Youla submitted that education, health and infrastructure were critical governance issues that must be addressed by African governments. “We are latecomers to the global economy,” said the representative of the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Agreeing that the continent should take advantage of global trends and platforms like this forum, he, however, cautioned that it must guard against the mistakes of other European countries. Explaining that the Ethiopian government built the biggest dam on the continent, he described power as “very important.”
Responding to the moderator’s question on what he represents in the African economic model, Mo Ibrahim had sought to modify the theme of the conference – “Re-inventing the Africa Business Model” – on grounds that transparency should be much more important to the continental administrations than any economic model.
“Africa is not a company. It is made up of 54 countries,” he noted, describing the situation as a “big elephant in the room.” The philanthropist argued that what the continent needs are “countries with no corruption. An Africa that is more transparent with open governance.”
Mo Ibrahim’s insistence on transparency, education and good governance as basic model for Africa’s development forced the moderator, Lerato Mbele of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), to tweak the topic for the plenary after putting the matter to audience vote.
Credit: The Guardian