Fashola, Soyinka, others plot Africa’s development 

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By OLUWOLE FAROTIMI

Eminent Nigerians, including Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka; Professor of Economics and Director of African of Study of African Economies at Oxford University, Paul Collier, yesterday ruminated on ways out of the country’s woes, saying the  African continent is in dire need of developmental policies.

Speaking at the 2012 Lagos Kuramo Conference, yesterday, they said it was high time the African continent churned out policies to develop its potentials rather than waiting for loans and grants from other developed continents. In his remarks, Professor Wole Soyinka, who was the chairman of  the occasion, urged African leaders to address some of the factors responsible for economic woes and also begin to reposition the continent for greatness.

He said if China was able to transform her economy to the second largest in the world in a decade, it was possible for Africa to do the same.   The convener of the conference, Governor Fashola, said the continent needed to look inward for answers to some of her economic challenges.  Fashola, who observed that most African countries preferred doing business with the West and Asia, said the situation had not really helped the economic development of the continent. He said: “African countries need to trade with each other in order to optimally utilise the abundant natural resources on the continent and put her on the path of prosperity.

Why can’t we encourage a policy to compel African countries to trade with one another in Zambian Copper, Ghanaian cocoa, Cameroonian coffee, Malian cotton and of course Nigerian oil?  “Why don’t we promote the United States of Africa in trade? Why don’t we support the idea of an Afro-zone? The integration of Africa in trade will, no doubt, impact positively on the economies of African countries. This is what we should be thinking about. It is good for our collective prosperity,” he said. Fashola said Africa was strategic to global economic development, saying the natural and human resources had over the years been used to drive the development of western economies.

Also speaking, Dr, Dambisa Moyo, an international economist, regretted that Africa, with over one billion people, which is about half of the global population, controlled only two per cent of the global economy.  She implored African leaders to begin to look for creative ways of solving the continent’s age long challenges, saying corruption had to be confronted to rescue the continent from economic woes.

The conference also saw the launch of the Lagos Court of Arbitration, which seeks to intervene in business and contractual disputes in the West African sub-region. It was inaugurated at the conference.   In his plenary speech, Professor Paul Collier, who urged the Federal Government to implement the Nuhu Ribadu controversial reports rather than throwing it into trashcan, said the problem of corruption in the nation’s oil sector remains the bane of development in the country.

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19 Comments

  1. You can see good people re talking.This Soyinka remains a world leader. This man remains a pride to African race, not just when someone to rose up to champion Nigerias south west integration for personal egoism, tomorrow a section of group will acknowledge him as a sage.

    • So it is in talking and no action that Africa is going to be built. Soyinka cannot be part of anything good coming to Nigeria. His intelligence is only for criticisms not for posotive building of his society.

  2. WELL SPOKEN, BUT THIS MONKEYS WE CALL LEADERS ARE NOT THAT INTELLIGENT, ALL THEY THINK ABOUT IS HOW THEY CAN STEAL AND BRING OUR WEALTH TO EUROPE WHILE THEY BRING SUFFERING ON THEIR OWN PEOPLE.

  3. Actually, the immediate simple solution is to summon courage and start killing the African leaders one by one. It is simple as ANC because they dont even have or provide security.

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    • Waooo nice step i wish Africa look into that matter and work towards it for great Africa cos am seeing a vision that soon africa will be the best place in the world especially Nija

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  8. …nice one there from the learned intellectuals,but, we really need full implementation on the issues discussed in endless summits&conferences held across the country on daily bases.

  9. Sun it’s time u flush off all this useless guys that using ur media for their own business, they should know this site is for issue concerning important write ups.

  10. Prof.Paul Collier,I guess is a visitor to the country and does not understand the politics of Nigeria.Hence, his calling on the federal Government to implement Ribadu Report seems to me like a man who was not at burial cite of his friend and when asked to exhume the body for utopsy .He started from the leg instead of from the head.He spoke like one of the international advisors of Acn party .

  11. Prof Paul Collier, no need to ruminate on ways out of our country’s woes for too long. The simple way out is to kick out corruption. Who among our current leaders-traditional, political, religious, etc that is not corrupt? Gov Fashola want to do something but are his hands not tied by the ACN godfather and those around him?

  12. Rotimi Ogundoro on

    Fashola might have good intentions, he might be patriotic ,but he remains a product of a very corrupt and ego driven leader. Ahmed Tinubu who has become so rich through public funds coming directly and indirectly to his companies that he now thinks he can be next person to God. They have been talking about economic integrations in the SW Nigeria for sometime, now they are dreaming about economic integrations in Africa. We all know what is happening in Lagos,how Tinubu has been using his company to collect taxes and taking a certain percentage, amounting to billions every month and even would never allow fashola to give contracts to whoever that can perform, unless such contracts is given to his own private companies and this explains my earlier position of direct and indirect methods. Lagos state is in that Guys pocket, everything to Tinubu is money and has developed a rampant voracious appetite for it. He sees himself as Emperor in SW and will do everything to get to the central at Abuja. If fashola wants to be heard, admired, followed in his public service career, he needs to dissociate himself from his corrupt leader whom we all know will be heading towards an oblivion with all his ill-gotten wealth within five years. Where is Abiola today and what happened to everything he built wth his ill-gotten money?

  13. ACN IS THE WORST AMONG ALL PARTIES, PEOPLE SHOULD RISE UP. I WILL RATHER DIE THAN TO BELIEVE THIS GANG UP PARTY CALLED ACN. TINUBU AND CO WANT TO SALE THIS COUNTRY AND SEND THE MONEY TO WESTERN WORLD. GOD FORBID. PROF. WOLE SOYINKA IS NOT A PARTISAN BUT ACN IS DOING EVERYTHING HUMANLY POSSIBLE TO BUY THIS MAN OVER.

  14. They just meeting with no reasonable focus, how can an intellectual like them be talking, talking, talking since I was in primary school and instead of things going better, its goes worst . How could Men be talking of development without first putting pressures on African Leaders to have their individual Countries National circut-Identity daa base, so that things like stipend o social security could be paid to un-employed, the aged and the less prevailed ones. its only when such is done even at the smallest price of Three Thousand Naira that, Citizens of every African Counties would take Government as their interest protected place to behold

  15. the trouble with Nigeria is that we have intellectuals who can decipher the problem but lack leaders with enough courage to actually solve the problem.

  16. Its really sad to read inaccurate fact,to then attribute such to a sound mind like Dambisa Moyo beggers belief. Africa’s population is not half of the Global population.What is the current population of China or India? What is the current population of the entire World ?Basic research would have done you a great deal of good.

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