Mobilising African People For Economic Development

Mobilising African People For Economic Development


For meaningful Economic development to take place, the human resource available must be mobilized. For effective mobilization to occur, leadership must be seen to be democratic and understand human values and their sensibilities. Democracy is therefore at the centre of mobilizing African people for Economic development.

I recently had a meeting with the Chairman of the Labour Party of Holland (PVDA) in Amsterdam and in the course of the discussion, she said ‘I cannot imagine myself living without democracy’. The statement by this noble woman is very profound, very true and yet eluding many nations.

The number one resource of every nation or continent for her development is her people. At the centre of mobilizing people as said earlier is true democracy. Democracy should not end after elections, democracy means more than queuing and voting once every four, five or seven years for our leaders.

There are some people who ascribe to me the title of the father of democracy in Ghana and by extension Africa; to these people I say no because democracy is neither new nor alien to Africa.

What I did, was to disempower the dictatorship of the presidency and the central government into the hands of the people where it belongs, empowered people with their right to moral outrage, restored to them their right to judicial consciousness, gave them back their right and capacity to demand accountability from leadership. And I dutifully submitted myself to it and championed the cause of freedom and justice fearlessly.

Several decades ago, Marcus Garvey wrote that he went around the whole world looking for a nation of black people and governed by black people, and he could not find any.

He was going to create one. He did not succeed. That failure was not for want of trying nor was he deficient in his efforts. He failed because there were nations that existed on the African continent that were governed by traditional leaders. These were potential chiefs nominated and elected by the wise counsel of elders, held to account by the people and suffered the humiliation of destoolment (being thrown out of office) if they did not measure up to the task of leadership.

As I comb through the annals of history, I can see several cultural and traditional systems of governance whose existence art one point or another provided a platform for unification of their peoples. More importantly they rallied their peoples to resolve their immediate problems and meet their needs, and they were a beacon of unity.

Yet, on the African continent today, particularly in my country Ghana, introduction of western style democracies has virtually consigned our cultural and traditional personalities to an oblivious existence along with the democratic institutions and value systems.

Must we not be allowed to retain some of these cultural and traditional practices, the good ones still relevant and marry them with the newly found western – style democratic dictates? Must we not hold on to those cultural values that helped us deal with conflict, famine etc and supplement them with the tenets of western democracies?

Must we give up what we have in order to access western style governance? I don’t believe so, and I’m not sure most if not all of you feel the same way.

Much of the continent’s political instability is caused by the inability to fashion out workable political systems for development of the individual countries.

There are two living realities in my world, that’s our traditional way of life, which is rich with the democracy and the ‘exported-from-the-west’ way of multi party democracy. If we could adopt your style of multiparty practices without trampling on the civility, sensitivities and sensibilities in the logic of our rich culture, Africa could be teaching a thing or two about human values.

As political leaders and statesmen, the onus is on us to pursue an agenda that would let this happen, but would greed and the savagery of certain Economic practices and the lust for power within and outside Africa allow Africa to succeed in this priceless human quest?

To paraphrase the great African American philosopher and poet, Langston Hughes, the African continues to yearn for a knowledge and understanding of his ancestral past in order to ascertain where he has been, where he must go and how he will get there.

I believe African cultural and value systems have played a meaningful role in our past and must be allowed or helped to feature prominently in our democratic dispensation so that it can bridge the political divide where necessary and provide the unifying force in mobilizing the African people for Economic development.

We cannot have a meaningful dialogue about mobilizing African people for development without discussing the issue of corruption that has been the bane of development on the whole continent.

How do you mobilize a people for development when they know that a few can take all they have worked for and deposit it in western banks?

How do you continue to mobilize the African people for development when they see the western societies, whose governance systems they wish to learn from and emulate giving shelter and protection to personalities who have squandered relatively large sums that could have built a hospital, provided good drinking water and built schools and do some good in certain deprived communities?

How do you mobilize a people for development when basic necessities such as good drinking water and three square meals a day are an unaffordable luxury to them? Yet some corrupt leaders with whitewashed images by the west continue to find friends where they unperturbedly stash their loot.

How come western institutions do not throw the searchlight on bank accounts of African personalities as they would in most instances where income sources cannot be easily ascertained, as in the case of drug traffickers and gunrunners?

Why can’t the worlds leading countries insist on value for money for the projects their contractors undertake in African countries?

Why will the world’s leading countries not insist on social justice fair and accessible judiciary and accountable governments for the African people rather than throwing money at these problems most of which suffers the acts of corruption.

In order for the African people to rediscover their collective sense of patriotism and energy to mobilize for development, they must want to see some, if not all of the foregoing addressed in ways that would lift their spirits, bring them hope for the future and give true meaning to freedom and development as it is known in any civilized society.

Certainly, some of the measures and methods I have prescribed here may be considered long overdue. But I know some may be considered controversial and that is where I would like to take refuge in the words of Dr Martin Luther King when he said that ‘the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in times of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.’

I want fairness, justice, improved living conditions, opportunities in education, healthcare, jobs and true happiness for my people.

How do we resolve the task that would lead to what we collectively want for our people?

Firstly, to request your involvement and partnership in bringing lasting pressure to bear on the many issues I have enumerated.

Secondly, once the partnership hand we extend has been accepted by yourselves, we ask that you join with us to make the following plea to the world’s Economic powers: That henceforth, foreign governments, donor agencies and the Bretton woods institutions will tie their aid to non-corrupt practices by governments and not remove subsidies and safety nets to the poor and vulnerable on necessities such as drugs, water, electricity etc.

We want institutions to be challenged to make every effort to identify resources stashed away and repatriate the loot so uncovered to Africa for development to benefit all.

We want our institutions of governance to be strengthened by insistence on an impartial and fair justice system, accountable governments and truly democratic parliament.

We want our educational institutions to be strengthened and enlarged to provide more opportunity for our peoples.

We want scholarships to be made available tenable not only in foreign institutions, but also in African institutions.

We want those who travel to pursue further academic work on scholarships to have such scholarships tied to a conditionality that sees them return to Africa to help it develop.

We want our professionals to be assisted with such facilities so that they will find it attractive to return to serve the interests of their peoples and for such assistance to continue so far as the conduct themselves in the best interests of their fellow citizens.

We want for Africa and its people, what you want for Africa and yourselves. We want to live and develop in dignity and not as paupers with begging cups in hand, and fighting one plague or conflict after another.

We want to live the true meaning of the creed that all men are created equal. Even though this may seem a tall order, I am sure you will agree with me that it is not too much to ask for.

The challenges facing the world to resolve the Economic plight of Africa – poverty – are daunting. Africa cannot solve its problems on its own. The developed world, on the other hand cannot solve Africa’s problems. A combined and renewed effort must be made by all to find the answers that ensure the growth required to eradicate poverty while minimizing the adverse social effect that goes with globalization.

Africa needs external support in the form of financing, debt relief and revision of protectionist measures in developed countries. At the same time, some of us need to clean up the misdeeds from the past (eight) years- misdeeds that appear to have taken on a life of their own. Time is not our side. Let us take advantage of President Obama’s and America’s attempt to restore political and Economic morality into the fabric of governance.

Thank you.


Mobilising African People For Economic Development

Africa is a continent with vast potential for economic development, yet it remains one of the poorest regions in the world. To unlock this potential, there needs to be a mobilization of the people of Africa towards economic development. In this article, we will explore some strategies that can help mobilize African people for economic development.

  1. Education and Skills Development

Education is a critical component of economic development. By providing education and skills development opportunities, African people can be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the modern economy. Governments and private sector organizations can work together to invest in education and skills development, including vocational training and entrepreneurship programs.

  1. Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Entrepreneurship and innovation are key drivers of economic growth. African people should be encouraged to develop their own businesses and create jobs for themselves and others. Governments and private sector organizations can provide support and resources for entrepreneurs, such as business incubators and access to funding. African entrepreneurs should also be encouraged to develop innovative solutions to local problems, which can create new industries and contribute to economic growth.

  1. Agriculture and Rural Development

Agriculture is a critical sector for economic development in Africa, as it employs a significant portion of the population and is a major source of exports. Governments and private sector organizations can invest in rural development programs, including infrastructure, access to finance, and training, to support the growth of the agricultural sector. Additionally, there should be a focus on promoting sustainable and environmentally friendly agriculture practices.

  1. Access to Finance

Access to finance is a significant barrier to economic development in Africa. Many people lack access to formal financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, and therefore struggle to start businesses or invest in their own education. Governments and private sector organizations can work together to provide access to finance, including microfinance and mobile banking services.

  1. Women’s Economic Empowerment

Women make up a significant portion of the African workforce, yet they face significant barriers to economic empowerment, including limited access to education, finance, and formal employment. By investing in women’s economic empowerment, African economies can benefit from increased productivity and entrepreneurship. Governments and private sector organizations can provide resources and support for women entrepreneurs and promote policies that advance gender equality in the workforce.

In conclusion, mobilizing African people for economic development requires a multi-faceted approach that includes education and skills development, entrepreneurship and innovation, agriculture and rural development, access to finance, and women’s economic empowerment. By investing in these areas, African economies can unlock their potential and create a more prosperous future for all.

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