24 June 2016

Africa: Embrace Everything African

"Agenda 2063 is our response as to what we as Africans need to do for us to achieve our dream of the Africa we want. The Agenda sets out the approach as to how the continent should effectively learn from the lessons of the past, build on the progress now underway and strategically exploit all possible opportunities available in the immediate and medium term, to ensure positive socioeconomic transformation within the next 50 years" said the Minister of Economic Planning, Hon Tom Alweendo, when he addressed a Ministerial Follow-up committee earlier this week in Windhoek. "I am also hopeful that the implementation of Agenda 2063 will help us to write our own African narrative.

For too long Africa has been seen through the views of those who do not always have Africa's interest at heart. You will recall that not too long ago Africa was referred to as the Dark Continent. Lately we have seen that the narrative has changed to Africa the Rising Continent. I am still of the view that this positive narrative is as described by others and it is time that we as Africans own the positive narrative" he told his august audience. Alweendo said Africa's development calls for a total paradigm shift. "At its heart, this new African development roadmap emphasizes the importance of success through the restoration of the passion for Pan-Africanism, a sense of unity, self-reliance, integration and solidarity that was a highlight of the triumphs of the 20th century. It calls on all of us to spare no effort in making Africa a prosperous continent." On prosperity, he said "Agenda 2063 is rooted in Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance and provides a framework for Africa to realize it's vision and desire for a shared prosperity, unity and making the 21st Century the African Century.

It represents a re-dedication by Africans for an integrated prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena." On strategy, he said "The seven key aspirations of Agenda 2063 represent critical values and principles that form the foundation for African prosperity. It should also be noted, however, that the success of Agenda 2063 at continental level will depend on the progress that each African nation makes in developing themselves." "In order to realize Africa's aspiration, we have to overcome the hurdles that so far have prevented Africa from becoming the force it potentially can be. It requires that we accept full responsibility - that we are the masters of our own development and that relying on others to develop Africa will be unhelpful. Africa will have to be developed by African ourselves."

Stating his own convictions, he said "Three areas that I believe is of crucial importance for the development of the Continent, namely the importance of strong and effective institutions; peace and stability; and the embrace of what is African. These are, amongst others, significant catalysts for our development without which the achievement of our Agenda 2063 aspirations will be elusive." "However, we are failing to extend our African patriotism to other aspects such as African products and services. As a result, we continue to disproportionally spend our incomes outside the Continent, thereby limiting the multiplier effects of incomes generated in our own economies and hence limiting our economic growth.

We accept all standards from elsewhere except our own standards, which makes it difficult to trade with one another. We therefore need to start focusing on our own markets first as the foundation for African exports" Alweendo said stressing the need for Africa's capital to remain and work on the continent.


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