‘Africa Not Poor’ – Kofi Annan |

Contrary to the perception that Africa is deprived and underdeveloped, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has stated that the continent “is not poor but a wealthy continent”.

He said “economic growth has taken root in recent years” but African governments are failing to convert the growth into opportunities for their people.

The Chairman of the Africa Progress Panel made these remarks in a video recording to mark the closing ceremony of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) Board of Governors.

He emphasised that the continent needs an economic transformation that harnesses growth for many rather than the benefit of few.

He indicated that most of Africa’s challenges persist “not because of a lack of knowledge, plans or technical solutions but a lack of political will”.

For him, a new sense of urgency is needed among African leaders to implement the long discussed transformation of the continent.

He was of the view that civil society and the private sector need to challenge leaders to live up to Africa’s potential with the private sector playing a leading role in Africa’s transformation.

He added that the transformation can only be achieved if governments implement the right regulatory framework and an enabling environment.