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General News of Saturday, 26 October 2013

Source: GNA

Africa needs visionary leaders – Dr Chambas

Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN), Joint Special Envoy to Darfur has emphasised the need for strong institutions and visionary leadership in Africa.

He explained that the continent needed strong men and women with foresightedness and dynamism to help consolidate the young democracies and transform their economies.

Dr Chambas was speaking at the 2013 Alumni Lecture of the University of Ghana (UG) at Legon.

The lecture, organised by the University of Ghana in collaboration with its Alumni Association is on the topic: “Governance and Leadership”.

The lecture was attended by people from the academia, the university alumni, politicians as well as the general public.

Dr Chambas said Ghana had been described as the rising star of Africa, for making enormous strides on the social and the economic front.

He noted that Ghana was also a shining example of democracy and stability and that the 2008 elections witnessed the second transfer of power from the ruling party to the opposition party since the country’s democratic journey began in the 1990s.

He said Ghana’s 2008 elections were perhaps the biggest test to the resilience of the country’s democratic governance due to the relatively slim margin between the winner and loser of the contest.

Dr Chambas stated that in the December 2012 elections, the country witnessed another test with fear expressed in many quarters but the Ghanaian people showed a deep sense of maturity.

He said despite some achievements by the government, the vast majority of the people were still waiting for the dividend of democracy such as employment for the youth.

He called for the strengthening of weak and unaccountable institutions in the face of the rule of law, adding that, no democratic system could sustain itself in the face of massive poverty of the people.

He urged African governments to put in place measures to provide job opportunities for the people, especially the youth, and address the growing inequality between the rich and the poor.

Dr Chambas also called for the development of a credible electoral institution for the country, adding that, elections should not generate into crisis but to enable people to freely choose those to govern them.

He said for many African countries to overcome the curse of their resources, especially those with oil and other minerals, they had to diversify their economies and cited Norway, Trinidad and Tobago, and Botswana as examples to follow.

He also charged the universities and various tertiary institutions to lead the way in research and trends to transform the economy of the country.

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