Africa Is Not A Failure; It Has Good Things To Offer – Obasanjo
SAN FRANCISCO, March 31, (THEWILL) – Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has pleaded with African leaders to focus on good governance, equity and other variables that would bring about growth, stressing that Africa is not a failure but a continent that has good things.
Obasanjo, who spoke as the just-concluded Commonwealth Day Service and The Commonwealth Africa Summit held in commemoration of the Commonwealth Week in London, advocated that agriculture should be seen as business as 60 per cent of arable land in the world is in Africa.
Stressing that the greatest asset the continent has is its people, he said: “If Globalisation means I open my door and you take things out but you close your own door to me, then to hell with globalisation.”
He continued: “Africa is not an unmitigated failure; there are good things in Africa. Africa remains the cradle of humanity. We need to put our pad on our head as Africans and stand by our load and be ready to carry, then they will help us.
“Our greatest asset is our people. Let us train and educate our people. People will say, too many people, the truth is that the so called youth budge can be an asset and a responsibility. Let us educate them and give them skills.
“60 per cent of arable land in the world is in Africa, what are we doing with it. Let us stop regarding agriculture as a development project; it's a business, Agriculture business.”
Obasanjo, who is also the Chairman of Commonwealth African Initiative – the organizers of the event, noted that those in leadership can do and undo, adding that: “What I have seen in Africa is that I think on incremental basis, our leadership qualities are improving, but our leaders need to be educated. They need to understand the world and know that by themselves alone we can't go farther.”