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Leadership £5 $8 N3000 ZAR100

JUNE 2019


JUNE 2019

TUKUR BURATAI Talks about the Army’s tireless efforts towards ridding the country of terrorism and securing Nigeria’s territorial integrity


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Intra-African Trade: Beyond Rhetoric and Political Commitments HIGHLIGHTS

9th African Business Leadership Awards Roundtable Session on Intra-Regional Trade Trade and Investments Mission to the United Kingdom Panel Session on Intra-Africa Trade, Customs and Standards Top 50 Africans & Afro-Carribean in the UK 2019

Publisher’s Porch

Ken Giami The debate on the benefits of intra-African trade has indeed been prominent in the last decade. There is a consensus among experts that intra-African trade has the greatest potential for building sustainable economic growth and regional integration on the continent as higher volumes of trade among countries in the continent will provide access to bigger markets, new opportunities and a larger pool of human capital. Needless to say, Africa is however yet to reach its full potential in terms of intra-regional trade. In 2016, intra-African exports hovered around 18 percent, compared to 59 for intra-Asia, 69 percent for intra-Europe exports, and 35 for Latin America. In the same vein, trade between African countries accounts for only 7 percent of the continent’s GDP according the available statistics. African countries over the years have adopted a number of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) intended to promote trade among themselves, such as the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and Right to Residence and Right to Establishment, as well as the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), which is a flagship initiative of the African Union AU Agenda 2063, adopted to create a single unified air transport market, to liberalize civil aviation in the region, improve intra-African air connectivity, catalyze the economic transformation of the continent, and enhance the impact of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s “No Country Left Behind” programme aimed at driving the sustainability and benefits of aviation in all global regions including Africa. SAATM which models the European Single Air Transport Market and the liberalized air transport markets in Latin America (Chile, Costa Rica and Brazil), is key to opening and connecting Africa’s markets, facilitating trade and enabling African firms to link into global supply chains, as a survey by IATA suggest that if just 12 key African countries opened their markets and increased connectivity an extra 155,000 jobs and US$1.3 billion in annual GDP would be created in those countries. Relatedly, African leaders in an Extraordinary Summit in Rwanda in 2018 adopted the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which is set for immediately implementation as the minimum number of 22 countries required to ratify the agreement has been met with the recently ratification made by the Gambian parliament. The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) exceeds that of a traditional free trade area as it brings together all 55 African Union member states, covering a market of more than 1.2 billion people and a combined gross domestic product

Intra-African Trade: Beyond Rhetoric and Political Commitments (GDP) of more than US$3.4 trillion, with a commitment to removing tariffs on 90 percent of goods, progressively liberalizing trade in services, and addressing a host of other non-tariff barriers. The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) says that If all 55 African countries join a free trade area, it will be the world’s largest by number of countries since the establishment of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), covering more than 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of $2.5 trillion, estimating that AfCFTA has the potential to boost intra-African trade by 52.3 percent by 2020. However, Africa’s significant drive towards intra-African trade comes at a time when the benefits of intra-trade are actively contested. The world is currently witnessing an unprecedented movement, such as the process of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU), in which global powers that traditionally promoted intra-trade as a crucial driver of growth are now calling into question the very tenets of same. In the same vein, it is pertinent to note that experts and key stakeholders have also raised concerns that threaten the implementation and realization of the benefits of AfCFTA and other complementary initiatives in the continent. For instance, Vera Songwe, Under-Secretary-General of UN, opined that poor infrastructure across the continent is one major barrier to development and trade in Africa and is likely to be a challenge in implementing AfCFTA. Songwe also said that the agreement may also pose challenges for governments in promoting competition in local markets as some local companies that are taking advantage of economies of scale may grow faster than others and capture dominant positions in markets. Also, Louise Mushikiwabo, chairperson of the AU Executive Council and Rwandan foreign minister, says “if African countries want to significantly increase intra-African trade, they must address practical issues such as streamlining regulations, improving access to finance by the private sector, infrastructure networks and simplification of customs processes”. Hence, in line with Africa Leadership Magazine’s mandate of promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and development on the continent, the Magazine is set to host the 3rd edition of The Africa Summit in London, United Kingdom, come 27 July 2019. The event which is organized in partnership with the Centre for Economic and Leadership Development, CELD, is designed to host business, political and diplomatic leaders. It is also set to have in attendance, policy makers and think-tanks on Africa and Africa related issues.With the theme set as: Intra-African Trade: Beyond Rhetoric and Political Commitment, the 3rd Edition of the African Summit- London 2019, is an important and a timely contribution to the on-going debate on the benefits of intra-regional trade and the realization of the full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and other RTAs in the continent. | 3

CONTENTS Ethnicity: an African Predicament?

COVER STORY Sustainability of Startups


We Are Always AfroCentric In Hunting Opportunities


48 This African trade deal could improve lives across the whole continent

44 60 24 38


How Europe can stop African migra�on We need young people to vote, for their sake and ours Elimina�ng extreme poverty How 5G can Advance The SDGS



How Enterprise Singapore Has Iden�fied New Growth Opportuni�es in Africa’s Digital Economy and Manufacturing Leadership 52 Intellectual in Cameroon Capitalism Beat 28 Can Climate Change

60 From Green To Green 32 CSR in Africa

...A Publication of African Leadership (UK) Limited

Publisher/CEO Ken Giami Group Managing Editor Kingsley Okeke +44 74 184 71670 Associate Editor Arvy Nahar +44 77 89 590 363 Editor – At – Large Martin Roche +44 77 157 49621 Editor, International Affairs Kenneth Nkemnacho +44 74 018 88866 Creative Graphic Designer John Mutum Chief Operating Officer / Executive Director Furo Giami Group Head, Finance & Administration Boma Benjy Iwuoha Manager, Adverts & Sponsorships Joseph Akuboh Manager, Sales & Business Developments Samuel Moses Elaikwu Head, Events & Conferences Ehis Ayere Director of Operations North America Happy Benson Head, Research and Admin - North America Christy Ebong Head, South African Bureau Oluwatoyin Oyekanmi Business Development Managers Sheba Nyam, Stanley Emeruem, Amang Saliyuk

Associate Editor Joshua Ogbonna Staff Writer Vivian Ozoemena Executive Assistant to the Publisher Jolayemi Mayowa Contributing Editors Major Aku A Amboson FSS (Rtd) Jibril Ndace Correspondents / Representatives David Lekpa – New York, USA Sabrenah Sumrah-Kelly – Atlanta, USA Saikou Jammeh – Banjul, The Gambia Erin Lewis - Washington DC, USA Kudzai Mtero – Pretoria, South Africa Nomia Machebe – Johannesburg, South Africa Lady Ngo Mang – Paris France Josephine Adageog – Accra Ghana Linda Kimenyi – Nairobi Kenya Contributors Matshona Dhilwayo, Chifuniro Kandaya Arthur Becker, Charles Peter Yomi Henry-eyo, Barnabas Thondhlana Splendour Eloke Young

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...Promoting Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Development In Africa

Cover Story




The Nigerian Army has in the past 10 years, fought to protect the country against the Boko Haram terrorist group, once rated as the most deadly terrorist organization in the world at its peak in 2014. However, the group has been in decline since 2015, and has since splintered into different groups. A recent report shows that there has been a fall in terrorist deaths in recent years, which points to the efforts of the country’s security forces, assisted by international allies, towards riding the country of terrorism. The War is far from over, but the Nigerian Army alongside other security agencies are making concerted efforts towards securing the country’s territorial integrity and flushing out terrorism, banditry, and other forms of violent crimes by groups in the country. In this recent interview with African Leadership Magazine UK, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai, talks about the Army’s role in the fight against terrorism, the innovations in the Nigerian Army, amongst other issues. Excerpts:

6 | African Leadership | June 2019

Cover Story

‘‘ The Nigerian Army has done a lot in terms of creating an avenue to engage with the civil populace.

You have led one of the most ambitious reform processes in the Nigerian Army in recent times. Under your leadership, the Army has recorded many firsts. Tell us more about these reforms and what inspired your choices?

the benefit of having females and mainstreaming them into Nigerian Army operations and other related activities. In the long run, I believe it will add value to the constitutional roles of the Nigerian Army now and in the future.

Let me say that we operate in an increasingly complex and ever changing environment that has brought about many issues that are dynamic and which requires the Nigerian Army to adapt and respond to. Many of these issues are security related, as have been exemplified by happenings around us. Consequently, I have undertaken a number of sweeping reforms that include reorganization of the Army and incorporation of several initiatives. Some of these include establishment of the 8 Division, Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC), Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command (NACWC), Army War College Nigeria (AWCN), Nigerian Army Women Corps (NAWC), Nigerian Army Special Forces Command (NASFC) and Schools among others that are too numerous to mention here.

We are also aware of the Nigerian Army’s launch of the Farms and Ranches; can you tell us more about this Unit?

Under your leadership the Nigerian Army launched the Army Women Corps, which is the first of its kind in West Africa, can you share with us the idea behind the corps? The NAWC was conceived as an idea to plan, manage and address the challenges associated with the career of the Female soldier. The Corps is meant to maximize

Yes the NAFRL was established as a commercial entity to run and manage a viable cattle ranch and other agricultural ventures. This is the practice in some other Armies like Bangladesh, China, India etc. The Army should possess the capacity to contribute its quota to agricultural development in Nigeria just as it is done in other countries. There have been remarkable achievements in the war against insurgency, which is as a result of the combined efforts of the Army and other security agencies in the country. Despite these successes, we still have reported cases of bombing in some areas in the Northeast. How do we find a lasting solution to this issue? There have been reported cases of isolated bombings in the North East. The lasting solution to this requires an all-inclusive and all-society approach to addressing insecurity. The issue of fighting insurgency is not for the Nigerian Army alone or left to other security agencies. Every citizen has an | 7

Cover Story

obligation to provide information and be security conscious in order to report and prevent such unusual occurrences from happening. Some analysts have maintained that sustainable peace in the country can only be achieved through a blend of military and civil engagement. How has the Army thrived in blending these two critical components? The Nigerian Army has done a lot in terms of creating an avenue to engage with the civil populace. The Nigerian Army has the Department of Civil Military Affairs (DCMA) that regularly interfaces with members of the civil society, NGOs, media practitioners and other wellmeaning citizens that wish to partner with us. I can say to a very large extent that we have been able to build trust, public confidence and opened our doors to enable military and civil engagement to be enhanced. Some international organizations and NGOs have repeatedly accused the Nigerian Army of unprofessional conducts and human rights violation in the Country. Can you share with us the position of the Nigerian Army regarding these accusations? The Nigerian Army has zero tolerance for any unprofessional conduct as well as human rights abuse. The Nigerian Army has the human rights desk under the Department of Civil Military Affairs, (DCMA), code of conduct for various operations and Rules of Engagements during such operations. These measures are in place to guide NA personnel and regulate their conduct during IS operations. In addition, we have incorporated teaching of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Laws of Armed Conflict (LOAC) in all our training schools. However, we sometimes get some reported cases of unprofessional conducts which are promptly investigated and any individual found wanting is sanctioned accordingly.

8 | African Leadership | June 2019

The Nigerian Army has often been accused of covering up casualty figures and presenting half-truths in the war against insurgency, thereby losing the confidence of the masses; how would you react to this? This is absolutely untrue. Often times when operational engagements occur, it takes some time before results of such engagements can be accurately obtained. For instance, an attack may occur at night and some casualties are recorded, while certain individuals may be MIA. It’s not until first light after exploitation or pursuit before you can accurately account for all personnel in that particular location. Most times, when attacks occur, information filters out and certain sections of the media begin to brandish figures based on false or unconfirmed sources with a view to sensationalizing the story. In addition, we have administrative processes in place to handle such information especially when some personnel have become KIA. We need to inform their NOK and families. A lot of care and circumspection is employed due to the sensitive nature of the information. We have seen a new wave of commitment towards security studies in conventional universities, with two major universities, naming their centers for security studies after you; how would this help in enriching Nigeria’s security architecture in the long run? This is indeed a very welcome development and an increasing realization that security is a dedicated field of study to which academic knowledge and research needs to be accorded. These centres would help build capacity and practical experiences of the Nigerian Army as well as enlighten some experts that will be in a position to develop a new generation of scholars with dedicated bias for understanding and possessing requisite knowledge of security

and its management. I am of the view that this will assist the country in tackling most of the current and emerging security challenges in the long run. Terrorism has become a major security issue across the continent; how best can we tackle this issue collectively as a continent? Terrorism is a global and regional menace that has challenged our lives and challenged the security of most nations in the world, and Africa in particular. I believe collectively, we can address the challenges posed by domestic and global terrorism by sharing of information, forming

Cover Story

of regional alliances, monitoring of our common borders and checking the flow of illicit arms and ammunition; as well as tracking and blocking terrorist financing across the globe. These measures are by no means exhaustive but they require cooperation among countries in Africa to implement, in order to check the threat of terrorism on the continent. In the light of the development in Sudan, what do you see as the role of the Army in the continent’s political space? The role of the Nigerian Army has not changed and it is to protect the country’s territorial integrity

and come in aid of civil authority when the need arises. For Sudan and Nigeria, we have had a long history of military involvement in politics. What I will say is that the Nigerian Army will continue to do everything possible to provide the enabling and secure environment for democracy to grow and thrive in Nigeria. This was professionally demonstrated during the 2019 General elections and the role played by the Nigerian Army was commended by both local and international media and observers. during the 2019 General elections and the role played by the Nigerian Army was commended by both local and international media and observers.


I believe collectively, we can address the challenges posed by domestic and global terrorism by sharing of information, forming of regional alliances, monitoring of our common borders and checking the flow of illicit arms and ammunition; as well as tracking and blocking terrorist financing across the globe. | 9


Ethnicity: An African Predicament?

History has stripped Africa’s people of the dignity of building their nations on their own indigenous values, institutions, and heritage. The modern African state is the product of Europe, not Africa. To attempt at this late date to return to ancestral identities and resources as basis for building the modern African nation would risk the collapse of many countries. At the same time, to disregard ethnic realities would be to build on loose sand, also a highrisk exercise. Is it possible to consolidate the framework of the modern African state while giving recognition and maximum utility to the component elements of ethnicities, cultures, and aspirations for self-determination?

THE CHALLENGE OF ETHNICITY IN AFRICA Ethnicity is more than skin color or physical characteristics, more than language, song, and dance. It is the embodiment of values, institutions, and patterns of behavior, a composite whole representing a people’s historical experience, aspirations, and world view. Deprive a people of their ethnicity, their culture, and you deprive them of their sense of direction or purpose.

