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General News of Sunday, 23 June 2002

Source: GNA

Culture affects Africa's development - Fletcher

The Reverend Dr. Kingsley Fletcher, a US based Ghanaian evangelist has observed that negative cultural attitudes by Africans had affected developments on the continent.

"Africa can be turned into any of the emerging countries and economies such as Korea and Japan but negative cultural beliefs and selfish attitude of Africans including their leaders had held the continent back in its development".

Speaking to the Ghana news Agency in Accra after a week's visit to the country, Rev. Fletcher said, "if Africans could put their negative cultural practices and lukewarm attitude towards development behind them, they could come abreast with developed countries and not rely on them for financial support".

He said much could not be achieved in Africa for sustainable and human development without the elimination of the negative cultural practices that had kept the people in subjugation.

"The main problem affecting African development is not their leaders, government policies and programmes, but their thinking and attitude to issues, which should change for the better", He said. Dr. Fletcher, who is also the Nkosouhene of the Shai Traditional Area, stressed the need for Africans to mobilize resources available on the continent and utilize them effectively for their development.

He said one other factor, which had delayed Africa's development was the attitude of governments and the people to have many development projects within the same period. Japan and Korea, he observed, did not have natural resources but they worked with their brains and are currently among the world's richest countries.

Dr Fletcher said African leaders should embark on an intensive campaign to bring other Africans in the Diaspora to invest to generate income and create employment for the youth.

He said with such an intensive campaign, the youth and other people would not leave the continent for Europe and other countries, adding, "those of us there have realised the need to come back to invest and help develop the continent".

Dr Fletcher pledged to assist in the improvement of health care delivery in the country to reduce the brain drain in the health sector with the provision of 10 computers and accessories to each of the two teaching hospitals in the country. These are the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi.