africa’s problems will be surmounted.

Prof. Teye, said this in an interview with the media at the opening session of the 2nd Organisation Development Reflections and Conference for African leaders and Consultants, in Kumasi.

He told participants that the African challenge is a complex one that requires a multi-faced approach as offered by Organisational Development practices to build internal collaboration, strengthen governance institutions within Africa (the executive, legislature, and judiciary), civil society, media and the private sector.

The OD conference was organised by the College for Community and Organisational Development-Ghana, in partnership with the Ghana Institute of Certified Organisational Development Practitioners with support from their American counterpart.

Commenting on the theme of the conference, “Transforming and Energizing for Sustainable Change: OD Practice in Focus”, he said to make it achievable the organisers should bring together ‘great minds’ from Africa and beyond to deliver and deliberate on topical and professional OD issues.

He also advised that they endeavour to build the capacity of young professionals toward increased performance and productivity.

Prof. Teye said the objective of the OD Reflections and Conferences is to promote African OD context and facilitate optimal exploitation of Africa’s OD talents to underpin sustainable development and structural transformation through OD-focused policies, business, entrepreneurship, investment and development management.

He is of the opinion that OD offers the ways to help to increase revenues, generate jobs, reduce poverty, build stable democracies and eventually transform Africa and make development assistance redundant.

Dr. Nancy Zentis, Founder and CEO of IOD-America, said OD practices have a huge potential to better-position organisations and individuals to coexist peacefully and work toward building a sustainable development.

She said the key focus of OD practice is to help others solve their own problems so as to enable them recreate the process at any point in time, which will also serve as a useful lesson to others.

She said her organisation has been in existence for the past 15 years, working together with professionals from across the world to grow knowledge in OD practices.

The three-day event brought together heads of human resource practitioners, chief executives and policy-makers among other professionals from various sectors of the economy to discuss and share ideas and best practices toward a more consolidated practice of organisation development efforts in Ghana, Africa, and beyond.

The conference featured various prominent speakers and facilitators including Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, President of the College for Community and Organisational Development-Ghana; Dr. Roland Sullivan, CEO of STA, USA; and Dr. Nancy Zentis, CEO of IOD, USA among others.