10 | African Leadership | June 2019

Traditionally, African societies and even states functioned through an elaborate system based on the family, the lineage, the clan, the tribe, and ultimately a confederation of groups with ethnic, cultural, and linguistic characteristics in common. These were the units of social, economic, and political organizations and intercommunal relations. In the process of colonial stateformation, groups were divided

or brought together with little or no regard to their common characteristics or distinctive attributes. They were placed in new administrative frameworks, governed by new values, new institutions, and new operational principles and techniques. The autonomous local outlook of the old order was replaced by the control mechanisms of the state, in which the ultimate authority was an outsider, a foreigner. This mechanism functioned through the centralization of power,

which ultimately rested on police and military force, the tools of authoritarian rule. This crude force was, however, softened by making use of traditional leaders as extended arms of state control over the tribes or the local communities, giving this externally imposed system a semblance of legitimacy for the masses. Adding to this appearance of legitimacy was the introduction of a welfare system by which the state provided meager social services and limited development opportunities to privileged sectors. National resources were otherwise extracted and exported as raw materials to feed the metropolitan industries of the colonial masters. This new system undermined the people’s indigenous system, which provided them with the means for pursuing their modest but sustainable life objectives, and replaced it with centrally controlled resources that were in short supply and subject to severely competitive demands. Development was conceived as a means of receiving basic services from the state, rather than as a process of growth and collective accumulation of wealth that could in turn be invested in further growth. The localized, broad-based, lowrisk, self-sustaining subsistence activities gave way to high-risk, stratifying competition for state power and scarce resources, a zero-sum conflict of identities based on tribalism or ethnicity. Independence removed the common enemy, the colonial oppressor, but actually sharpened the conflict over centralized power and control over national resources. Today, virtually every African conflict has some ethno-regional dimension to it. Even those conflicts that may appear to be free of ethnic concerns involve factions and alliances built around ethnic loyalties. Analysts have tended to have one of two views of the role of ethnicity in these conflicts.

Some see ethnicity as a source of conflict; others see it as a tool used by political entrepreneurs to promote their ambitions. In reality, it is both. Ethnicity, especially when combined with territorial identity, is a reality that exists independently of political maneuvers. To argue that ethnic groups are unwitting tools of political manipulation is to underestimate a fundamental social reality. On the other hand, ethnicity is clearly a resource for political manipulation and entrepreneurship.

AFRICA’S RESPONSE TO THE CHALLENGE After independence Africans were eager to disavow tribalism as divisive. Unity was postulated in a way that assumed a mythical homogeneity amidst diversity. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana outlawed parties organized on tribal or ethnic bases. Houphouet-Boigny of Côte d’Ivoire coopted ethnic groups through shrewd distribution of ministerial posts, civil service jobs, social services, and development projects. Julius Nyerere, a scion of tribal chieftaincy, stamped out tribalism by fostering nationalistic pride in Tanganyika and later, Tanzania, born out of the union with Zanzibar. Jommo Kenyatta of Kenya forged a delicate alliance of ethnic groups behind the dominance of his Kenyan African National Union party. In South Africa, apartheid recognized and stratified races and ethnicities to an unsustainable degree. Postapartheid South Africa, however, remains poised between a racially, ethnically, and tribally blind democratic system and a proud ethnic self-assertiveness, represented and exploited by Zulu nationalists, spearheaded by the emotive leadership of Chief Buthelezi. Throughout Africa, the goal of safeguarding unity within the colonial state has preserved

the stability of colonial borders while generating ethnic tensions and violence within those borders. Sudan offers an extreme example. The dominant North, a hybrid of Arab and African racial, cultural, and religious elements, is trying to resolve its identity crisis by being more Arab and Islamic than its prototypes. Worse, this distorted self-perception, heightened by the agendas of political elites, is projected as the framework for unifying and integrating the country, generating a devastating zero-sum conflict between the Arab-Muslim North and the indigenously African South, whose modern leadership is predominantly Christian. The decision of the Founding Fathers of the Organization of African Unity to respect the colonial borders established a normative principle that has been followed with remarkable success. Secession movements have met with strong resistance from the OAU. Katanga tried to break away from the Congo (which became Zaire, now back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo) but failed. The secessionist Biafran war in Nigeria also failed. Somalia’s attempt to take the Ogaden from Ethiopia was decisively thwarted. Southern Sudan struggled for 17 years to break away from the North and in the end settled for autonomy in 1972. When the fighting resumed in 1983, the stated goal was and remains the creation of a new Sudan that would be free from any discrimination based on race, ethnicity, culture, or religion. Eritrea’s breakaway from Ethiopia is seen not as a case of violating colonial borders, but of upholding them, since Eritrea had been a colony under Italian rule. Likewise, the de facto breakaway of Northern Somalia is seen as a restoration of colonial borders, since the North had been governed separately by the British. Even in the Sudan, often said to be a good candidate for partition, | 11


should the country be divided, the division might be rationalized as an extension of the British colonial policy that governed the Sudan as two separate entities, one Arab-Islamic and the other indigenous African with rudiments of Christian Western influences. In most African countries, the determination to preserve national unity following independence provided the motivation behind one-party rule, excessive centralization of power, oppressive authoritarian regimes, and systematic violation of human rights and fundamental liberties. These in turn have generated a reaction, manifested in heightened tension and the demand for a second liberation. Managing ethnic diversity within the unity of the colonial borders is a challenge that African states are reluctant to face, but cannot wish away. Ethiopia, after Eritrea’s breakaway, can claim credit for being the only African country trying to confront head-on the challenge of tribalism or ethnicity by recognizing territorially based ethnic groups, granting them not only a large measure of autonomy, but also the constitutional right of self-determination, even to the extent of secession. Ethiopia’s leaders assert emphatically that they are committed to the right of self-determination, wherever it leads. Less idealistically, it can be argued that giving the people the right to determine their destiny leads them to believe that their interests will be provided for, if only to give them a reason to opt for unity. The only sustainable unity is that based on mutual understanding and agreement. Unfortunately, the normative framework for national unity in modern Africa is not the result of consensus. Except for post-apartheid South Africa, Africans won their independence without negotiating an internal social contract that would win and sustain national consensus. The

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constitutions for independence were laden with idealistic principles developed outside the continent. The regimes built on them lacked legitimacy and in most cases were soon overthrown with no remorse or regrets from the public. But these upheavals involved only a rotation of like-minded elites, or worse, military dictators, intent on occupying the seat of power vacated by the colonial masters. Such leaders soon became their colonial masters’ images.

distribution that upholds the integrity and legitimacy of the state. The way the nations in this group perceive themselves is consonant with the selfperceptions of their component groups.

At the moment, for the overwhelming majority of African countries the quest for unity underscores the intensity of disunity. As long as the Africans avoid confronting the issue of ethnicity and fail to develop norms and means for managing diversity within the framework of unity, peace and stability will continue to elude the pluralistic state.

MODELS OF ETHNIC CONFIGURATION African governments have responded to the challenge in varying ways, ranging from pragmatic management to blind neglect and catastrophic mismanagement. The particular form the ethnic policies of a country take may in large measure be dictated by the characteristics of its identity configuration. A few states in Africa enjoy a high degree of homogeneity or, at least, a relatively inconsequential diversity. Botswana, for example, reflects exemplary cohesiveness, democracy, stability, and sustained growth. Most African countries, particularly those in West Africa (possibly exempting Nigeria), Kenya, and southern African countries (exclusive of South Africa), fall into a second category. These countries face significant ethnic pluralism that is nevertheless containable through an effective system of

A third group of countries, including Zimbabwe, Namibia, and modern-day South Africa, suffers racial, ethnic, religious, or cultural divisions severe enough to require special arrangements to be mutually accommodating in an ambivalent form of unity in diversity. Burundi and Rwanda, as well as Sudan, are candidates for this category, though all also have aspects of the fourth, and final, category. The fourth category, the zerosum conflict situation, consists of states embroiled in acute crisis with no collective sense of identification, no shared values, and no common vision for the nation. The framework of the nation-state is perceived as an imposition by the colonial invaders, now perpetuated by the dominant group whose identity defines the national character. Such definition might


be explicit, as in apartheid South Africa, where race and ethnicity were factors in allocating or denying the rights of citizenship, or in the Sudan, where the identification of the country as Arab and Islamic carries inherent stratification and discrimination on racial, ethnic, and religious grounds. These conflicts are the most difficult to manage within the unity framework; depending on the particular circumstance of the case, they may call for fundamental restructuring and perhaps partition.

POLICY IMPLICATIONS FOR NATION-BUILDING At present, most African countries are addressing the racial and ethnic identity issues through a pacifying system of distribution and allocation—a form of ad hoc pragmatic management rather than a strategic approach. What makes the issue of identity particularly acute for the continent is that it touches not only on politics, but also on economics and the organizational capacity for a self-generating and sustainable development from within. There are four policy options for managing pluralistic identities. One is to create a national framework with which all can identify without any distinction based on race, ethnicity, tribe, or religion. This option, of course, best suits those countries that are highly homogeneous. The second option is to create a pluralistic framework to accommodate nations that are racially, ethnically, culturally, or religiously diverse. Under this option, probably a federal arrangement, groups would accommodate each other on the basis of the principle of live and let live, but with a more uniting commitment to the common purpose of national identification. In the third case, for more seriously divided countries, some form of power sharing combined with decentralization, with identities being geographically defined, may be the answer. In the zero-sum conflict situations, federalism would expand into confederalism, paradoxically trying to reconcile unity with separation. Where even this degree of accommodation is not workable, and where territorial configurations permit, partition ought to be accepted.

‘‘ A few states in Africa enjoy a high degree of homogeneity or, at least, a relatively inconsequential diversity.

THE ROLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY How are these options to be brought about? Deciding which option to adopt is, of course, in the first place part of the sovereign right of the people of the country. But regional and international actors also have a responsibility that cannot be abdicated in the name of national sovereignty. By its very nature, sovereignty implies a tension between the demand for internal solutions and the need for corrective remedies from the outside. In other words, the responsibilities of sovereignty require both internal and external accountability, which are inherently at odds, especially since the need for external involvement is commensurate with the failure of internal systems. Given the ambivalence of the international system about intervention, this responsibility should belong first to the subregional and regional actors, with the international community, through the United Nations, as the ultimate resort. | 13


The interconnectedness of the conflicts of neighboring countries means that preventing, managing, or resolving conflicts is becoming recognized as a matter of interest and concern not only to the countries directly involved, but also to the region as a whole. Regional awakening to the common threat of internal conflict is still nascent, but the importance of the shared threat is being increasingly realized, especially in view of the tendency toward isolationism in Europe and the United States, the only powers still capable of effectively intervening for humanitarian reasons or for the cause of peace, security, and stability in other parts of the world.


At present, most African countries are addressing the racial and ethnic identity issues through a pacifying system of distribution and allocation—a form of ad hoc pragmatic management rather than a strategic approach.

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RECONCILING TWO CONFLICTING PATHS Final accountability for the responsibilities of sovereignty must ultimately fall on the international community, more specifically the United Nations. The intervention of international financial institutions in the affairs of sovereign countries to ensure more efficient management of their economies has now become a truism. International concern with issues of governance, such as democracy and respect for fundamental human rights, has also become widely accepted, despite the lingering resistance of vulnerable regimes. Beyond the issue of protection of minorities, long recognized as a legitimate concern for the international community, the politics and conflicts of identity and their impact on the prospects for peace, stability, development, and nation building must also be recognized as critical items on the agenda of a responsible and accountable sovereignty. Insofar as the modern African state is the creation of European conquest, restructuring the continent, linking it to the international system, and reconceptualizing and reconstituting the state will require the cooperation of Africa’s global partners. Outside actors can offer an objective and impartial perspective that can be pivotal to balancing the concerns of the internal actors. In addition, the international legitimacy of any new arrangements, which is necessary for building support from outside sources, can best be ensured by enlisting international partners in the search for effective solutions to these internal crises. Post-colonial Africa stands poised between rediscovering its roots—its indigenous values, institutions, and experiences—and pursuing the logic of the colonial state in the context of universalizing modernity, primarily based on Western experience. The resulting tensions cannot be easily resolved. But an eclectic process that fashions a system in which ethnic groups can play a constructive role in the modern African state could significantly reduce the tension, foster cooperation, and facilitate the process of nation building.

Category | 15


Nicholas F. Oppenheimer

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My Five Strongest Convictions

WE ARE ALWAYS AFRO-CENTRIC IN HUNTING OPPORTUNITIES Nicholas F. Oppenheimer popularly known as Nicky Oppenheimer is a South African billionaire businessman and philanthropist. He was formerly the chairman of De Beers diamond mining company and of its subsidiary, the Diamond Trading Company, and former deputy chairman of Anglo American. He is the third richest African. He shares some of his lessons here: Believe in Africa Oppenheimer has controversially stated in the past that Africa is suffering from “donation fatigue”, and that there are ways for the continent to go it alone without help from western governments and NGOs. “Because I am an African I reserve the right to say that Africa does not exist simply to make people in the UK, or anywhere else in the developed world, feel good about themselves,” he said back in 2005. This is something he reiterated after announcing the sale of his stake in De Beer’s. “I’m a great believer that, if you know how to operate in Africa, there are unbelievable opportunities.” Be down to earth Businessmen all over the world will tell you that the trick to success is not getting ideas above your station or losing touch with your customer base. Oppenheimer, comments about aid aside, appears to be the master of discretion and being down-to-earth. Unlike many of the business elite, he dislikes opera or theatre – “I’m a philistine” – and he is quick to quash suggestions that he collects antique books. “No, that was my father,” he says. Forget emotion In choosing to sell his family’s stake in De Beer’s, Oppenheimer has proven the importance of thinking with the head rather than the heart in matters of business. “Obviously very emotional for all of us in the family when we debated whether this was the right thing to do or not,” he said upon announcing the news. “You know, it’s a 100 years of history – 1902 when my grandfather came out here first to join the diamond business in Kimberley. So indeed very emotional. But at the end of the day we in the family decided this was indeed the right thing to do, and it was a unanimous decision. And in a sense you’ve got to move on and now’s the time to look to the future and think what exciting things we can do in Africa in the future.” Re-invest Even at 65, the future is something that is very clearly on Oppenheimer’s mind and he is planning on reinvesting the money made from the sale to Anglo-American once the deal is completed later this year. “We’re going to be obviously looking at investments,” he says. “That’s a compensation for the sadness and the emotional feeling we have about De Beer’s. We will be looking for opportunities and we are very Africa-orientated and we are going to be looking, obviously, around the world, but there will be a very clear African bias to what we hope to do in the future.” Know the art of recovery After struggling through the recession as demand for luxury goods sagged, De Beers appears to have righted the ship. Revenues surged 53 per cent to nearly $5.9 billion in 2010 from a dip in 2009. Such impressive performance has led some analysts to assert that the offer from Anglo American undervalues De Beers, though Oppenheimer denies this. “Anglo American is the natural home for our stake,” he says. Copied. | 17


‘‘ The government alone will not be able to combat poverty and unemployment. The help of the private sector is also required.

