African leaders urged to close ranks to develop continent

African leaders have been urged to adopt continent-wide policy that would help develop the fortunes of the continent without the support of foreign countries and organisations, Prof. Jean- Germain Gros has said

According to him, the continent needed to develop Africa-centric economic policies by abandoning certain dogmas such as “free trade,” “comparative advantage” and “state minimalism.”

He explained that once these changes were made, Africa would be ready to build economies which should be reoriented towards improving the lives of the people on the continent.


Professor Gros said this in Accra at the eighth public lecture series of the Ghana Campus of Webster University held last Thursday. It was on the theme “the politics of neo-colonialism in post independent Africa.”


Speaking on the economics of neocolonialism, he explained that one of the most harmful effects of colonialism was on the economies of Africa which was evident in the food production sub-sector of the African Agriculture.


According to him, mono-culture during colonialism was directly responsible for the artificial inabilities of African countries to produce sufficient food for their populace.


He therefore urged African leaders to focus their attention on the food sub sector thereby considering a change in agricultural policy in land tenure, farmer access to credits, government subsidies and protection against the importation of grains such as rice.


Prof. Gros said, though , these policy changes would run afoul of World Trade Organisations (WTO) rules, “an entire continent cannot be sanctioned and excluded from global economy, least one of the richest continents.”


He also urged African leaders to ensure that, the resources of the continent would be first used toward value-added production in Africa rather than to supply external producers.


He advised African leaders to see to it that value-added industrialisation be taken by African firms committed to the development of the continent.


“African economies should ensure that its minerals and other resources exploited by foreign companies are processed into finished products in Africa rather than sold in raw forms at generally low prices,” Prof. Gros added.


Another speaker at the event, Prof. Kwame Boafo-Arthur touching on the politics of neocolonialism in Africa since independence said African leaders have helped in no small measure in depriving the continent of its developmental resources.


He said, African leaders continue to contribute to the perpetration of neo-colonialism mentality on the continent due to their overly dependence on the Europeans thereby allowing them to control the resources of the African continent.


He therefore called on African leaders to wean off the continent of foreign aid and other forms of support from the western world which had lead to neo-colonialism.

By Jemima Esinam Kuatsinu    


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