By Daniel Sabiiti
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has said that penalties should be put in place to punish those who delay Africa’s development even when it is clear that the continent is on the brink of becoming a global player in development.
Kagame, who was addressing over 1000 delegates attending the 3rd Global African Investment summit in the capital Kigali this September 5, 2016 said that delays in making crucial decisions is one of the areas which have affected Africa’s development and something must be done in regard
“Perhaps there should even be a financial penalty of some kind when deadlines are not met by public sector institutions” Kagame said
“Postponing our priorities and delaying our commitments are the most expensive mistakes that Africa can make” he added.
Looking on the bright side, Kagame said that Africa has potential but this should go beyond words into realties that will transform the continent’s economy.
He said that Africa cannot just remain a story about huge potential that never materializes and suggested that Africans should start to value time to bridge the gap between Africa and the rest of the world.
“We know integration is profoundly in Africa’s interest. What remains is to be doing what is necessary to make it reality” Kagame remarked.
President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni also featured on the panel alongside President Kagame. Museveni said that China is the best investor in Africa, western countries should take a leaf from.
This high-level meeting held under the theme “Accelerating African economic integration through investment and trade” bringing together delegates from across the continent is considered a good opportunity for governments and private sector to synergise for real radical changes.
These remarks come at a time when the recent AU Summit in Kigali endorsed Pan-African Leadership Academy, which will be operational starting this year and will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
With this institution, the AU believes that African leaders will be better groomed to make critical decisions to tackle current issues of women’s rights, access to finance, education and health among others that has stagnated the continent’s potential.
Part of the mandate of the institute is to equip staff of the AU with decision-making skills for effective policy design and program delivery. It will also develop and offer specialized and professional courses for young Africans aspiring to pursue careers in the AU.
By making the Academy operational, the African union seems to be more bent lately on tackling challenges faced on the continent through innovative capacity building solutions.
Agenda 2063 aims at having the continent, “more united, as a global power to reckon with, capable of rallying support around a common agenda and speaking with one voice with demonstrated strong capacity to negotiate and withstand influence of forces that would like to see it divided,” the Agenda stipulates.