Mr James Victor Gbeho, Former Ghana’s Ambassador to the United Nations, has urged the international community to review its relationship with Africa as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) draw to an end this year.
The Former Envoy, who is now the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Institute of Diplomatic Practice and Development Policies (IDPDP), noted that, despite strides made in Africa’s development effort, many people still languished in extreme poverty.
Mr Gbeho made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency to highlight the relevance of a lecture series organised by the Institute [IDPDP] on the topic: “Post 2015 development Agenda and missing links in Africa’s development strategies.”
“It’s been six decades since countries in Africa became independent…yes there have been some form of progress but at the same time poverty has deepened and many of our people on the continent still languish below the poverty line,” he said.
“Now it is time for the international community to look at what it is doing very carefully with a view to improve on the relationship between the developed and the developing countries,” he added.
He explained that as the MDGs of the United Nations were coming to an end at the end of 2015, and might be replaced by post 2015 sustainable development agenda, so if any proposal ought to be made, this was the time to do so.
He observed that in the last 50 years, economic relations with the developed world seemed not to have worked well for Africa, adding that, the development model that fitted Europe has not automatically benefited the African continent.
He cited the introduction of development partnership cooperation, which have taken the form of a number of agreements as well as adoption of democracy in Africa but the continent still faced numerous difficulties.
Though the continent lacked the right tools to push and advance its development goals, the former Envoy, said African leaders ought to do some introspection.
“Apart from the lack of the tools of development on our side,” he said, “we must look carefully at what we have done in the last 50 years.”
Mr Gbeho said the IDPDP has discovered through years of research that there are missing links in Africa’s development strategies that make it difficult for the continent to attain the desired outcome to improve quality of life of its people.
In this direction, the Institute has decided to kick start series of lectures to make the outcome of the research public to trigger discussions on a national scale that would lead to finding a common African position on sustainable development.
The maiden lecture is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24, and is expected to bring together policymakers [past and present], people from the intellectual community and the public.