Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that for Africa to meet the yearnings of its people and attain its growth ambition, the role of knowledgeable leadership committed to good governance remains critical.
Osinbajo stated this at the weekend in a lecture he delivered virtually to the 2023 Africana Conference of the Fletcher School, Tufts University, USA, entitled “Africa 2050: Making Growth Work.”
The vice president, in a statement released by his media aide, Laolu Akande, who addressed a wide range of issues affecting Africa’s development, said though situations of wars, pandemic, political strife and energy crisis, among other factors, were inhibiting development in the continent, “leadership remains key. Africa’s growth ambitions will surely need knowledgeable leadership committed to good governance.”
The vice president restated his view that “Africa has the potential to become the first truly green civilisation – the first civilisation on earth to use renewable fuel for purposes of a transformative economic journey.”
According to him, since it has the lowest carbon emissions, Africa can develop by deploying and using green energy effectively and by mobilising its young population to promote green manufacturing on a scale that would make it the global green factory of the world.
Closely related to the continent’s growth ambitions, Prof. Osinbajo noted, are the external environment driven by the global economic order, peace and stability.
He cited success stories in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, and increasingly India and Vietnam, noting that “the liberal international economic order allowed for the exchange of ideas, technology and know-how across countries and could be said to have peaked with the globalisation that started in the late 20th Century.”
“The claim has been made that more people were taken out of poverty in the post Second World War period than in the preceding 500 years. This is not so difficult to believe if we consider the remarkable transformation of China and India. For instance, China is reported to have lifted 770 million people out of poverty over a forty-year period, while India is said to have lifted 415 million people out of multi-dimensional poverty over the last 15 years.”
Osinbajo, however, submitted that Africa has not been very lucky, noting that “…we should ponder a bit on the global economic order and ask ourselves whether the conditions under which recent late developers grew fast is still available and would still be available to support Africa’s quest to make growth work over the next 27 years.” That is between now and 2050.
“To be candid, the omens do not look good and it seems to me that those of us with an abiding interest in international relations must work together to ensure that it continues to enable global peace and security, as well as economic progress.”