Category Archives: Leadership
(From a speech delivered at the opening of a World Assembly of Youth seminar in Dar es Salaam in 1961)
I am a firm advocate of African Unity. I am convinced that, just as unity was necessary for the achievement of independence in Tanganyika, or in any other nation, unity is equally necessary for the whole of Africa to achieve and maintain her independence.
I believe that, left to ourselves, we can achieve unity on the African Continent. But I don’t believe that we are going to be left to ourselves! I believe that the phase from which we are now emerging successfully is the phase of the First Scramble for Africa, and Africa’s reaction to it. We are now entering a new phase – the phase of the Second Scramble for Africa. And just as, in the First Scramble for Africa, one tribe was divided against another tribe to make the division of Africa easier, in the Second Scramble for Africa one nation is going to be divided against another nation to make it easier to control Africa by making her weak and divided against herself.
It is for this reason. Therefore, that before we can talk complacently about ‘African Unity’ we should examine carefully the external ideas which are likely to be imposed upon us – imposed not for the purpose of uniting us, but for the purpose of dividing us. Read the rest of this entry »
“Africa loses twice as much in illicit financial outflows as it receives in international aid. It is unconscionable that some companies, often supported by dishonest officials, are using unethical tax avoidance, transfer pricing and anonymous company ownership to maximize their profits, while millions of Africans go without adequate nutrition, health and education.” Kofi A. Annan, Chair of the Africa Progress Panel.
For much of the region’s history, Africa’s resource wealth has been plundered and squandered. It has served the interests of the few, not the many. Revenues that could have been used to improve lives have instead been used to build personal fortunes, finance civil wars, and support corrupt and unaccountable political elites. This report has a simple message: history does not have to repeat itself. Today, Africa’s governments have a unique window of opportunity to convert natural resource wealth into a catalyst for poverty reduction, shared prosperity and accelerated human development.
This year’s Africa Progress Report rejects the view that Africa is blighted by a “resource curse” – an affliction that automatically consigns the citizens of resource-rich nations to a future of economic stagnation, poverty and poor governance. There is no curse. The malaise that has afflicted natural resource management in Africa is caused by the wrong domestic policies, weak investment partnerships and failures in international cooperation. Lifting that affliction will require decisive leadership by African governments, backed by multilateral action and a commitment by foreign investors to adopt best international practices.
There is cause for optimism. Global market conditions point to another decade of high prices for natural resources, creating an environment conducive to economic growth. The policy environment has also improved. Strengthened public finance management has enabled Africa to escape the boom-bust cycle associated with past upswings in commodity markets. There have been moves towards greater transparency and accountability – the twin pillars of good governance in natural resources. New legislation in the United States and the European Union will add further impetus to these moves. Many companies are now looking beyond short-term profits and towards long-term investment partnerships. These companies recognize the economic, as well as the ethical, case for strengthening linkages to local firms, for social and environmental impact assessments, and for engagement with local communities.
None of this is to understate the risks and challenges that come with Africa’s ongoing resource boom. Surges in revenue have to potential to destabilize budget planning. Governments must make tough choices over how much to spend today and what to save for the future. There are risks that the fragile and, in some countries, still limited moves towards more open budget systems and enhanced disclosure in state extractive companies will be reversed. The Africa Progress Panel is concerned at foreign investors extensive use of offshore companies, shell companies and offshore jurisdictions. And much of Africa remains trapped in a pattern of exporting raw materials, with few countries successfully breaking into manufacturing and processing. None of this is inevitable – and our report demonstrates that the alternatives are practical, achievable and affordable.
Published every year, the Africa Progress Report is the Africa Progress Panel’s flagship publication. The report draws on the best research and analysis available on Africa and compiles it in a refreshing and provocative manner. Through the report, the Panel recommends a series of policy choices and actions for African policy makers who have primary responsibility for Africa’s progress, as well as international partners and civil society organizations.
You can download the full report here [120 pages, 4.5MB]
You can also download a summary of the report here [24 pages, 1.4MB]
For more details about the report and the panel visit the official African Progress Panel Website here
As United States citizens wake up into their 57th election today, let us remind ourselves of the message sent to them by Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Tanzania’s first president and a prominent Southern African liberation figure, which was published by TIME Magazine on Monday, Jul. 26, 1976.
As part of our Bicentennial observances TIME asked leaders of nations round the world to address the American people through the pages of TIME on how they view the U.S. and what they hope, and expect, from the nation in the years ahead. This message from Tanzania’s President Julius K. Nyerere is the fourth in a series.
America is a society whose faults are the more glaring because of its admirable openness, because of the principles on which the nation was founded and because of the power which comes from its wealth and its size. It is an inspiration, and a warning, to the world. Poor nations aspire to emulate it, or else they fear it—and sometimes both …Continue reading
“African leaders must stand up against being told what to do by everyone who passes by.We have responsibility to redefine Africa’s story into one of prosperity & dignity. This is what our people deserve”
By Paul Kagame – President of the Republic of Rwanda
Click here to listen a podcast of the entire speech.
Upon reviewing the current upheavals in North Africa and elsewhere on the continent, I felt it is necessary for us – African academics, scholars and intellectuals – to take stock and a fresh look at ourselves: What role have we played in advancing the cause of liberty and improving governance in post colonial Africa. Our record is not very good. Sometimes, self-criticism is necessary in order for us to make progress. You do not have to agree with what I am going to say – diversity of opinion is healthy. There have been outstanding individuals among us who risked death to champion the cause of freedom in Africa. However, as a group we have let Africa down badly by not providing intellectual leadership to the democratic struggle.
“He who doesn’t know where he came from doesn’t know where is going,” says an African proverb. Continue reading…