The Inquirer (Monrovia)

7 August 2014

Africa: Tipoteh to Obama - Africa Needs Change of Economic System

On the eve of the eve of the United States of America-Africa Summit of Heads of State and Government, Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh, the internationally renowned economist, former Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs, former Senior Advisor to the United Nations and former Chairman of the African Group of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund(IMF) has told President Barack Obama, the Host of the Summit, that what Africa needs mostly now is a change in its economic system.. Dr. Tipoteh made this point to President Obama in a letter sent to him last week.

Realizing that in his Pre-Summit remarks President Obama called for the Rule of Law within a Democracy Setting to prevail in Africa, Dr. Tipoteh told the President that the only way for the Rule of Law to prevail in Africa is for Africa to change its economic system. Then, Dr. Tipoteh went on to point out the change required for the African economy. Dr. Tipoteh pointed out that for Africa to experience Rule of Law in a Democracy Setting there has to be a change in its economic system from the production of raw materials mainly for export to the production of raw materials mainly for use in Africa. Dr. Tipoteh said that the present economic system in Africa was used by the colonialists to make themselves rich and the African people poor.

According to Dr. Tipoteh, as written in the letter, the colonial economic system is the economic growth without economic development system, where as the economy grows the masses of the people become poorer while the rich get richer.

Dr. Tipoteh indicated to President Obama that after fifty years into the post-colonial era, the African governments continue to use this poverty-generating economic system. Dr. Tipoteh advised President Obama that he, Obama, would be seen to be credible by the African people were he, who called for change in the USA, to be working with the African people for a change in the economic system that still

dominates Africa so that the change can bring economic growth with economic development, the sustained improvement in the living standards of the African people. Dr. Tipoteh reminded President Obama about the main problem in the United States economy and how he,Obama, is providing leadership to bring it to good order. Dr. Tipoteh brought President Obama's attention to the fact that he, Obama, has shown his realization of the growth without development syndrome by his pushing for growth with jobs. In this realization, Dr. Tipoteh said that President Obama knows that not any type of growth is beneficial to society and this is why he, Obama. is pushing for growth with jobs. Of course, Dr. Tipoteh noted in his letter that with the nearly 8 per cent rate of unemployment being experienced in the United States economy, he understands the priority that President Obama is giving to growth with

employment rather growth for the sake of growth.

Realizing that President Obama has expressed great interest in the future of the African youth, as seen in his hosting the recent African Youth Forum for some 500 representatives of African youth, Dr. Tipoteh maintained, in his letter, that the new economic system, if placed into existence, would provide the solution for the problem of youth empowerment, through value addition that would open opportunities for African young people to get more and better schooling and training that would lead to income-generation through employment and ownership, with professional and technical expertise of

African young people. Dr. Tipoteh commended President Obama for naming the Youth Forum the Mandela Forum in the hope that African youths and other youths around the world would follow the example of Madiba Nelson Mandela by a life of service in the struggle for justice, economic

development and peace in Africa and in the rest of the world.

In concluding his letter to President Obama, Dr. Tipoteh said that changing the poverty-generating economic system in Africa to a system of poverty-reduction is the best way to defeat terrorism and other forms of violence because mass poverty has become principal pretext or main source of widespread violence in Africa and in the rest of the world.

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