Chief Ndubuisi Nzenweofor Chibuzor Thierry 18 | African Leadership | June 2019


PRIVATE SECTOR PARTICIPATION IS NECESSARY TO COMBAT POVERTY Chief Ndubuisi Nzenweofor Chibuzor Thierry is the Managing

Director and Chief Executive Officer of Laclic Services Limited. Laclic, alongside other businesses under his belt, is a tech-driven company. He founded Laclic Travel and Tours, Bantaban, Spirout, Olango and Olango Vista. Olango is a company with a network of language centres in Lagos and other states of Nigeria. In this exclusive interview, he shares his thoughts with African Leadership Magazine on a broad range of issues including leadership, business, entrepreneurship, and job creation. Excerpts. The concept of philanthropy has been with us for so long, but, it remains loosely structured. What do you see as the future of Philanthropy in Africa? Philanthropy has a good place in the future of Africa. Some decades back, the Europeans were the ones doing most things for us. A lot of African entrepreneurs have come to realize that we have to stop being dependent and do some things ourselves. We are really proud to challenge other people to join this movement in order to make Africa great again. We have in our hands, a humanitarian crisis in the North East and it has been reported that the country needs over 300 billion to rebuild the region; in the face of paucity of funds, what strategy do you think should be adopted in the rebuilding process? African Leadership Magazine is a fantastic platform to bring this to the notice of the general public. The crisis does not affect only the northeasterners, it affects the entire nation. The government alone cannot tackle this issue. When we visited the IDP camp, we noticed that the government

had built a temporary residence for the displaced. The health condition in the camp is not really favourable for them. The government is doing their best and we have to join hands with them. We also have to work together to take these displaced people back to their hometowns and this cannot be achieved when the security is not guaranteed. Statistics have shown that the world needs a minimum of 10 Million jobs every year, if we must drastically reduce the rate of unemployment. With the high rate of unemployment in the continent, how do you think the government can tackle the unemployment issues in the country? The government alone will not be able to combat poverty and unemployment. The help of the private sector is also required. We have set up a skill acquisition centre as a means to reduce the rate of unemployment. For example, in Anambra state, we have several local governments. If we decide to empower five young people every month through skill acquisition and a proper follow-up, within a few years, we will be able to eradicate poverty in as many states as possible. You have built a leading organization, teaching various languages with an office in Lagos; what informed your choice of Language as a business? As an Igbo man, you are acquainted with trade from a young age. I believe you can find an Igbo man in every Nigerian state. In the course of moving from place to place, we are confronted with the

issue of communication. Without proper communication, there’s no exchange and no transaction. Some people employ the services of third-party interpreters which is not 100% safe and accurate. This inspired the revolution we created. We developed a couple of devices and software called Olango and Olango Vista that translates over 200 languages instantly, including our native Nigerian languages. This helps to facilitate communication. For instance, the Olango Vista can translate what a Swedish says directly to Igbo language or whatever language is desired. We live in an era of technology and with this device, you no longer need an interpreter. This device was developed to meet the needs of the entire society. If you were in a position of power, what would be your core areas of focus? There are a lot of issues in our country and everyone in power should have a problem-solving mindset. We have insecurity issues and tribal wars at the moment. The priority would be to unify Nigerians, counter the problem of insecurity, education and unemployment. Ethiopia’s Diaspora is reputed to be the strongest and most active group of any other around the world. How can the Nigerian Diaspora play a key role in the country’s quest for growth and development? Being outside your country gives you a lot of exposure. Contrary to popular opinions, Nigerians are very proud of their country. We have a lot of talented Nigerians who are channeling their effort s towards the development of other countries because they have not seen any reason to come back home. If the issue of insecurity is sorted out and a platform to implement their ideas is created, I believe Nigerians will come back home. This is our drive at the foundation, we want to draw attention back to our country. Nigeria is the giant of Africa and we need to establish ourselves as giants and this can only be possible when the diaspora unites with Nigerian residents. What do you hope to be remembered for? My greatest legacy would be to impact as many lives as possible during my lifetime. The foundation is an avenue I am using to achieve this. Putting smiles on the faces of people is a priceless feeling. | 19


Evans Woherem, PhD,


While improving banking access and boosting liquidity, we must also recognize the fact that some loans are not backed up by adequate repayment securities (collateral). How does this address the likely default risk by borrowers?


respected industry professional and an alumnus of Harvard Business School with extensive experience in Executive Management, Project Management, Metrication, Expert Systems, Business Intelligence, Business Process Modelling and Re-Engineering, as well as in Strategic Planning and Execution. He has successfully implemented global mission-critical business processes in IT, Engineering and financial Industries across Europe and Africa. As a recognised thought leader, industry expert and C-level executive of multibillion dollar corporations, Dr Woherem has a vantage point and the know how to help financial organisations, IT organisations, global corporate organisations, as well as government institutions in creating lasting and profitable solutions to management and business process challenges. He discusses financial inclusion through Fintech with African Leadership Magazine. Excerpts. Financial inclusion has quite lingered as a problem here in Nigeria with millions of unbanked citizens. But one of the drawbacks of FinTech is that it is to address a large mass of individuals in a developing country with limited access to technology. What are the measures aimed at improving this? Financial technology (FinTech) has the potential to benefit underserved individuals and communities through some of its key salient features: mobile money and e-wallets, crowdfunding (P2P lending and equity crowdfunding platforms), alternative credit scoring, cross-border remittances, payment technologies using digital KYC process, and Regulatory Technology (RegTech). Generally, FinTech is helping in increasing access to financial services by the unbanked. Here in West Africa, some

FinTech helps reduce default risks by borrowers by using advanced technology and non-traditional processes in credit decision-making, such as utilizing alternative data about consumers (including utility payments, medical payments, rent, etc.).

progress is being made but more needs to be done to increase access to the masses of those that are 16 years or above. Fintech innovators are the main drivers of this revolution, in some cases leapfrogging the traditional industry with new services and innovative products. The surface has barely been scratched in relation to what fintech can do in the future. Emerging markets will experience rapid growth in financial service provision in substantially less a time than it took developed markets to achieve. Financial services over the next 10 years will experience a higher degree of change than in the last 100 years. In order for this to be better and more satisfactorily carried out, there is a need for certain technologies, policies and frameworks to be put in place, as follows: 1.


Providing an underlying telecommunications infrastructure, broadband network for telecom systems, not only in the urban cities but also in the rural areas. Putting in place an enabling policy and regulatory framework to guide all the pillars of financial inclusion as follows: •

• • •

Building Digital Identification and eKYC (electronic Know Your Customers) systems, to simplify access to financial services. Digital Payment infrastructure and open electronic payments systems Electronic provision of government service, e.g., for public transfers and payments Design of Digital financial markets, e.g. commodities trading, securities trading, clearing and settlements

Big Data and Advanced AI Technology helps to elicit alternative data. These data tell a lot about a consumer’s life, such as wealth (assets, equity, loan to value, tax payments, cars [brand, age, how many]), cash flow (salary, rental, utility, medical payments), lifestyle (education major, grade point average, school attended, occupation, appearance [weight/height], number of dependents), digital footprints and web tracking (where the consumer has visited, shopping habits), and social profiles (network, topics that a person is engaged in). Over time and with technological development, an increasing amount of information becomes available and could potentially be used for credit decisions with rich-enough models. There have been growing concerns about the use of alternative data in predicting a borrower’s ability and willingness to pay back a loan. These concerns involve privacy and discrimination. One must balance them against the opportunity of expanding access to credit, which is valuable because many people have been left out of the financial system. It is also envisaged that through the introduction of Blockchain Technology and eKYC, Financial Institutions would better know their customers, provide much better credit evaluation of customers, credit scoring of customers, and better decision making on whom to approve a loan for. There is clearly more room for collaboration in this sector. How do you think banks and FinTech startups in West Africa can benefit from working together? The FinTechs are here to stay and are making rapid progress with their products disrupting the traditional domains of banking. The first reaction of some big banks | 21


was to fight back and try to beat the FinTechs at their own game. This, however, was bootless. The big spend of the banks never stopped the progress of the FinTechs nor from growing their customer base. So the future of both lies in collaboration, which is now happening in four major areas or models: 1.




Channel Partnering – i.e. when banks use the FinTech to sell their products to the bank customers, e.g. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Funding Circle collaborated to provide loans to SMEs. Supplier relationship – in which the bank operates using a FinTech to provide services for the bank behind the scenes Satellite Model – in which the bank acquires a FinTech and treats it as one of its satellite components enterprises. The Merger – in which the FinTech is acquired and integrated into the bank.

The rationale for any strong collaboration is the ability to bring a synergy of strengths together that create an entity stronger than either individual unit could bring on their own. For most fintech organizations, the primary differentiators are an innovation mindset, agility (speed to adjust), consumer-centric perspective and an infrastructure built for digital. These are obvious advantages that most legacy banking organizations don’t possess. Alternatively, most fintech organizations lack the ability to scale adequately due to brand recognition and trust. They also usually lack capital, knowledge of compliance and regulations and an established distribution network. These are inherent strengths of traditional banking organizations. How is FinTech influencing the landscape of the financial services industry, and how can traditional financial players embrace the rise of FinTech companies? FinTech is now enabling us to revisit some existing financial and banking processes and automating them to be more efficient, effective, agile and with shorter circle times. It also balances market integrity, financial inclusion and economic growth, while also meeting international financial standards like Basel II, Financial Action Task Force

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(FATF) and Financial Stability Board (FSB) Standards.

How can traditional financial players partake in the rise of FinTech? This can be achieved through: • • • • • •

Automation of major processes Introduction of Big Data and Analytics urgently Introduction of AI and Machine Learning Introduction of Blockchain in various parts of their operations Ensuring that they have or belong to at least one mobile money scheme Implementation of eKYC and Digital ID schemes

What do you believe the next major innovation in financial technology will be in the coming months and why? Most of the innovations in financial services are not coming from traditional banking organizations. Rather they are coming from the FinTech companies. Apart from the use of exponential technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Mobile telephony, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Quantum Computing, etc., the following are some of the key areas of innovations or disruptions that would be caused by FinTechs: Peer-to-peer Lending/Investment Platforms: Instead of going to banks, many SMEs and individuals are now turning to peer-to-peer lending for funding. This includes crowdfunding. Digital Wallet: This is an electronic device carried by an individual which enables an individual to make payments and carry out other financial transactions. Things like health cards, driver’s license, loyalty cards, ID documents, etc, can be stored in the Digital Wallet. Examples are as below: •

• •

Android Pay - a type of digital wallet that can be used to store debit /credit card information and other types of information Apple Pay – which is an Apple variation of Android pay that works only on Apple devices. Crypto Currency Wallet for storing and spending with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

• • •

• • • •

Cognitive AI – Tools that make use of AI, machine learning, deep learning technologies to carry out the operation as well as help in decision making by being used to analyse and make sense of huge amounts of data. Digital only banks Mobile Payments White label banking, e.g. where a company can provide some of the products and services which banks provide but without a banking license Telematics Insurance – A device that is installed in a car to monitor the car, the driver, and occurrences when the car is being used for insurance purposes. RegTech – These are systems that assist in cutting out wastes or mistake in credit card frauds detection and in performing KYC checks and monitoring of financial risk thresholds, etc. Virtual/Cryptocurrencies – used in payments, smart contracts and decentralized storage Web-based financial planning tools Financial learning tools, e.g., used by potential traders RoboAdvisers – Systems that now advise traders and other decisionmakers in financial organizations.


The surface has barely been scratched in relation to what fintech can do in the future. Emerging markets will experience rapid growth in financial service provision in substantially less a time than it took developed markets to achieve.

Category | 23



Serious commitment to eliminating extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa requires a three-pronged approach: • Structural transformation: requires stable macroeconomic policies, infrastructure investments and inclusive growth prioritizing productive employment. • Cautious regional integration: inviting trade and FDI flows to support regional growth. • Improved global governance: creating space for meaningful representation of African perspectives.

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Eradicating extreme poverty for all people everywhere by 2030, is the first goal among the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) expected to guide the post-2015 development agenda. In our recent Working Paper issued by the African Development Bank, we summarised key studies on eliminating poverty globally and examined the feasibility of this goal for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We found that while extreme poverty in SSA is unlikely to be eradicated by 2030, it could be reduced to very low levels. A ‘best case’ scenario, assuming accelerated growth and redistribution from the

richest 10 to poorest 40 percent of the population, could bring the poverty rate down to around 10 percent of SSA population by 2030. Given Africa’s potential and track record, its poverty eradication agenda under the SDGs will likely focus on creating prosperity and reducing inequality. Experience of other regions indicates that maintaining and even accelerating growth should remain a priority for the poverty reduction agenda (Dollar et al., 2013). Sustained poverty reduction will require growth that is not only high but of higher quality, namely inclusive

and green, as emphasised in the Ten Year Strategy of the African Development Bank (AfDB, 2013). Inclusive growth will benefit the entire population, including the poorest. Green growth will leverage SSA’s natural resources and improve adaptation to climate change, which otherwise would most severely impact the poorest. The question is then which policies can produce such growth and improve SSA’s poverty outcomes? African countries need to find their own path, depending on their circumstances and priorities. | 25


Below, we discuss some of the national and regional policies that they could consider. (i) National policies – Driving growth through structural transformation According to Rodrik (2015) two dynamics tend to drive growth: fundamental capabilities and structural transformation. Industrial policy –prioritisation of high potential sectors with proper incentives – is instrumental for structural transformation in SSA. Policies of successful countries share some common features, namely a stable but flexible macroeconomic framework; incentives for restructuring, diversification and mobility; investment in physical and human capital as well as technology adoption; and strong institutions. Working from that foundation, countryspecific circumstances can then determine which areas to prioritise. Macroeconomic policies can help facilitate high, stable and balanced growth. The global financial crisis illustrated the importance of financial flexibility. To engineer effective fiscal policy requires governments to have the capacity to implement discretionary counter-cyclical measures to protect growth during recessions. Going forward,


Given Africa’s potential and track record, its poverty eradication agenda under the SDGs will likely focus on creating prosperity and reducing inequality.

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SSA will need to accumulate sufficient reserves during the booms to cushion the downturns. Resource rich countries in particular can benefit from fiscal rules that would encourage them to save windfall revenues when commodity prices are high. Fiscal policies should be complemented by credible but flexible monetary policy frameworks. The flexible inflation targeting frameworks are not unique to SSA; in fact all inflation targeting countries, including the advanced economies with quantitative easing measures, have been targeting inflation while accommodating real shocks.

more inclusive societies.

