Business News of Sunday, 30 July 2017
Lord Paul Yaw Boateng, Member of Parliament in the House of Lords, United Kingdom, has said Africa’s underdevelopment was as a result of failure to invest in agriculture.
He implored on African governments to turn attention on agriculture to curb the increasing rate of youth unemployment in the continent.
Lord Boateng said unless Africa leaders prioritise in agriculture, the continent would be ‘sitting on a time bomb’, adding that $40 billion was spent annually on the importation of food, an indication that the continent has failed to utilise its agriculture sector.
He said this in Accra at a public lecture to mark the fifth anniversary of the late President John Evans Attah Mills organised by the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration and the University of Cape Coast.
Lord Boateng said the only way for Africa to attain its development agenda was for the continent to focus its attention on agriculture, stressing that unless the continent turned its attention to the sector, the future would be bleak for the generation.
“It’s so unfortunate that the African continent has not been able to utilise the agriculture sector to its full benefits. If the continent wants to rise from its current state to attain its development goals, then we need to tackle agriculture with all seriousness”, he said.
Lord Boateng said the increasing rate of unemployment in the country and the continent posed a serious threat, allowing many of the youth to use unapproved means to seek greener pastures which had led to the death of thousands.
He said it is imperative for African governments to mobilise domestic resources to finance development projects.
Lord Boateng said the best memory Ghana could give the late President Attah Mills was the country to pay attention to issues that affected the youth since it was one of the major development challenge that was dear to him.
He commended organisers of the lecture since it would continue to create a platform to discuss pertinent and developmental issues facing the country.
Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, Senior Minister, described the late President Attah Mills as a man who lived a life of servitude.
“Not only was the late President Attah Mills a man of peace but also a leader that exhibited true discipline. He believed in his conviction whether right or wrong,” he said.
Mr Maafo commended that late President for laying a solid foundation for the country’s revenue collection system.
The lecture was attended by state officials, representatives from political parties and civil society’s including former President John Dramani Mahama and former Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur.