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Africa is making giant progress –Kufuor

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Former President J. A. Kufuor

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday said there was a glimmer of hope for African states to make economic and political progress to better the lives of their people.

He said the old age erroneous assertion that African leaders detested to relinquish power after their tenure of office were over and that past leaders were rather putting their brains together to seek the welfare of the continent.

Former President Kufuor said this at the inaugural lecture of the “John A. Kufuor Foundation” organized in his honour to formally launch his foundation with support from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS).

The aim of the foundation is to advocate, promote accountable leadership and inclusive democratic governance as the necessary platform on which African States could pursue sustainable development.

Former presidents Jerry John Rawlings, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Horst Kohler of Germany, former ministers under the erstwhile New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, some leading members of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) including Madam Samia Nkrumah, were among the high file personalities who graced the occasion.

President Kufuor said the foundation was premised on three inter-related pillars: Leadership, Governance and Development, which were also aimed at engaging the three areas based on the assumption that the areas were critical to Africa’s development.

He said the foundation would collaborate with state institutions, civil society organizations, the private sector and the media as well as development partners to achieve its objectives of inspiring effective leadership, democratic governance and sustainable development in Africa.

He said the presence of former President Rawlings was an indication that activities of the foundation was non-partisan and stressed the importance of Africa’s leaders to rise up and contribute their quota towards the development of the continent.

Mr Kufuor observed that every leader only reflects after his tenure of office and identifies where he went wrong, areas he made giant strides and could now contribute his quota towards nation-building and expressed the hope that Ghana would continue to chalk successes.

Mr Horst Kohler, former President of Germany, speaking on the theme: “Walking the tight rope: Balancing State, market and Society” praised Ghana for being among the top fastest growing economies of the world.

He backed his assertion with a quotation from the 2011 Africa progress report chaired by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan; which reads: “Hopeless continent ten years ago has now unquestionably become the continent of hope”, adding, according to the report, Ghana was among the ten fastest growing economies in the world.

Mr Kohler said Ghana’s economic growth was due to the newly found oil in commercial quantities and commended the current National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration for building on the legacies of former President Kufuor and that unity of purpose was what builds successful nations.

He said President Kufuor implemented some controversial measures when in office and that the course of current events showed that he pursued the right path.

He advised Africa leaders to use their natural resources judiciously so that they do not turn out to be a curse but rather a blessing saying, “Africa has a huge natural resource base and the demand has increased significantly over the last years.”

According to him, old and new players like China were trying to secure Africa’s natural resources for their economic development and that some were even talking about a new scramble for Africa and that there was the need for Africans to have a strategy to make best use of their natural resources.

Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, who chaired the function, asked politicians to liaise with higher institutions of learning on the implementation of certain policies for the academia to deliberate on them.

He lauded the establishment of the JAK foundation and that it would help both politicians and the academia to share experiences and that it was in the interest of universities to remain non-partisan so as to impart the needed knowledge to people.

Source: GNA

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One comment

  1. Mr Kohler said it right and well said, Ghanaian leaders as well as African leaders must adhere to it. Else they will not be in power for too long.