11 December 2017

South Africa: Nana Akufo-Addo's Comments Are Nothing More Than a Feel-Good Exhortation

analysis

The present African condition requires more than clap baiting, feel-good rhetoric. Whether our leaders restate the obvious in the presence of visiting foreign leaders or during the oft-organised talk-shops, our problems will not automatically fizzle out.

The Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, has in the past few days made positive headlines and garnered admirers in the process, mainly based on the impromptu comments he made while hosting the French President, Emmanuel Macron, in Accra. In less than 10 minutes, President Akuffo-Addo eloquently touched on topics ranging from the problems of aid, illegal migration to Europe, mismanagement, governance, and the imperative of sharpening the African personality. In closing the speech, Akufo-Addo mentioned his famous catchphrase, "Ghana Beyond Aid", a plan that seeks to shift focus from dependence on aid to the proper management of Ghana's resources for economic development.

Akufo-Addo's off-the-cuff comments came at an opportune time, especially as the continent continues to grapple with issues of modern-day slavery in Libya, the lack of political willingness to implement key developmental programmes, increased stifling of democratic rights, and essentially, the absence of seriousness on the part of African leaders to either articulate or action important measures.

Akufo-Addo's comments are not exactly novel, as...

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