PUBLISHER’S NOTE – TIME TO DESTROY AFRICA’S YOKE
For the umpteenth time, news about the despicable state of affairs in Africa has continued to resonate. This time, it is coming from David Malpass who was recently elected President of the World Bank.
Malpass, in expressing his thoughts on salient global issues, warned at the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group that Africa could be home to 9 in every 10 extremely poor people by 2030. Malpass explained that this development would jeopardise the World Bank’s goal to end extreme poverty by that time.
The World Bank boss also remarked at the meeting that extreme poverty was on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa despite a global drop from levels seen in the 1990s and 2000s.
He said: “On current trends, per capita income growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, as a whole, is now projected to stay below 1 per cent until at least 2021, which elevates the risk of a further concentration of extreme poverty on the continent.
“This fact is extremely troubling because it jeopardizes the World Bank’s primary goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030.
“By 2030, nearly 9 in 10 extremely poor people will be Africans, and half of the world’s poor will be living in fragile and conflict-affected settings.
“This calls for urgent action—by countries themselves, and by the global community. “The Bank’s role is particularly important in poorer countries, where the global economic slowdown that began last year hits people the hardest.
The World Bank president’s position was neither stray nor incidental. It derived from the deplorable condition of Africans, especially those living in Africa, as many leaders in the countries of the continent remain power-drunk, selfish, greedy, corrupt and retrogressive megalomaniacs in their understanding of governance.
For Africa’s leaders, it is a development that should not once be mentioned in the comity of nations that Nigeria overtook India as the country with the highest number of extremely poor people in the world, according to the Brookings Institution report in June 2018.
Considering the knock-on effect of this outlandish outlook that casts a slur on the continent’s managerial dexterity, it is expected that the Sixth Africa Think Tank Summit held 24-26 April 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya, convened by the African Capacity Building Foundation under the theme “Tackling Implementation Challenges for Africa’s Sustainable Development” (ACBF) was meticulously addressed.
The problem of low implementation of policies has been a serious problem militating against the continent’s development in the post-independence era and now, more than ever before, needs to be frontally tackled by all.
It is cheery that the Summit is being organized in partnership with the Government of Kenya and the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA), together with other partners. It also feels good that the 2019 Summit, the sixth in the series, in its main objective, seeks to provide a better understanding of why policies and programmes are not effectively implemented in many African countries, and offer recommendations for enhancing implementation to achieve desirable development outcomes.
It is an indictment on Africa’s leaders that about 42 treaties/agreements were signed by the OAU and its successor the AU between 1963 and 2014, but only 25 had been ratified by 2014. Even then there was little implementation on any of them, according to an ACBF August 2013 study titled, “The Digest of OAU-AU Treaties, Conventions and Agreement 1963 to 2014.
The study also showed that from 2002 to 2018 (the era of the AU), 51 treaties and agreements were signed. 31 of them (60.8 per cent) are yet to be ratified for implementation.
Following this ugly trend, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement – which is expected to boost intra-African trade and enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level – has received the mandatory 22 ratifications and is now ready for implementation. However, it remains to be seen how it will take off if the implementation capacity challenges being faced by leaders at national, regional, and continental levels are not addressed.
The vast capacity gaps for implementing the AU Agenda 2063 and the UN 2030 Agenda also remain multi-level and multidimensional and underscore the urgent need for strengthening the implementation capacities, especially in the areas of planning, financing, monitoring, evaluation and statistics.
Leaders need to understand these core issues and brace at all times to serve the people, create wealth and secure their future wellbeing.
Publisher: Carolyn Isaac