Structural reforms are of course critical for both inclusive and green growth. It is well known that the lack of efficient infrastructure in terms of access and quality hampers Africa’s competitiveness and productivity, reaching development goals, and participation in the global economy. Well-known estimates point out that in SSA, real GDP growth could increase by1- 2 percentage points a year if the region’s sizeable infrastructure gap (about $50 billion a year) was closed. Infrastructure also promotes human development by improving citizens’ access to social services and fostering

Structural transformation can drive reduction in inequality and poverty. The sources of growth clearly matter for poverty reduction and inclusion: new jobs need to be created in productive and employmentintensive sectors. In particular, based on lessons from Latin American and other countries successful in reducing poverty, growth needs to generate productive jobs for large segments of the population. The lessons from China suggest that to reduce poverty African countries should focus on raising productivity of agriculture, which in turn facilitates structural

Besides infrastructure, what measures can support structural transformation, by which we mean shift to more productive activities? On the supply side of the labour market, the policies could aim at raising access to and quality of education and health services. This would enhance quality of human capital, productivity and wellbeing. On the demand side of the labour market, private sector development is critical. Together with efficient and effective social protection, it could go a long way towards improving Africa’s labour market outcomes.


transformation, as manufacturing absorbs workers from rural areas. Equally important, Brazil has shown that the government can help reduce poverty through well-designed redistributive programs and social protection, so far missing in most of Africa. In the era of increased frequency of extreme weather conditions as well as gradual climate change, SSA countries’ prioritisation of transition to green growth will help reduce economic, social and environmental risk. African priorities in reaching green growth include building resilience to climate shocks, climate-proof infrastructure, and efficient management of natural resources especially water, among others (AfDB, 2013). (ii) Regional policies: Trade policy and the importance of regional integration Regional integration has gained momentum recently in several regional economic communities (RECs), as evidenced by increased intraregional trade and flows of foreign direct investment, as well as announcements aiming to formalise the relations and bring them to higher levels. Successful regional integration would indeed allow countries to draw on their comparative advantages, leading to higher efficiency and growth as well as integration to global value chains, and reduced ‘among countries’ inequality. It would also provide platforms for collective insurance (for example against food insecurity) and facilitate regional solutions to collective challenges such as climate change. Despite these payoffs, regional integration, in particular establishments of monetary unions should not be rushed, as the experience of the Euro zone indicates. Structural reforms must successfully address infrastructure gaps, harmonise macroeconomic outcomes, and synchronise

business cycles before further monetary integration can occur among African RECs. Regional strategies should initially focus on developing areas of industrial complementarity to raise countries’ capacity to trade, supported by building regional infrastructure to facilitate movement of products, services, capital and, last but not least, people. (iii) Global Policies: Reforming governance structures for inclusive growth In the literature on growth and poverty reduction, policy recommendations typically focus on actions, either individual or collective, of African countries. Less attention is being paid to the role that global governance should play. How are then influential institutions such as the G20 faring on supporting inclusive and green growth, and hence poverty reduction, in Africa? Following the Seoul Consensus on Development in 2010, the G20 placed development and low income countries once again at the centre of its post-2015 agenda. Specifically, inclusive growth – or rather strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth –has been a key

objective of the G20 for some time. However, green growth is not among the key priorities of the year, and gradually faded from the agenda already in 2013 and 2014. Lastly, the G20 group could also better link various development priorities (e.g. agricultural productivity with infrastructure, etc.) rather than treating them as separate issues. Another related issue is Africa’s representation at the global economic forums such as the G20. Voices of SSA countries are often not heard on issues that impact them, reflecting their limited representation in the key global bodies. This can be addressed only through reforms of the governance structures. In other words, Africa needs to be well represented, as an equal partner, in the key policy and decision making global structures. Only a global partnership with strong African representation can tackle challenges as important as eliminating the region’s extreme poverty.

‘‘ Structural transformation can drive reduction in inequality and poverty. | 27

Climate Change

Can Capitalism Beat

CLIMATE CHANGE? - By Lord Adair Turner

Only clear targets can transform rational selfinterest from a potentially catastrophic force into a powerful driver of beneficial change. Once investors know that the non-negotiable end point is zero carbon in 2050, they will desert any company whose plans are incompatible with that objective. Easter visitors to London have found some streets and buildings occupied by “Extinction Rebellion” activists, warning of climate catastrophe and rejecting “a failed capitalist system.” Followers of Central Bank thinking have seen the Governors of the Bank of England and Banque de France warning that climate-related risks threaten company profits and financial stability. Both interventions highlight the severity of the climate challenge that the world faces. But warnings alone won’t fix the problem unless governments set ambitious but realistic targets to eliminate carbon dioxide and other greenhousegas emissions, backed by policies to ensure the targets are achieved. Zero net CO2 emissions by 2050 at the latest should be the legally defined objective in all developed economies. The Central Bank Governors’ statement, together with steps to require clearer company disclosure of climate-related risks, has fueled optimism in some quarters that a free-market solution is possible. With falling renewable-energy costs threatening to leave fossil-fuel companies with loss-making “stranded assets,” well-informed investors will, it is hoped, withdraw funding from companies still searching for new oil or gas reserves or from automotive companies still committed to gas-guzzling SUVs.

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Climate Change

But there are limits to what better information and foresight alone can achieve. The same capitalist dynamism that reduces renewable-energy costs is also dramatically lowering the costs of shale-gas production, and fossil fuels may always be the cheaper option for some purposes unless governments impose emissions taxes or regulations to favor lower-carbon technologies. If those taxes or regulations are postponed too long, forward-looking but cynical investors will be able to profit from projects that bring climate catastrophe closer. The Extinction Rebellion activists are right that, left to itself, capitalism cannot solve this problem, no matter how perfect the financialdisclosure regime. Instead, the activists argue for public commitments to achieve zero net emissions by 2025. But “zero by 2025” would mean a huge hit to living standards, threatening public support for less extreme but still effective action. Britain would have to remove gas central heating from over 20 million homes, and it would be almost impossible to build wind and solar capacity fast enough to deliver equivalent

energy in the form of electricity. Zero emissions would also mean no gasoline or diesel cars. While city dwellers could manage without them, people living in rural areas and small towns could not do so as early as 2025, given the likely costs and range of electric vehicles. As the French gilets jaunes have shown, opponents of a rapid energy transition can also occupy streets. We need time to manage the path to a zerocarbon economy. So how much time do we have? The best scientific evidence, set out in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report, says the objective should be to limit global warming to 1.5° above preindustrial levels. That would require global CO2 emissions reaching zero by 2050 or very soon after. Achieving that will require big investments in new energy sources and improved energy efficiency. But it is undoubtedly technically possible, as the recent “Mission Possible” report from the Energy Transitions Commission sets out. Given 30 years, rather than five, and much sooner in developed

economies, we could progress to a world with no gasoline or diesel vehicles. And we could decarbonize steel and cement production, shipping, and aviation, and deliver the massive increases in zero-carbon electricity production required to reconcile higher living standards in developing countries with a sustainable planet. The aggregate economic costs of this transition will be low and, in some sectors, trivial. Making autos with zero-carbon steel in 2040 or 2050 will likely add less than 1% to production costs and prices. But we will need popular acceptance of some additional costs and behavioral changes. Zero-carbon aviation is likely to be appreciably more expensive – perhaps by 10-20% – and there is currently no certain route to zero-emissions agriculture without big reductions in the consumption of red meat. To ensure rapid progress toward a net-zero global economy, countries should set legally binding targets. The UK’s 2008 Climate Change Act currently demands an 80% reduction below 1990 levels by 2050, and the five yearly intermediate | 29

Climate Change

targets set by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) have driven significant progress, with 2017 emissions down over 40% (versus Germany’s 28% reduction) and the carbon intensity of electricity generation cut 60% in the last 10 years. But progress in road transport has been undermined by inadequate government policies and industry lobbying to water down European Union regulations. In addition, the latest scientific evidence indicates that an 80% reduction is inadequate. The collapsing cost of renewable power and batteries has, however, cut the cost of more rapid progress. On May 2, the UK CCC will therefore recommend a significant tightening of the target, which should and probably will demand zero emissions by 2050. Crucially, zero must mean zero, with the UK running its economy on a truly zero-emission basis, rather than purchasing so-called offsets from other countries. All other developed economies should now commit to that zero-by-2050 objective, and earlier still in countries blessed with abundant hydro, wind, or solar power. So, too, should China, which aims to be – and almost certainly will be – a fully developed high-income economy by 2049. Setting clear final and intermediate targets – embedded in legislation – will in itself drive strong action; once the pathway is defined, political debate can focus on the specific policies required to achieve it. And once investors know that the non-negotiable end point is zero carbon in 2050, they will indeed desert any company whose plans are incompatible with that objective. Only clear targets can transform rational self-interest from a potentially catastrophic force into a powerful driver of beneficial change.

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Adair Turner, a former chairman of the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority and former member of the UK’s Financial Policy Committee, is Chairman of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. His latest book is Between Debt and the Devil.


To ensure rapid progress toward a net-zero global economy, countries should set legally binding targets.

may 2019.indd 2

27/04/2019 16:07


CSR In Africa: Effective Tool Or Convenient Escape - By Kayode Oladele

Apart from the Holocaust and other senseless destruction of human lives elsewhere, Africa has witnessed disturbingly high cases of the systematic destruction of human lives and property. For instance, while the 1994 Rwanda genocide still remains in global memory, there have been the Jos crises, the Niger Delta militancy and recently, the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria, the Janjaweed’s string of violence in Darfur and the post-Darfur conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan. Even if the conflicts in Angolan and the Ivory Coast conflict seem to be simmering, there still remain the Congo and Somali crises. Students of recent African history will also have to comprehend the short and long term implications of the Arab Awakening as it relates to Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. It is perhaps a reflection of the earlier phase of socioeconomic and even political plight of the toiling

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masses of Africa that a magazine had declared Africa in a screaming headline as “The Hopeless Continent” (Economist, 2000). However, Africa is not hopeless. The challenge is just “getting it right.” Even the Economist magazine that had labelled the continent “hopeless” in 2000w, about 11 years later, noted that “Africa’s economies are consistently growing faster than those of almost any other region of the world” (Tunehag, 2011). In spite of these mounting potentials of the continent, human development indicators in Africa have remained low. Consequently upon the foregoing, contemporary commentaries on the political economy of Africa has remained bifocal: on the one hand is pessimism, on the other hand, is optimism.


Therefore, this presentation aims to achieve two things. First, it situates Africa’s political economy within a particular context of the private sector. Second, and in a bid to understand the workings and expectations of the private sector, it will also attempt to identify the realities of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Africa as a function of and reflection of state capacity. In other words, it will engage two interrelated questions. First, what informs the argument for a private-sector-led growth in Africa either as private sector or public-private partnership (PPP) and what logic guides this slant of argument? Second, what has been the role of the state in terms of CSR and can they meaningfully contribute to the advancement of the continent in this regard? While my presentation looks at CSR in Africa, a holistic study of CSR in Africa is not honestly possible within the ambits of this discourse for a number of reasons. This is because, like most socio-realities, the concept of CSR is highly dynamic and susceptible to situational and location changes. By this, I mean that a single Corporation could display a predisposition that ranges from an active interest to low interest for issues of CSR

depending on the situation and location of the Corporation including the attitude of the governments to CSR in such locations. In addition, different incentives (such as compulsion, completion, partnership and competition) influence the behaviours of companies. Again, just as African governments differ in terms of their practice of good governance so also do they have a varying capacity to regulate and provide the needed legal and institutional frameworks for CSR. Simply put some state actors are more alive to their responsibilities than others.


A fundamental problem Africa faces and is still residue in our efforts is our ability to travel abroad – visit success models and attempt to replicate this in Africa.

Conceptual Issues Since this paper speaks to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Africa, it is pertinent to briefly but carefully define the concept. CSR, like most concepts in the social and management sciences, has a problem of definition. As such, there have emerged numerous definitions of CSR ranging from developmental to institutional definitions. Thus, CSR has been defined as that aspect of business that speaks to ethical issues and environmental sustainability. For some, CSR is a model of business that explains the behaviour of companies outside of the core profit motive. From this

perspective, it means that CSR is guided by ethical rather than commercial considerations. From a developmental perspective, it is often argued that through CSR, companies contribute their quota to the advancement of society. To others, “it conveys the idea of legal responsibility or liability” or “charitable contribution” (Garriga and Mele, 2004: 52). In the simplest sense, CSR is geared towards showing that though the business of business is profit, there is also a realization that part of the profits should be invested back into the social and physical environment that sustains and ensure that business continues as usual. It is a model that encourages responsible business practices by firms. It must, however, be stated that while CSR is internallydriven in some companies, it is externally-driven in other companies. Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer in an article entitled “Strategy and Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility” published in the Harvard Business Review captures the externally-driven CSR thus: Heightened corporate attention to CSR has not been entirely voluntary. Many countries awoke to it only after being | 33


surprised by public responses to issues they had not previously thought were part of their business responsibilities. Nike, for example, faced an extensive consumer boycott after the New York Times and other media outlets reported abusive labour practices at some of its Indonesian suppliers in the early 1990s. Shell Oil’s decision to sink the Brent Spar, an obsolete oil rig, in the North Sea led to Greenpeace protests in 1995 and to international headlines. Pharmaceutical companies discovered that they were expected to respond to AIDS pandemic in Africa even though it was far removed from their primary product lines and markets. Fast-food and packaged food companies are now being held responsible for obesity and poor nutrition (Porter and Kramer, 2006: 2). Therefore, if CSR can be an involuntary decision by CEOs in more developed economies, then Africa’s case is worthy of note. But what justifies CSR? Why CSR? There are numerous justifications but I elect to adopt the five identified by Porter and Kramer (2006: 3-8). First

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is the moral obligation which is that companies need to be seen to be doing the right thing. Second, is the sustainability justification which locates the need for CSR in terms of the need to ensure “environmental and community stewardship.” Simply put: companies need to be seen to be responsible for the environment that sustains their business. The third is the licenseto-operate approach which is most pragmatic in the sense that CSR is a license to engage in certain businesses. Fourth is the need to maintain a particular reputation. Companies often aim to protect the brand name and reputation. Both Porter and Kramer suggest a fifth justification which is hinged on the interdependence of business and society. By this, they note that “a broad understanding of the interrelationship between a corporation and society while at the same time anchoring it in the strategies and activities of specific companies” (Ibid: 5). Having said this, how should CSR be located within the political economy of Africa? What is the role of the state in CSR? What should be the role of CSR?

The African Experience CSR has become a huge phenomenon in global economic relations and Africa has not been left behind. In fact, not only do various companies have their different CSR schemes and projects but there is even a functional and daily-updated website that reports issues of CSR in Africa: The CSR Africa Daily. The CSR Africa Daily website (http://csrdaily.csrafrica. net/). For some of the activities of African companies as far as CSR is concerned, the website is informative. It would, therefore, be extremely frivolous to argue that private companies in Africa do not engage in CSR. In fact, in addition to CSR Africa Daily the media and companies’ websites have been lavished with some of these projects. For instance, just as oil multinational corporations operating in Nigeria are quick to publicize their community development projects so also do mining companies in Zambia, hotels in Zimbabwe, telecommunications companies in Ghana, and even oil companies in Sudan (and South Sudan) amplify their commitment to CSR.


