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Africa needs responsible leadership— Olusegun Obasanjo

Former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, in his book ‘Making Africa Work’ has emphasised the need for African countries to embrace responsible leadership if they are to boost economic growth.

Obasanjo launched the book yesterday in Lilongwe alongside his co-authors Greg Mills, Dickie Davis and Jeffrey Herbst in the presence of, among others, government officials, Malawi Defence Force Commander Griffin Supuni Phiri and representatives of foreign missions.

He said African countries have potential and the economy can positively turn around if the potential is turned into actuality.

“God has given us natural resources, we need to give human resources skills, education, empowerment and opportunities to do what human resources in other parts of the world have done. We are saying that whatever may be our inadequacies of the past in terms of performance, we must accept our responsibility, particularly in the area of leadership and learn from our past and those who are doing well and take best practises in Africa,” he said

The 30-chapter book provides a guide to improving Africa’s capacity for economic growth and job creation.

It also highlights impact of population growth, a decline in commodity prices and democracy on the economic growth and approaches that countries must adopt to cope with changes.

Obasanjo said Africa must move away from donor dependence and imitate policies and strategies that are working in other countries.

“We do not need aid. We need equity in trade. We need to put our own house in order; eliminate corruption and get this done properly. Improve our performance and make our leaders responsible,” he said

Mills said if youths are properly given skills and opportunities, they could be a tremendous opportunity for Africa.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Isaac Munlo, said the book is significant as most challenges that countries in Africa face are common.

“It’s from the point that problems are common in Africa, problems of industrialisation, employment and improved agricultural productivity. So it is looking at how we make sure that there is high productivity in that area to help us transform. There are a lot of areas the book is looking at. This movement from what to how to do makes this book very relevant,” he said

The book has also been launched in Ethiopia and South Africa among other countries.

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