Take advantage of digital revolution and modernise agriculture – President urges African countries

President Akufo-Addo with the members of the planning committee of the 5th German-African Economic Forum

President Akufo-Addo with the members of the planning committee of the 5th German-African Economic Forum

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has challenged African countries to take advantage of the digital revolution and modernise agriculture, if they are to create wealth and prosperity for her peoples.

He said the continent had nearly 30 per cent of the earth’s remaining mineral resources, with a young, vibrant population and must build value-added and industrialised economies.

Describing Africa as “a rich continent, if not the richest,” he said it had the world’s second fastest economic growth rates and the world’s fastest-growing region for foreign direct investment.

“Indeed, six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies in 2018 are in Africa. And yet, the masses of the African peoples remain poor, when we have no reason to be poor,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo made these known when he delivered the keynote address yesterday at the 5th German-African Economic Forum, held in Dortmund, Germany.

“Our first priority must be to change the structures of the economies on the continent, which are dependent largely on the production and export of raw materials. It is this reliance on raw material exports that feeds our dependence on foreign aid, and subjects us to the politics of the West,” he said.

He said the death of many African youth in the Mediterranean Sea, in a desperate bid to reach the mirage of a better life in Europe should serve as a wakeup call for African governments to create jobs through industrialisation.

The continent’s second priority, he said, should be to increase trade and investment co-operation, and not aid, as it is one of the ways healthy economic relations can be developed between Africa and the rest of the world.

“With Africa’s population set to reach some two billion people in 20 years’ time, there are immense opportunities to bring prosperity to Africa and to Germany too, with hard work, enterprise and creativity.

Urging German organisations and companies present to enhance their trade relations with Africa,” he said “The time to deepen German-African trade and investment is now.”

On the third priority, President Akufo-Addo called for co-operation between Germany and Africa in ensuring the promotion of transparent and inclusive policy and decision-making processes at local and global levels.

To open up opportunities for the citizenry, especially its youth, he charged African governments to ensure that funds are available to strengthen key institutions, such as the Legislature, Judiciary, and fiscal institutions.

“It is important that we promote and develop a culture of accountable governance, free of corruption, whereby these institutions of state see themselves as independent public entities serving the wider public interest, not the temporary conveniences of governments of the day. We have a responsibility to make our countries attractive to our young people. They should feel they have a worthwhile future, if they stay and help build their nations,” he said.

By Times Reporter

 

 

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