November 26, 2019 / 10.00PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: Proshare WebTV
Renowned African scholar Professor P.L.O Lumumba has expressed optimism on the continent's prospects of achieving industrialization and economic advancement.
Lumumba was the guest speaker at the 6th edition of the Goddy Jidenma public lecture in Lagos, with the theme "Governance, Insecurity, Poverty and Economic Development: Whither Africa?"
The Professor of Law stressed the fact that the region was rich in natural and human resources, and had no business tolerating the high index of poverty and insecurity it currently displays.
He decried the fact that Africa was in a state of war with conflicts in most of the 54 nations of the region, which had adversely affected economic productivity on the continent.
The Kenyan educationist noted the fact that the current international economic order did not provide an adequate platform for Africa to rise and explore its potentials.
According to him, foreign aid from former colonial powers like United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Portugal and Spain could not solve the challenges of poverty on the continent and has not been able to lead African economies along the path of inclusive growth.
Lumumba informed stakeholders that in Africa today, there are two schools of thought the Afro-pessimists and the Afro-optimists. He said he belonged to the latter school of thought and was confident that with coherent efforts Africa could achieve greatness.
He described the Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA, as a window of opportunities for driving industrialization, competitiveness and the deepening of Intra-African trade within the region.
The pathway to Africa's socio-economic transformation, according to Professor Lumumba, will come through a robust and people-oriented political system.
He tasked the African electorate to rise and engage actively in their political processes to chose leaders who will lead the advancement of their respective nations.
Professor Lumumba also called on African countries to focus on value addition in their economic activities, stating that the continent currently produces what it does not consume and consumes what it does not produce.
The scholar cited Rwanda as an example of a nation that is working efficiently with an effective governance system, that is enhancing its competitiveness.
Giving further insight, he believed stable socio-political systems were critical for Africa's development as a continent.
Professor Joy Ogwu, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairperson of the 6th Goddy Jidenma lecture lauded Professor Lumumba for his great strides and contributions to the development of the continent through his research works and lectures.
The Chairman of the Board of the Goddy Jidenma Foundation, Professor Pat Utomi, in his remarks called on Nigerians to embrace a positive attitude and take up the responsibility of transforming the nation and indeed the continent.
Founder of the Goddy Jidenma Foundation, Dr. Ije Jidenma, said the public lecture of the foundation was designed to provide a platform for robust discourse on key issues affecting Nigeria and Africa with solutions.
The Goddy Jidenma Foundation established in honour of Architect Goddy Jidenma(Late) Former Commissioner of Works and Housing, Anambra State is led by his widow Dr. Ije Jidenma who believes his ideals of selflessness, dedication, compassion for humanity and commitment to a great Nigeria and African continent, must be sustained.