Therefore, rather than ask the question “Is there CSR in Africa?,” the relevant issue should be “how does the state structure promote or discourage CSR?” This question attends to a different focus. The former question will lead to an endless list of CSR projects but the latter question will highlight the failures of the state. The former question will patronize the multinational corporations (MNC) but the latter will critique them. Most importantly, while the former question will be cosmetic and meaningless in the face of environmental degradation, death and demeaning of Africans, the latter question is fundamental, somewhat difficult but futuristic. It is against this background that I ask: How does the state structure promote or disregard CSR? In engaging this question attempts will be made to highlight some of the loopholes and what I term “tragedies of governance” through a few examples. In spite of the numerous CSR projects, statecraft in most African states have been weak, hijacked, domesticated and controlled by a cabal whose goals are not

fundamentally developmental. In other words, though development may be mentioned at every given opportunity but in reality, there are little efforts to pursue development as a policy. To this effect, CSR is a concept that gains its widest expression in a capitalist economy where the sole business of any business enterprise is profit. In the immediate years of independence in most African states, there had been a movement towards the limited state. Africa’s developmental projects started with the implementation of Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) and Export Promotion Strategies (EPS). These developmental policies were soon met with other initiatives such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s (UNECA) “Africa’s Strategy for Development in the 1970s,” the “African Declaration on Cooperation, Development, and Economic Independence” (or the Addis Ababa Declaration) in 1973, the “Revised Framework of Principles for the Implementation of the New International Economic Order in Africa” adopted in Kinshasa by the OAU

Council of Ministers and Heads of States in Libreville in December 1976 and July 1977 respectively; and the Monrovia Declaration adopted by OAU Heads of States and Governments in July, 1979 in Monrovia, Liberia. Later came others such as: “Lagos Plan of Action for the Implementation of the Monrovia Strategy for the Economic Development of Africa” (LPA) of 1979; African Priority Programme for Economic Recovery (APPER); United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic


A fundamental problem Africa faces and is still residue in our efforts is our ability to travel abroad – visit success models and attempt to replicate this in Africa. | 35


Recovery and Development (UNPAAERD); and the IMF and World Bank foisted Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). SAP advocated that for Africa to develop, it must embrace a ‘limited government’ that would withdraw its hands from the economy and allow the private sector to function as the engine of development. To achieve this, the state must deregulate, devaluate, liberalize, privatize or at least commercialize its interest in business. The thinking then and in most contemporary African economies is that African states were not meant to take an active part in the economy. Even when some leading African scholars had articulated an Alternative framework to SAP, their voices were drowned by the international financial institutions (IFIs) who felt that the SAP compact was the only solution to Africa’s economic crises. It is in this context that I also locate contemporary initiatives such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and Western-backed development initiatives such projects as US’ African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), the European Union’s Economic Partnership for Africa (EPAs), the Britain African Commission, the Japanese Tokyo International Conference for Africa’s Development (TICAD) of Japan, and China’s Forum for ChinaAfrica Cooperation (FOCAC).


CSR has become a huge phenomenon in global economic relations and Africa has not been left behind.

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It is therefore expected that with the private sector that is perceived to be more prudent and proactive, CSR will serve as a further to Africa’s development. However, not only has the SAP failed to engender the expected development but African states have also remained weak. I will cite the example of Nigeria. The Nigerian state is a rent-seeking one and at a point, up to 80 per cent of its GDP was derived from crude oil sale. But not only had the state historically sided with oil multinationals but a renowned poet, Ken Sarowiwa and his eight kinsmen were murdered by the state under General Sani Abacha for daring to complain about the environmental degradation in Ogoni land in Nigeria’s Niger Delta caused by Shell and its allies. In the Niger Delta, thousands of families are exposed to polluted gases as well as benzenepolluted water. As the toxic chemicals are released into the atmosphere, the ecology is continuously destroyed. A society that is naturally a fishing society has been clearly disempowered by the activities of the oil Multinational Corporations (MNCs). Yet even the transition to civil rule in 1999 has not changed the character and attitude of the state towards ensuring that the Multinational Corporations comply with best practices. While the former President Olusegun Obasanjo regime shifted the deadline for gas flaring, in spite of its much-publicised statement of ending gas flares, postObasanjo administrations have continued to dilly-dally with stopping gas flaring thereby ostensibly given state support to the environmental pollution of the Niger-Delta communities. Unfortunately, the decision of the state to take the issue of environmental degradation in the Niger Delta with kids gloves have in turn generated both “real” and “fake” militants who have made the exploitation of crude oil a difficult task, particularly before the amnesty regime. Some of

the officials of the oil MNCs have also fallen victims of kidnapping and violent attacks. It would be recalled that when there was an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP was really falling over itself to address and reduce the ecological implications within days. While BP faces billions of dollars in civil and criminal penalties from April 20, 2010, explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig, which unleashed 4.9 million barrels of oil that soiled the shorelines of four Gulf Coast states, the US government has recently passed a new law called the “RESTORE Act” which directs that 80 per cent of Clean Water Act penalties paid by BP be placed in a new trust fund for restoration efforts in the five coastal states damaged by the worst U.S. offshore oil spill namely Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Texas. Whereas, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report which conducted an assessment of the environmental and public health impacts of oil contamination in Ogoniland, in the Niger Delta, and options for remediation , “the environmental restoration of Ogoniland in Nigeria could prove to be the world’s most wide-ranging and long term oil clean-up exercise ever undertaken if contaminated drinking water, land, creeks and important ecosystems such as mangroves are to be brought back to full, productive health”, it is unfortunate to note that instead of the multinational Corporations coming up with a clear cut program for clean up and payment of compensation to the affected communities, Shell and other multinational corporation that have unleashed the most inhuman environmental degradation on the Niger-Delta communities have consistently engaged in blame game while acquitting themselves from responsibilities for the heinous crimes against humanity. Yet, these are the same multinational oil Corporations that have always


ranked themselves high in CSR in Nigeria. In a paper entitled “Multinational Corporations: The New Colonisers in Africa’’”, Lord Aikins Adusei posits that “ it is no secret that Shell Oil Company colluded with the corrupt Abacha regime to steal oil, pollute the rivers, wells, creeks and soil and render millions of farmers and fishermen in the Niger Delta jobless. Shell admitted that it inadvertently fed conflict, poverty and corruption through its oil activities in the country. Nigeria contributes to about 10% of Shell’s global production and is home to some of its most promising reserves, yet the country is steeped in poverty and conflict. So Shell in addition to stealing Nigeria’s oil and polluting rivers, wells, soils also promote corruption, poverty and conflict”. Sadly though, this situation is not restricted to Nigeria alone. In Zambia, mine workers often work in the most hazardous environment. The tragedy that led to the death of Zambians in the Chinese mine is in point. Even in a relatively sophisticated South Africa, several miners were recently fatally shot for daring to protest for increased pay and better work environment. Again, while it is unquestionable that the Chinese have broughtin massive investment into Africa, the numerous Chinese state-owned companies have not always been responsible in their dealings. How can Chinese firms justify the selling of arms to Zimbabwe or the building of arms plants in Sudan when the international community laments genocide or near-genocide in both countries respectively? (AFP, 2005; Brookes and Shin, 2006; Campell et al, 2012; Rogers, 2007). The issue of counterfeit, adulterated and substandard (CAS) products from China is also a challenge. Meanwhile, businesses have not also been in total support of the fight against corruption. In spite of the Global Compact Anti-

corruption principle derived from the United Nations Convention against Corruption, businesses such as foreign banks have helped corrupt African leaders to loot the treasury of the toiling African masses. According to Adusei, “Africans know that these (multinational) corporations are making fortunes but see no benefits from these fortunes. Ghanaians know gold and diamond are being mined at Obuasi and Akwatia but they do not know where it goes, who buys them and where the proceeds go and the same is true of the oil in Nigeria, Gabon, Cameroon, Algeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea and DRC a nation with one-third of the world’s natural resources”. Nevertheless, who takes the blame for the underdevelopment of Africa? If the western countries and China in conjunction with the multinational corporations have their African Policies that undermine growth and development in Africa, why can’t African states initiate their own policies to engender African development and promote CSR on the continent? Again the issue of the tragedy of governance is at the core of this problem as everything rises and falls

on leadership. And just like a commentator has suggested, bad leadership in Africa is no longer a political phenomenon but a cultural challenge. Though private sector CSR is a veritable tool to advance the development of society since it tends to be immune from red-tapes and allows for innovativeness and efficiency devoid of bureaucracy, it cannot fill in the role of the state. CSR cannot substitute the state in any sense. The African state has a role to play in the development project; rather than an uninterested regulator, the state must play the role of a major stakeholder by setting the example for growth and development. societal development. To do this, however, African leaders must have the requisite political will to set the standards and ensure that multinational Corporations operating on the continent observe the best practices even if they want to pay lip service to CSR. Otherwise, and as it were, CSR will remain nothing but an escape route for government’s ineptitude and a facade for the multinational Corporations who want the whole world to see them as being responsible to the African local environments that sustain their business. | 37



A powerful tool for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is already here. African governments must come together not only to invest in building 5G networks, but also to seize all of the opportunities those networks create – including a quality education for all. Ultra-fast 5G wireless technology has been widely touted as a potentially transformative development, on par with the advent of electricity. This is not mere hyperbole. One area where 5G will play a decisive role is in progress toward achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted unanimously by the United Nations in 2015. Consider Sustainable Development Goal 4 – to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” – which affects the achievement of all other SDGs, beginning with ending poverty (SDG 1). As the UN Development Programme’s Multidimensional Poverty Index shows, of all of the deprivations that affect the poor – from inadequate nutrition to lack of access to clean water and sanitation – lack of quality education is among the biggest obstacles to upward social mobility. The adverse effects of educational deprivation intensify as a person ages. And, because the children of uneducated adults are less likely to attend school, deficient education is a leading contributor to intergenerational poverty. It is easy to see how this can undermine the achievement of other SDGs. An uneducated workforce is a low-skilled workforce, illequipped to secure productive employment (SDG 8), close income gaps (SDG 10), or build strong institutions (SDG 16). UNESCO estimates that in low-income countries, each additional year of education adds about 10% to an individual’s average lifetime earnings.

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Ensuring quality education is also closely tied to the goal of achieving gender equality (SDG 5). In Africa, women lag men in educational attainment by one year, on average. In the more challenged countries – such as the Central African Republic, Chad, and Niger – women are expected to complete six years of schooling. In Eritrea, that number falls to just four years. Unsurprisingly, men earn an average of 1.6 times more than women.


More educated women have better health practices, marry later, and have fewer children. This leads to better maternal and child health. Furthermore, the children of educated mothers are more likely to attend school themselves, creating a virtuous cycle of intergenerational progress. The obvious question is how to achieve universal quality education in a region like Africa, where schooling can be prohibitively expensive for many. With 85% of the multidimensionally poor living in rural areas, access represents a major challenge. To serve all of Sub-Saharan Africa’s children, a new primary school would need to be completed every hour between now and 2030.

Even if the region’s governments had the money for such rapid construction (which they don’t), they would have to secure the needed land and ensure its accessibility to enough students – efforts subject to complex procurement processes with rigid timelines. Teachers would also need to be trained and deployed. This may not be impossible, but it is not really feasible either. A better approach would take advantage of 5G technology to offer improved remote-learning opportunities. This would eliminate the need for large-scale land use and construction, while keeping procurement processes confined largely to investments in the technology itself. These investments should not be too


A fundamental problem Africa faces and is still residue in our efforts is our ability to travel abroad – visit success models and attempt to replicate this in Africa. | 39


difficult to secure, given that 5G’s applications extend well beyond the education sector. Remote learning has already begun to take off in some parts of the world. But 5G would greatly improve the quality of such learning, because of its sheer speed – up to 100 times faster than 4G – which would allow for instant interactivity, without much energy consumption. This means that, rather than watching videos of distant teachers, students in remote African villages would be able to participate in classes in real time. This would vastly expand the pool of qualified teachers available to educate young Africans. With volunteers able to teach from wherever they are, there would be no need to train local teachers or attract foreign teachers to underserved areas, with all of the bureaucratic challenges that entails. Beyond facilitating the delivery of traditional schooling, 5G is creating opportunities for entirely new approaches to learning. For example, haptic gloves could be used to track and record the movement of an expert – from a pianist to a surgeon – in real time, using 5G technology. That information could then be uploaded into a skills database, accessible to students. Similarly, Chinese doctors are already working on procedures for using virtual reality technology and 3D imaging to allow a surgeon to aid in an operation taking place thousands of miles away. Some types of remote surgery have been possible for a while, but the speed of 5G connectivity creates important new opportunities – not just to save the lives of patients who cannot access a surgeon with the relevant expertise, but also to train aspiring doctors.

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The challenge of achieving the SDGs is daunting. But a powerful tool for overcoming that challenge is already here. African governments must come together not only to invest in building 5G networks, but also to seize all of the opportunities those networks make possible – including quality education for all. George Lwanda is a regional program adviser on extractive industries at the UNDP Africa Regional Service Centre and a 2018 Asia global fellow.








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Business & Economy

How Enterprise Singapore Has Identified New Growth Opportunities in Africa’s Digital Economy and Manufacturing Africa is a developing continent that has significant potential. Reports indicate that the spending trend is increasing and it may reach $2 trillion USD over the next 2 years. Additionally, Africa is being moved by digital advancements, especially the penetration of reliable internet. This means that the e-commerce sector is doing well just like in the rest of the world. Enterprise Singapore has been eyeing these opportunities in an attempt to improve their companies. Reports indicate that they have been working together with African companies with over 50 projects completed now. The goal is to have as many Singaporean companies as possible penetrate Africa and work together with upcoming companies for market diversification. After all, the African digital economy is proving to be one of the best.

A Boost from the Digital Economy As mentioned earlier, Africa is already doing well in the digital economy. Almost all countries on the continent are working hard to access 4G internet and promote e-commerce. The McKinsey Report has revealed that e-commerce spending is on a gradual rise. The report has continued to show that the continent has indeed got a significant boost from the digital economy since the only expenditure will be over $75 billion USD over the next five years. To tap into this, Enterprise Singapore has started helping their companies to set up in Africa or partner with SMEs. They also assist these companies to take advantage of the digital economy in all possible ways like doing cross-border payments. In fact, Visa Express Singapore has been working closely with SMEs to help them set up businesses before they proceed to break through the African digital economy.

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Business & Economy

If this goes on like this, more partnerships are likely to be seen and this will have mutual benefits to both companies.

Enterprise Needs in Africa As a growing continent, Africa needs to grow its manufacturing sector to be on par with other parts of the world. Enterprise Singapore is also eyeing this sector and planning to offer expertise and resource management, which Africa needs. Thus, there will be a lot of merging of companies in the years to come according to a statement from the Singaporean authorities. In the same way, Enterprise Singapore and African countries are working together to improve agri-business, especially the tech sector. As African agri-business benefits from their skills, Singaporean companies also want to get a share of the pie. The food production industry in Africa will get a boost in the long run.

agreements aimed at benefiting local companies. The state has already signed double tax avoidance (DTA) with many African countries to promote collaboration. Some of the countries that have signed either a DTA or any other trade-related agreement include South Africa, Gabon, Kenya, and Ghana to mention just a few.

Conclusion Singapore has always wanted the best for her people. But the good thing is that the state is aggressive in looking for collaboration that has mutual benefits. It is no wonder why the state is one of the best business hubs in the world. From the above insights, it is clear that Singapore and Africa have taken advantage of the digital economy to work together.

