‘Show interest in Africa’s economic history’

General News of Saturday, 14 February 2015

Source: Graphic Online

The youth in Ghana have been advised to take a keen interest in the study of Africa’s economic history to help them understand the past and develop workable policies for the future.

Professor Gareth Austin of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, who made the appeal, said leaving the study of the economic history of the continent to the West had left the history ignored and undocumented.

Prof. Austin stated this at a public lecture at the University of Cape Coast last Wednesday, and added that the study of economic history of Africa could help develop lasting and viable policies to solve Africa’s economic woes and must not be left to the West.

Documented literature

He said there was little or no documented literature on Africa’s economic history for posterity because Africans had little interest in the subject and advised that we work to develop strong database that would serve as reference points for policy development.

He noted that Africans had strong entrepreneurial abilities but the perception had been that the African was not enterprising, emphasising that the entrepreneurial competency of the African for instance had been underestimated.

He urged the academic institutions and students to learn from the past and utilise the knowledge acquired to help address the country’s economic challenges for improved policies in the future.

Prof. Stephen Kendie, Provost, College of Humanities and Legal Studies of the University of Cape Coast chaired the lecture and said Ghanaians must critically examine policies that had failed in the past to avoid repeating such mistakes.

Development targets

He said the nation must work even harder to ensure that the country’s development targets were achieved.

Dr Wilson Kwame Yayoh, acting Director at the Centre for African and International Studies, said the lecture, which was the first of its kind by the centre, would promote the exchange and cross- fertilisation of ideas that would help in policy development.

He said the centre was working to ensure that past presidents in Africa were brought in to share their experiences.

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