Proposed Bilateral Solutions Singapore is one of the countries that believes in signing bilateral | 43


How Europe can stop African migration Europe pledged to spend €6 billion in Turkey to keep refugees on the other side of the border. Some have suggested spending a similar amount in Africa. POLITICO asked Europe’s leading migration experts and policymakers: If the EU had €6 billion to spend on managing migration from Africa, how and where should the bloc spend it?

Think beyond the money Europe’s engagement with third countries is not about money. Those who think you can put a figure on a relationship woefully underestimate the significance and intricacy of such partnerships. For some time now, we have called for greater engagement with our partners in Africa and the Middle East — and the collective political will is finally there. The goal of the European Commission’s External Investment Plan is to leverage up to €44 billion in investment by 2020, and increase our external funding to reach up to €123 billion for 2021-2027. Refugee or migration crises will not be solved by humanitarian aid alone. We need long-term, sustainable alliances with our key partners — and with Africa in particular. For these to be meaningful, our cooperation should go beyond migration, as it is a consequence of much broader shared challenges including geopolitical instability, demographic developments, climate change and socio-economic issues. Every such alliance must place partners on equal footing and be based on mutual trust. It should also be tailored to the specific context of the partners. Turkish authorities, for example,

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were never promised and never received €6 billion; the money went to international organizations on the ground that dealt directly with refugees. The EU has offered similar financial and humanitarian support to those displaced around the world, such as in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, South Sudan and Kenya, to name a few. But refugee or migration crises will not be solved by humanitarian aid alone. And that is why the EU wants to step up its engagement and foster true alliances with third-country partners, to work toward a more stable and prosperous shared future for all.

Don’t forget to protect the borders The money should be used to stimulate economic growth and employment, in order to boost the buying power of the African population. We should fund projects to enforce the rule of law — including respect for property rights of smallholders and small entrepreneurs — and support investment banks that issue micro-credits. Europe should also endorse NGOs that give courses in family planning to curb Africa’s population explosion, and help finance major infrastructure projects so as to limit transaction costs, which are currently so high that

it discourages direct investment in large parts of the continent. We need to help Africa get its motor running. But it is wrong to assume that this would lower the migration pressure on Europe from Africa in the short term. Initially, economic growth will fuel emigration, as it enables more people to embark on the expensive journey to Europe. The pressure to emigrate will only fade when nations reach the level of “upper-middle income country,” at which point they undergo a “migration transition” and become immigration countries themselves. That transition is still nowhere near. We need an investment plan for Africa. But that should not distract us from the duty of border protection through solid migration deals with Northern African states.

Prepare migrants for work in Europe Michael Clemens is co-director of migration, displacement and humanitarian policy and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. Europe should invest in creating skills among potential migrants in Africa — specific skills that the EU needs. This is a longterm investment, alongside (not instead of) more traditional and short-term measures such as


helping poor countries create jobs and helping third countries host asylum seekers. The simple reality is that no amount of financial assistance can stop migration. Indeed, over the longer term, poor countries that develop successfully will exhibit more emigration, not less. This happens for many

complex reasons, including the demographic changes that accompany development success. Migration pressure will rise with 800 million new sub-Saharan African workers by 2050. This is not a sign of Africa’s failure but of its success in sharply reducing child mortality, including foreign assistance.

In the long run, foreign assistance can shape future migration in ways that are much more beneficial to Europe and Africa. Funding can help set up training programs that give potential migrants the job and language skills they need to integrate quickly and contribute maximally in Europe, such as in nursing or hospitality work. Carrying out such training before they migrate sharply reduces the cost and helps migrants hit the ground running. Many Africans will migrate to Europe. The only question is whether they will arrive with valued skills or not. The time to begin building those skills is now. If EU aid retains its exclusive focus on stopping migration, it will exacerbate the migration problems of tomorrow.

Use existing structures António Vitorino is the director general of the International Organization for Migration. My starting point would be to ask: “What happens when the 6 billion runs out?” Improving the governance of migration and managing flows is not only a question of spending, but of long-term investing in strengthening partnerships and existing global frameworks. Rather than short-term migration fixes — which I fear are often based precariously on shifting geopolitical sands — we need to go for longer-term structural solutions rooted in genuine partnerships and existing international frameworks. We are convinced that donors could achieve greater impact by leveraging foreign aid to shape migration for mutual benefit. We already have in place several key agreements targeting these challenges from a position of strength afforded by regional and international cooperation. These include the Global Compact for Migration, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Valletta | 45


Declaration, the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Let’s strengthen these agreements to avoid duplicating efforts or working at cross-purposes. Dangerous, irregular migration is in no one’s interest, so investing in more legal migration channels, enhanced mobility and integration will be essential to economic development and growth in countries and societies on both sides of the Mediterranean. We are convinced that donors could achieve greater impact by leveraging foreign aid to shape migration for mutual benefit. Let’s support a durable, structural contribution to the issue and longer-term policy thinking, or problems will persist.

Bring the jobs to Africa Paul Collier is professor of economics and public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. Europe should indeed spend €6 billion bringing jobs to Africa — it is far more humane than luring young people to the hazards of marginal lives in Europe. The best way to spend the money is through Europe’s development finance institutions, such as the European Investment Bank, which can use it to encourage European firms to pioneer the development of jobintensive sectors such as light manufacturing and construction. Africa is desperately short of proper firms that are able to harness the economies of scale and specialization that transform the productivity of ordinary workers. At the moment, most Africans work alone, or in tiny enterprises that doom them to low productivity. Young Africans are drowning in attempts to reach our firms. We could so easily encourage our companies to bring the jobs to them instead.

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Focus on what can be done In Turkey, the EU has a clear objective: to help the government deliver social services to the Syrian refugees. The situation in Africa is much more fragmented. Africa’s 54 countries are dealing with a host of internal issues, and migration to Europe is far from a priority. Some East African countries — Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, for example — face similar challenges to Turkey in hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees. West African countries deal with thousands of people passing through on their journey north, or high rates of emigration among their own population. These countries’ needs are structural and endlessly varied, and a few billion euros will not be enough to address them. Europe is already spending over €2 billion to help African governments with border management and addressing the so-called root causes of migration. Pledging funding is easy, visible, and it pleases politicians on both sides. But the jury is still out on the effectiveness of this investment.

While more investment would allow the EU to trumpet positive action on migration and African leaders to boast of bringing home more international money, the risk is that billions will be spent to achieve nothing. EU policymakers would be better off sitting down with their African counterparts to agree on a few key areas where significant changes can be achieved in the short term. Such interventions are likely to be focused on a small region or a single issue. This makes them potentially tough to sell to the public. But this is where policymakers can make the most difference.

Create a Marshall Plan for Africa Mattias Tesfaye is the spokesperson on immigration and integration for the Danish Social Democrats. It is understandable that, in a world plagued by inequality, people seek better lives for themselves elsewhere. And as the world has grown smaller, it has become easier for more people to relocate. To counteract this trend, the international community needs to deliver a


global leaders to work together to solve ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. It should also be ready to engage in more flexible, short-term crisis management and share the challenge equally among EU member countries.

Address the root causes Our cooperation with Turkey was founded on mutual and well-understood interests: to control uncontrolled migration, to save lives and give protection, improve living conditions for refugees, and break the business model of smuggling networks. In other words: to resume control and safeguard stability.

major boost to Africa on the scale of the U.S. Marshall Plan implemented in Europe after World War II.

Turkey and the EU, and there is no real way for them to go back to Syria or integrate within their host country.

The ineffectiveness of our efforts to date show that simply sending more money will not be enough. A modern Marshall Plan should create a better future for more people in their own countries by supporting better governance and developing significantly better opportunities for trade.

Repeating this model in Africa could help Europe in the short term, but it won’t get to the root of the problem. The main challenge for Europe now is the lack of solidarity across the bloc when it comes to dealing with the refugee crisis.

No matter how much we tighten up our immigrant policy, we will not be able to prevent people trying to escape poverty and misery. The only way to reduce the pressure on Europe’s borders is through a strong, binding international partnership that creates better living conditions and opportunities for its people and in which the EU takes the lead.

First, tackle Europe’s lack of solidarity Europe’s decision to pay Turkey to keep some 3.5 million Syrian refugees in the country has bought us time, but it hasn’t solved the long-term problem. Refugees have become a trump card in negotiations between

To truly address [the refugee crisis], Europe must put pressure on global leaders to work together to solve ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. Some politicians say our Continent should close its borders to refugees, that we should isolate our countries. History has taught us that isolation is never the solution. In Gdańsk, we’ve seen this first hand: In the ’80s, shipyard workers in our city fought for freedom from communism, oppression and censorship. The world helped us and we won, but that fight for freedom and solidarity is not over. There is no easy solution to the refugee crisis. To truly address it, Europe must put pressure on

Money flowing to Africa should be spent with similar conviction. To pursue shared interests with North African countries, we should use funding to implement existing agreements and partnerships with our North African partners, and to boost their capacity to secure borders, improve reception conditions, provide protection to the vulnerable and return those who are not. Funding should also go toward addressing the root causes of migration in North Africa as well as sub-Saharan Africa, and we should be ready to open up markets and create legal migration pathways for those most talented and willing. The answer, in short, is: money, markets and mobility. This idea is nothing new — but it’s one we must finally make happen. Source: Politico


We need long-term, sustainable alliances with our key partners — and with Africa in particular. | 47


HOW TO ENSURE THE PROLIFERATION AND SUSTAINABILITY OF STARTUPS IN AFRICA Entrepreneurial activities are crucial for stimulating innovation, growth and addressing the perennial problem of unemployment faced by most world economies. In most parts of the world, startup/ entrepreneurial ecosystems have become hubs for spawning innovation, sustaining entrepreneurial businesses and creating jobs and businesses. Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, London, Berlin and Shenzhen are some renowned and successful startup ecosystems. Though they all have particular characteristics which are dictated by the socioeconomic and cultural features associated with their milieu, they nevertheless operate within a generic framework which makes it possible to replicate such ecosystems in other contexts, including Africa. These considerations are very important in light of efforts by several African countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda to increase their competitive edge by establishing and/or nurturing industries by creating startup ecosystems. In Rwanda, there has been the construction of the Kigali Innovation City (KIC), which is purposed to have a Pan-African human and economic development impact to accelerate Africa’s transformation agenda. The KIC which is a Private Public Partnership between the Government of Rwanda and Africa50, an infrastructure investment platform which was founded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and African states, will serve as the continent’s Silicon Valley. KIC is expected to create over 50,000 jobs annually.

Its main aim is to build a critical mass of talent, research and innovative ideas that will transform Africa. This recent creation by Rwanda however is not the first attempt to build Africa’s own Silicon Valley. Ghana and Kenya commenced the implementation of similar plans but they never materialised. Aside lack of meticulous and strategic planning, several startups in Africa have failed because of poor support ecosystems and misconceptions regarding the prerequisites for the sustainability of startups. This write-up seeks to clarify some of these issues, drawing from two of the most successful startup ecosystems in the world: Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv. Startup ecosystems typically consist of a network of entrepreneurial stakeholders, venture capitalists, research institutions,

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universities, government agencies, bankers, lawyers and consultants that interact to create an incubator that generates and nurtures new entrepreneurial businesses. The world’s largest startup ecosystem is Silicon Valley, followed by Tel Aviv. Available literature (Piscione, 2013; Kon et al, 2013) clearly indicate that these ecosystems are characterised by a generic framework which is replicable in other world contexts, including Africa.

and technology developed within the institutions to real world problems and products through technology transfer to industry. In 1959, the Weismann Institute founded Yeda, which is a corporation with the goal of advancing the transfer of research findings and innovative technological developments by the university to the global marketplace. The

Firstly, in both contexts, strategic policy making has played a critical role. Availability of financial services, tax breaks, low employee tax on startups and investor-friendly policies in the ecosystem have been critical to the success of the Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv ecosystems. Such funding and incentives decrease the cost of starting and operating startups, providing good opportunity for scale. The Silicon Valley ecosystem has thus engendered over 6,000 innovative companies. In the same vein, In Israel, government programs like Yozma which was in implementation from 1992 to 2003 offered tax incentives for venture capitalists and greatly increased private investment with government funds, together with grants for R&D which have contributed significantly to the stability and productivity of the ecosystem. Another crucial characteristic is the creation of a network system between academic and research institutions and industry which facilitates the smooth transfer of innovation. This is one aspect crucial to the sustainability and success of startup ecosystems which has largely been ignored in attempts to ensure the sustainability of startups in Africa. Since the 1960s, the high scientific institutions such as Technion, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Weismann Institute of Science, etc. established across Israel have been predominantly focused on the application of the science

other universities followed suit not long after, creating their own companies to facilitate the transfer of technological discoveries and innovation to industry. Many attempted startup ecosystems, including the Atlanta technology cluster have stagnated because of a lack of this cohesive social and networking structure which is very strong in Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv and has been very critical to the success of startups in these two regions (Zhang, 2013; Kon et al, 2014). The same problem pertains to African startup ecosystems. Most

startups operate in isolation and securing funding is often the main issue of focus. From the above analysis however, it is evident that contrary to popular perceptions both by the national and international community interested in the development of African startups and entrepreneurship, finance and investment are not the only crucial factors to consider in establishing successful and sustainable startups that will provide employment. Moreover, the creation of a school curriculum that gives some level of attention to teaching students to be entrepreneurial fuels the sustenance of startup ecosystems and creates a mutually reinforcing relationship between the two. Israel has world-class research universities, colleges and an advanced military and civilian R&D institutes which yield several highly educated and skilled IT workers annually, out of which a significant number have strong entrepreneurial inclinations which are supported by the ecosystem on the one hand, and contribute to the strengthening of the ecosystem on the other. Some of the institutions give their students the option of taking a one semester course solely in entrepreneurship either at the graduate or undergraduate level while institutions like Technion have a department dedicated specifically to the promotion of entrepreneurship amongst students.


Entrepreneurial activities are crucial for stimulating innovation, growth and addressing the perennial problem of unemployment faced by most world economies.


Additionally, accelerator programmes, linked with universities, colleges, companies, and venture capital funds, are integrated into a practical course on the development of startups. Several hundreds of students enrol in such programs annually, developing their startup innovations. More so, Israel has incubators lasting from 1 to 2 years which are purposed to aid startups in the infant stages by providing them with physical space, supporting administrative staff, mentorship and networking with experts. It has around 20 incubators which are private ventures but are highly financed by the government of Israel. Additionally, Israel has a number of accelerators (short-term mentorship programmes lasting about 4-5 months) in which entrepreneurs are trained and mentored to develop their business model. A similar story pertains in the Silicon Valley where there is close networking between the university and research institutions and the industries, thus encouraging the spawning of innovation and further engendering new startups to meet market demands in the tech industry. The Silicone Valley grew from a custom of innovative thinking and industry and university networks like those between Stanford and the business world. An important factor that has contributed to the success of these two ecosystems is their ability to meet the changing market demands in their specific contexts through research and innovation. Their startup ecosystems are thus established on the pressing market demands of their economies, making the ecosystems dynamic and relevant to meeting the changing needs of their specific economies. Tel Aviv has a robust military industry which has made Israel a conducive incubator for tech startups. A research conducted by Kon et al (2013) shows that the military has been

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instrumental in feeding the startup ecosystem with human resources and the impetus for entrepreneurship. The sustainability of the Silicon Valley ecosystem equally derives from its ability to meet changing market demands in its economy. In the 1950s, a number of firms supplied electronic devices to the Defence Department. In the 1960s, the Valley became a centre for making computer chips (from which it derived its name, Silicone Valley). In the 1970s and 1980s, the region developed and produced personal computers and workstations and in the 1990s, it aided in the commercialization of internet technology. The region has managed to stay on top of changing trends in the digital and technical economy in the US and that accounts for its continued relevance and sustainability. Conclusively, the following characteristics constitute the general framework for the creation of an environment that will spawn startups and cause them to thrive and multiply, thus creating new job opportunities: •

The presence of a university that is highly ranked and the training of students in entrepreneurship The presence of highly skilled and talented

• •

entrepreneurs, academics and investors Legislation like tax breaks, financial assistance for R&D and other incentives that encourage scale Low level of risk aversion A resilient venture capital industry where entrepreneurs get access to capital for new startups A culture of networking and exchange of ideas between academia and industry The establishment of a dynamic ecosystem premised on the market demands of its specific economy

Thus, these features of the framework of the Israeli and Silicon Valley ecosystem are fundamental elements that are critical to the success of any startup ecosystem. Majority of these elements can be identified in any other major and successful startup hub worldwide. They should therefore be the first point to address in creating an ecosystem that will support the success and sustainability of startups in Africa, to address the perennial problem of poverty, structural transformation and unemployment.

may 2019.indd 71

27/04/2019 16:08

Country Focus

Intellectual Leadership in Cameroon: A Viable Solution to the Anglophone Problem

Greg Kame holds a PhD in Systematic Theology from the University of South Africa and a Diploma in African Leadership from Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, Pretoria. In October 2010, I honoured the invitation from the (former South African president), Thabo Mbeki Foundation to join other African academics, politicians and civil society leaders in Sandton Convention Center, Johannesburg to discuss

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practical ways in which Africa as a continent can rise up from the shackles of colonialism and achieve its much-needed advancement. The outcome of this Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Conference was the publication of a book in 2014

by Africa Institute of South Africa entitled ‘Perspectives in Thought Leadership for Africa’s Advancement.’ I contributed to this publication by examining leadership at an intellectual level. In my

Country Focus

chapter entitled Intellectual Leadership: The Alternative Leadership Paradigm for Africa’s Advancement, I argued that intellectual leadership in Africa is the underlying solution to the problems faced by many African nations. This is because Intellectual Leadership is an ideal method of leadership that implements thought measures for people’s advancement. It is more concerned with results and delivery rather than mere politicking and propaganda. I also argued that African nations should embrace the ideals of intellectual leadership because it not only has the capacity to initiate and advance the long desired renaissance of Africa, it will also advance the continent by promoting and defending issues of common interest in Africa to the rest of the world. This publication was meant to serve African nations as a resource for good governance and leadership excellence. But as a Cameroonian academic, I am appalled at the extent to which the Cameroonian government under the leadership of President Paul Biya is failing the people of Cameroon through its flagrant abuse of human rights, passive approach to burning issues of national importance and its arbitrary approach in dealing with the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. I strongly maintain that the current turmoil and instability in the South West and North West Regions of the nation are as a result of the failures of the Biya regime to provide thoughtful leadership to the nation as a whole and to the Anglophone population in particular. Today, a great number of the English speaking population are calling for outright independence


from Cameroon. But this has not always been the interest of the Anglophone population. Their concern has been that the Biya’s regime should respect the terms of the February 1961 reunification agreement which acknowledges Cameroon as the coming together of two former colonial territories whose political views and colonial heritage will be respected in the reunified state now called the Republic of Cameroon. But Biya’s indignance and arbitrary arrest and torture of many Anglophone activists in this light has pushed many to see independence as the only reasonable option for solving the Anglophone problem. Realistically speaking, I believe that the fight towards independence is neither a feasible nor an expedient plan for the Anglophone population in Cameroon. I believe that if Biya and his entire regime can be blown away by the wind of change and replaced by intellectual leadership, the Anglophone problem would be resolved without the nation having to go through a split. What is needed in Cameroon is not just another leader but a new political system that will produce the right kind of leaders who fit within the framework of intellectual leadership. The first major step in this regard is regime change but how can there be a regime change in Cameroon given that Paul Biya is the democratically elected president? I argue that the democratic electoral procedure in Cameroon has been compromised in the interest of the Biya’s regime hence there will hardly be a regime change in Cameroon through democratic elections as long as Paul Biya is in power. Little wonder why he has won

every presidential election since becoming president in 1982. Also, given that all the major arms of government such as the armed forces, the judiciary, public administrators etc. are under the direct influence of the president, regime change would be hardly possible in a Biya led Cameroon. But as is the case with every other African nation, the people of Cameroon need to advance in their political journey and the Anglophone population in particular need to feel satisfied that the terms of the 1961 reunification are respected. So the only hope for regime change is if the international community where to consider Cameroon as a nation under siege by a government that could care less about the wellbeing of the very people it claims to govern. This is where I believe the African Union must intervene in keeping with its objective of accelerating the political integration of the continent and to defend the common positions of its member states on issues of interest to the continent and its people. Surely, it will be of interest to the people of Cameroon in particular and the people of Africa in general if there was a regime change that will allow for the ideals of intellectual leadership in the nation. The implementation of the principles of Intellectual Leadership in Cameroon will lead to the rise of new leaders who are rather concerned with results and delivery rather than mere politicking and propaganda. Will the African Union remain in the sidelines and watch the people of Cameroon perish under Paul Biya’s arbitrary approach to the Anglophone problem or will they rise up and be what they are meant to be in the interest of African nation states?

But as is the case with every other African nation, the people of Cameroon need to advance in their political journey and the Anglophone population in particular need to feel satisfied that the terms of the 1961 reunification are respected. | 53

Trade and Investment

This African trade deal could improve lives across the whole continent

After a decade of strong economic growth at the start of the millennium, Africa now faces a less favourable external economic environment – which has led to a slowdown in the economy at home. The planned Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) has the potential to reinvigorate Africa’s development at this watershed moment. It could prove crucial for the creation of well-paying jobs, especially for Africa’s youth, but political leadership focused on African integration will be decisive.

Africa risks being left behind Weaker commodity prices and slowing demand in emerging economies have dampened the outlook for Africa’s commodity export revenues. Western donor attention has substantially shifted to the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe, and tighter external financial conditions for Africa’s frontier markets have led to sizeable capital outflows. At the same time, we’re still seeing illicit financial

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Trade and Investment

flows, in part down to weak taxation regimes and a race to the bottom for investment incentives. Severe drought in parts of Southern and Eastern Africa is also putting millions of people at risk of famine.

In the context of this and Africa’s declining influence in multilateral trade rules-making, Africa needs to set her sights on a new frontier of hope.

There is also a strong chance that Africa could be left behind on the technological front – as we have seen before. Manufacturing value chains in Africa are often depicted as the next logical place for foreign investment to flow, as the price of labour gets more expensive in China and the country is moving its focus away from exports to domestic consumption.

A game-changer

But with innovation rapidly making a robot workforce a real possibility in countries like the US, China, Germany and Japan, and low-cost energy and stagnating wages meaning manufacturing jobs are undergoing a “reshoring”, it is now possible that Africa’s low-cost advantage may not materialize. A weaker global economy and lack of import growth in Europe are casting further shadow over Africa’s aspirations to integrate into manufacturing networks.

The CFTA could be the game-changer that reverses this state of affairs. Today, crossborder trade deals, such as the “megaregional” Trans-Pacific Partnership, TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, focus on regional arrangements as the source for creating new trading, employment and income generating opportunities. The time is now for Africa to work towards its own mega-regional. Africa’s CFTA has substantial room to increase trade growth dramatically, and to pave the way for the industrialization and economic transformation necessary for African countries to achieve the ambitious targets of the global Agenda 2030 and Africa’s own Agenda 2063. UNCTAD estimates that implementing the CFTA will roughly double the share of intra-African trade (currently around 13% of African exports) by early next decade. And if past experience is any guide, tariff reductions may even increase trade tax revenue. Applied tariffs and trade tax revenues of African countries, 1996-2013 (per cent and $million) Applied tariffs and trade tax revenues of African countries, 1996-2013 (per cent and $million) Manufacturing export sectors will be the biggest beneficiary, in line with current trends that suggest the sector is already doing well in intra-African trade. Agriculture will also get a boost through the creation of a more viable African marketplace for food. Enhanced trade in agricultural products will also increase prospects for agro-processing, creating dynamic linkages with manufacturing. And the impact will be even greater if non-tariff barriers are addressed, if informal trade is integrated into formal trade channels, and if services liberalization takes place.

Improving lives For the CFTA to improve Africa’s growth prospects over the long term, policy-makers and negotiators should keep a few key issues | 55

Trade and Investment

in mind. To maximize the gains, the CFTA should include both a goods agreement and a services agreement. Developing regional markets is important for trade in services and other important new issues, like e-commerce, which are critical to Africa’s future. We need to reach agreement on joint regional harmonization and regulatory cooperation in these areas of growing importance. Otherwise we lose the opportunity to collectively regulate service provision, provide consumer protection, tax, and earn tax revenue effectively from the multinational players already doing business in this space in Africa. Equally, the CFTA should ensure the removal of non-tariff barriers, facilitate convergence on regulatory measures, and enhance trade facilitation. The CFTA can potentially amplify the return on investment in trade facilitation – not only by improving connectivity, cutting red tape and accelerating turn-around times of transportation material to fuel export growth, but also by increasing the imports that are crucial to building productive capacity, enlarging firm size and accelerating productivity growth with a view to advancing industrialization and export diversification in Africa. But doing so requires reliable infrastructure, a coherent regulatory framework, and a unified set of standards across the continent. The CFTA will need to be accompanied by a massive scaling up of private and public efforts to invest in cross-border infrastructure on the continent. Addressing Africa’s physical infrastructure gap will require a substantial programme of investment, estimated at $93 billion per year. UNCTAD data shows that Africa’s foreign direct investment stock has grown six times over from

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$90 billion in 1995 to $700 billion in 2014, but public authorities and private stakeholders need to work together to ensure that this base continues to grow and that new investment goes into the infrastructure sectors that are needed most: transport, power generation and information technology, for example. Linked to this is the critical role of liberalizing infrastructure-related services in the CFTA, so as to provide a bedrock for effective trade integration. But cross-border soft infrastructure must also be taken into account. Taking a bottom-up approach by listening to border communities and to small- and medium-sized enterprises that operate across borders, normsetting in the CFTA can add the crucial link that will help consider the challenges and needs of those that play a key role in creating livelihoods from opening borders.

Uneven gains The gains from CFTA, while potentially large, will also be uneven. Countries with large manufacturing bases may gain more – including through the provision of substantial formal sector employment and income opportunities for the burgeoning African youth population. However, smaller least-developed countries may see some fiscal revenue loss and destruction of local industries. That said, the CFTA can also spur rural development, which is particularly important for economic transformation and the creation of well-paying jobs. African governments must work so that no one is left behind by the CFTA, and to ensure that the gains are distributed fairly. This means realizing the significant potential of Africa’s least-developed countries to create regional value chains in agriculture and agro-processing.

Trade and Investment

transformational approach to African trade integration. The CFTA can breathe new life into the trade and development prospects of the continent. All it needs are the right policies in place, as well as strong political leadership and private sector engagement both nationally and regionally. This article is part of the World Economic Forum on Africa


The time is ripe for Africa to be ambitious on the CFTA. As the negotiations move forward we will know more.

It also means continuing to improve all countries’ administrative and institutional capacities to help efficiently tax and redistribute the gains from CFTA. In the shorter term, traditional flexibility instruments – encapsulated in special and differential treatment – will have to be considered to limit the damaging effect on the most vulnerable. In the long-run, the initial pains in some smaller economies will give way to gains, if the right policies are in place across the continent.

Breathing new life into African trade The time is ripe for Africa to be ambitious on the CFTA. As the negotiations move forward we will know more. But whether or not the CFTA can become Africa’s own “megaregional” depends on whether it is pitched at the right level of ambition that can trigger a truly | 57

Youth & Leadership

We need young people to vote, for their sake and ours BY Hillary Musarurwa

Disempowered and disengaged young people run the risk of having others deciding their futures for them, plus, the rest of us will lose out on the skills and energy that they could bring to governance. For this reason, they must be encouraged to participate in May’s poll. As Britain flounders in its attempts to finalise its withdrawal from the European Union, it is worth reflecting that one of the many contradictions of Brexit, is that those who voted in favour of it will be the ones least affected by the decision. In the 2016 Brexit referendum, polls indicated that between 71% and 75% of voters under the age of 24 voted to remain. Yet only 64% of voters in this age group participated in the poll. That is compared to 90% of voters over the age of 65. Those in this age group also had a very different perspective on the question being put to them.

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YouGov’s figures show that 64% of voters over the age of 65 asked to leave. Perhaps if more youth had turned out to vote, the result of the narrowly-won referendum would have been different. This is an apposite example of how young people cannot ignore the processes of governance. They cannot leave decision-making to older generations when it is their future that is at stake. In Africa youth participation in elections and in governance more broadly is low. Whilst Africa is touted to be a young continent, with more than 60%

Youth & Leadership

of its inhabitants aged under the age of 35, in some countries like Zimbabwe only an average of 38% of this age group are registered voters. My own research, carried out for my PhD thesis and recently published in Commonwealth & Comparative Politics in 2018, shows that these young citizens feel increasingly excluded and unrepresented, and this leads to a cycle of frustration and apathy. Young people complain that the system is not working for them and feel that there is no room for them to participate in changing it. In some instances, this frustration is extreme. For example, in Zimbabwe, a generation of young people have experienced decades of political and economic stagnation. Even moments when change seemed possible, have proven to be false dawns. You can imagine the pain of growing up in an economy that is not serving the people, and a political system that is rigged against change. The first time you have the chance to vote you might see it as an opportunity to make your voice heard, only for the election to be stolen. The second time, you try again, only for the result to be the same. By the third time, your motivation to keep trying is understandably diminished. Believing that their voices will never be heard and their votes will never count, young voters become resigned and simply stop participating. Democracy in South Africa may be more established, but the youth in this country nevertheless have faced a similar dilemma for much of the last two decades. The loyalty of older generations to the ANC was so entrenched that it essentially drowned out other voices. We have, however, seen a hopeful shift in the last few years. Parties like the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters are making concerted efforts to appeal to younger voters. They both have young leaders and have created opportunities for people under the age of 35 to represent them in parliament.

This is very much in contrast to what happens in Zimbabwe, where the ambitions of young people are inevitably stifled when it comes to competing for party positions. They are relegated to youth wings, where they are often simply employed as ‘political cannon fodder’ for marches or, historically, farm invasions. Senior party members are often wary of the youth because they see them as a threat. They know that, given the opportunity, young contenders would turn the tables on them. They have therefore ringfenced their positions so that there is no space for the youth to drive meaningful political change. Young people are also often denied access to resources because it makes them more susceptible to being ‘bought’, by either politicians or traditional leaders. As long as the youth remain economically disempowered, money and resources can be used to capture their votes or ensure their participation in rallies or marches. The long term consequences of this are severe. If the youth are disempowered and disengaged, they not only have others deciding their futures for them, but the skills and energy that they could bring to governance are lost.

too. Over 81% of new registrations recorded at the final registration weekend by the IEC earlier this year were under 30 years old. Yet, according to Sy Mamabolo, Chief Electoral Officer of the IEC, approximately 6 million eligible youth voters remain off the voters’ roll. It is hoped that those who are registered will make it their business to cast their vote. After all, the decisions we make on that day will be about the country we want to see tomorrow. It only makes sense that the youth, who are most affected by the outcome, should have their voices heard and appreciated. Hillary Musarurwa is a Bertha Scholar and graduate of the MPhil specialising in Inclusive Innovation at the UCT Graduate School of Business. This article draws on research he conducted for his PhD research which looked at the aspects of ‘Youth Participation in Governance and Structural Economic Transformation in Zimbabwe’. See also Musarurwa, H. J. H. J. 2018. Closed spaces or (in)competent citizens? A study of youth preparedness for participation in elections in Zimbabwe. Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, 56: 1-18.

This is why civic education is so important. People don’t automatically become responsible citizens. That is something that needs to be nurtured and encouraged. The youth need to be encouraged to take the view that if they want to change systems that aren’t working for them, they have to participate in them, both at the polls and more broadly. Cross-generational dialogue also has to be fostered. The youth should not be involved only in processes where they are told what to do. There must be genuine initiatives to bring in their ideas, but also to transfer the skills and the knowledge of those who have long held positions of responsibility. Few parties are currently doing this. As South Africa heads to the polls on May 8th, the signs are positive that young people will be there | 59



It is perhaps as characteristic of people to want to fulfil their innate desire to put food in their mouths—to feed themselves and their families—as it is for them to want to move constantly. It is for reason of the former that the latter happens anyway—either directly or remotely. On the face of it, this whole idea of people moving from one confinement to another—the idea of persons rummaging for better lives for themselves and families should only elicit such response: let them eat cake—should they find it. If they think themselves deserving of better lives than that which they have now, let them seek this cake, have it and eat it too. But surprisingly—or perhaps unsurprisingly when the cause is shown—the response of some developing countries, African countries especially, to the movement of their populace from rural to urban centres has been—well, let us just say that these migrants are not met with the kind of cheer one would think deserving them. Many African countries have gone so far as to show a clear disdain for rural-urban migration. One wonders why.

A comprehensive definition of urbanisation is keen. The term urbanisation is broad in its implication, although mostly narrowly defined as a rural-urban migration—the shift in the population of a country from rural to urban areas. This transition includes too, a shift from rural to urban land use, economic activities, or culture.

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Hence, although persons may move from settlements designated as rural to urban ones, settlements themselves may shift from rural to urban categories; so can economic activities carried out in these areas by inhabitants change, from rural (agricultural and subsistence economy) to urban activities (industrial and service economy). These shifts result, ideally, in a phenomenon termed urban sprawl—the expansion of the territories, benefits, and features of cities into what were otherwise termed rural areas. This is not a given, one will find, for it may also be the case that as urbanisation increases, a country may end up experiencing an expansion of the boundaries, problems of rural centres into urban areas instead. If the former be termed urban

sprawl, then it is apt to term the latter rural sprawl. Urbanisation also comprises the rate at which an increase in the proportion of urban dwellers happens over time. It is distinguished from urban growth which is the absolute number of people living in urban areas. The scare developing countries have received from scholars, pertaining to urbanisation, creates the impression that this rural-urban migration is a phenomenon so new, so exclusive to these countries, that the only benefits it can reap are those already reaped by most of these countries—the expansion of slums, increase in crime, and an overall creeping of the problems of rural centres into urban areas. To give this


at the end of the 20th century, just 15% of the entire world population were living in cities. This, however, was to change in 2007—more than 50% of the world population was urbanised for the first time in history. This rose, in 2014, to 54%. UN projects now that by 2050 68% of the world’s population will be living in cities. This, however, does not answer, but only seem to make more prominent this question: why are developing countries antsy about urbanisation, especially when it is found to be a common stage in the national lives of countries? It may be because of the numbers.

impression of exclusivity would be as ludicrous as trying to pin the origin of migration— urbanisation—to a particular century and country. Which is what some historians do. The sly proponents of Eurocentrism generally peg the start of urbanisation as during the Renaissance—16th Century, with much higher rates occurring at the onset of the Industrial Revolution. This version of history reeks heavily of insufficiency, ignorance perhaps. For with a little study of human nature one is likely to find, as suggested earlier in this article, an intrinsic desire and accompanying ability of humankind to move, in search of lives they think befitting— be it economic, social, or environmental. Should one take a stroll back into history, and make

notes of these instances of ruralurban migration, one is likely to find a vast number of cases of urbanisation—extending beyond race, culture, and nationality. In the 16th–17th century, for instance, Mughal, India had 15% of its population living in urban areas, this being higher than recorded in Europe around the 18th century—which was between 8-13%. It is true, Britain did record an increase in urbanisation in the 18th-19th century, owing to the agricultural and industrial revolution the country experienced at that time. So did the USA, in the 19th century—also driven by the country’s industrial revolution; so did sub-Saharan Africa, South America, and much of Asia in the 20th century. Urbanisation has its grip on the modern world. Yet, as

In recent years, it has been the lot of developing countries to be the subject of series of studies and surveys which have been monolithic in tone and implication: developing countries, sub-Saharan Africa especially are urbanising at an alarming and unprecedented rate. Africa is urbanising without growth. These bizarre accounts have led many to suggest the inhibition of this form of migration—some have suggested shifting attention from urban to rural developments instead. These warnings when given in isolation mean nothing; their full effect is felt when looked at through a comparative lens.


The term urbanisation is broad in its implication, although mostly narrowly defined as a rural-urban migration—the shift in the population of a country from rural to urban areas. | 61


Is Urbanisation a bad thing?—case study: Europe and USA In 18th-century-Europe, a successive stroke of geniuses helped birth the Industrial Revolution. What resulted was a shift of the population from rural to urban areas—shifts of which resulted, in England and Wales, for instance, in an increase in the proportion of city inhabitants from 17% in 1801 to 54% in 1891. In 1800, the USA had only 5% of its population living in cities. This skyrocketed to 50% in 1920—driven too by the country’s industrial revolution. The developed world effectively transformed this transition in population into economic growth. Urban manufacturing and service sectors were fully equipped to drive growth. Inventions, machinery produced by the industries helped increase agricultural productivity in rural centres. Sophistication in agriculture freed up manpower to move to cities to man these thriving factories—for while rural agricultural activities thrive on the dispersion of the population, industries thrive on agglomeration. A cyclical trend ensued as the services of these immigrants in the urban centres positively affected the agricultural activities of the rural areas.


Urbanisation, like any other trend, may, though efficiently managed, still manage to spawn some negative effects.

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In 1820, the USA was experiencing an influx of immigrants from its rural areas and other countries. The existence of a thriving labourintensive manufacturing sector helped absorb the influx of labour; productivity experienced a surge, and consequently, an increase in real wages resulted. By 1920, however, the nation was in dire need of skilled labour. The country, once again, was adequately prepared, for its schools were churning out educated, skilled labour, and highly educated policymakers. This was the beginning of an overall increase in the quality of the human resource capital of the country. These two regions, Europe and North America, now consist of the highest per capita income and most economically developed countries. Developed countries reveal a trend: there exists a correlation between urbanisation and high per capita income, growth, and sustainable development. Studies show that almost all nations attain at least 50% urbanisation

rate before they can reach the status of middle-income countries. Countries generally attain a 70-80% urbanisation rate before attaining the status of high-income states. Following this urbanisation/economic growth nexus, it is only expected that countries like UK and USA have higher levels of urbanisation than developing countries. The UN projection for the year 2050, notes that by that year, developed countries would be 84% urbanised as against the 64% stated for developing countries. Europe and North America’s journey, although skillfully managed, were not without hitches. During the 19th century, countries in these regions experienced a series of unsanitary, unhygienic conditions—health and environmental conditions— ranging from malaria, cholera and other waterborne diseases, air pollutions, etc. London, for instance, witnessed a severe air-pollution in 1952—the Great Smog, resulting in the disruption


urbanisation is an inquiry, first, into the benefits cities have to offer. It is on some scale to an investigation into the disadvantages of rural areas. For although rural-urban migration happens, ideally, because of the attractiveness of urban areas, it may also occur, negatively, due to the harshness of rural centres. Opponents of urbanisation, mostly find themselves arguing against the latter, the type that happens due to rural flight— the type termed pathological urbanisation. Urbanisation is at its best when driven by the advantages that cities have to offer than the disadvantages villages have offered to rural dwellers. And it is for the former that proponents of urbanisation, the present writer inclusive, argue.

of road, rail, and air travel. Over 4,000 lives were lost. The government met this head-on with a series of public health movements, implementations of new regulations, and an allinclusive citizenry response to sanitation and pollution issues.

Rural areas as candidates A case for rural over urban development is bizarre in this highly industrialised, globalised Information Age that nations which so much as lean more towards the former than the latter can only expect to remain as they are, stuck in the damaging poor countries category, or the empty attempt at hopefulness—developing nations group. Rural areas and their characteristic village culture stand very little chance at effectively competing, on behalf of a country, in this age, on the international stage. Villages are, by nature, comprised of people connected by clans, kinship, families, and other forms of blood ties. They are bonded by ideals of intimate and communal

relationships—a feature, homely on the face of it, but woefully ineffectual in this competitive globalised age. Rural areas are more likely to stubbornly hold on to customs and practices which find themselves futile with the turn of time; they are likely to cling to the dictates of ancestors who would be lost in this age so unfamiliar to them. Growth of any kind—economic, social, or environmental ride on change—constant and consistent change. Rural areas globally, and in African countries especially, lack this feature, making them comparatively less equipped to spearhead a country’s journey towards development. This case against rural areas is heightened even more by the case for urban areas as forefronts for national growth.

The reasons for urbanisation produces the question: why cities? The merits of urbanisation may also be its cause too. An inquiry into the advantages of

The benefits cities—even the poorest of them—have to offer include, in more abstract terms, convenience, proximity, diversity (of services, opportunities, and of cultures), marketplace competition, density, wealth, et al. In tangible terms, cities are considered ideal for they are the hearts of modern economic activities: variety of jobs (formal and informal), myriad of services (specialised services not found in rural areas, better education, hospitals, and transport systems, trade, tourism, ports, banking systems, etc), better housing and safety conditions. The cultural advancement typical of cities means better conditions for women and children. Women stand a better chance of attaining full equality with men in cities than in villages. On the other hand, damaging conditions such as unpredictable climate conditions faced by rural areas, accompanied with lack of sophisticated agricultural equipment—in the case of African countries especially—to beat this unpredictability of the weather; the lack of modern amenities, poor healthcare and educational systems; widespread diseases, little value placed on and given to farming which is | 63


the main economic activities in rural centres, etc. make the countryside unattractive. Rural areas are generally lacking in the things that make cities attractive. In developing countries, more so than the developed world, these disparities between rural and urban areas are even more heightened. “Why cities?’ is a query into how cities are formed What do these locations possess which make them better candidates as cities? What are the criteria for selection? What does Accra, Abuja have over the Saboba District, and Sokoto, respectively? If cities are this vital to national growth, why not merely convert villages into cities? Why the placing of the tag ‘cities’ on a select group of localities? Do these locations possess an intrinsic urbanness which those designated as villages do not possess? It turns out so. Cities do not form from a toss of a coin; there are reasons, chief among them, geographical reasons to their formation. Cities typically locate around the coasts, rivers, lakes and other forms of waterways so as to benefit from transportation cost advantages.


The influx of labour may easily lead to high unemployment rates if a nation does not act effectively to curb this.

64 | African Leadership | June 2019

Industrialisation/ urbanisation: the bedfellows. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, what existed as the main economic activity for developed countries was agriculture. In 18th-century-Mesopotamia and Egypt, for instance, the main economic activity was subsistence agriculture which occurred in rural centres. The urban areas, then very sparsely populated, were centres for small-scale trade and the thenbudding manufacturing sector. Prior to 18th-19th-century-Britain when industrialisation found its footing, and urbanisation, its feet, the country was largely agrarian and, consequently, mainly rural. Populations of developed nations, in general, were largely rural during their agricultural ages. Why so? Were these ancestors possessed of profound meekness that made them opt for rural centres—meekness of which recent generation are too high-and-mighty to submit to? No. These examples rather show a trend: economic activities dictate migration trends. The agricultural economy is to rural areas as industrial and service economy is to urban areas. Thus a shift, globally, from an agrarian economy to industrial and service economy means a shift from rural to an urban population. The stifling of ruralurban migration, then, is an inhibition of these 21st-century leading economic activities. Industrialisation is symptomatic of urbanisation; the opposite is true—both phenomenon too, symptomatic of economic growth and development. Experience shows that urbanisation is not just the movement of people in a vacuum, but it has to it certain social, economic, and environmental changes which may either be beneficial or adversarial to a country depending on the country’s ability to effectively formulate policies to spur economic

growth. Urbanisation, like industrialisation, is no new phenomenon, yet it has managed to hit the African continent like an obscure storm. What are we doing wrong? What did the developed world do right?

Hell is a city much like— developing cities? African leaders want a reverse to urbanisation, they say. A survey of the world population policies by the UN conducted in 2011 found that 82% of governments of developing nations and 84% of African countries had implemented policies to curb urbanisation. Only 3% of African countries had undertaken policies to encourage rural-urban migration. It is not surprising that a large portion of African leaders proved anti-urban. For a question on their stance on urbanisation, to these political leaders, carry, glaringly, this subtext: why have you been ineffective in transforming your nation’s urbanisation trends into economic growth? A diversion of blame is then the better of two evils—blame urbanisation for the slums, the persistence of crime, pestilence, and unemployment—call those the only fruits urbanisation can bear! This seems to be the African approach. This inquisition is key: what secret ingredients did developed countries possess at the dawn of their national lives which helped transform urbanisation into economic growth? It is no secret that policies, urban infrastructure, and planning are some major tools employed by the developed world. Industrialisation is a point very much hammered on throughout the entirety of this article. Another policy direction—effective urban planning. Cities ought to be planned beforehand—amenities and infrastructures and transportation systems must be provided for. Steps must be put in place to help curb rural flight. A call for attention to


cities is not a submission for the abandonment of rural centres and the agricultural economy. Opportunities must be created in rural areas to make them economically viable places. Urbanisation, like any other trend, may, though efficiently managed, still manage to spawn some negative effects. This is not to serve as a deterrent to nations, but rather as hurdles to be crossed to attain development. These hurdles, if not efficiently combated, in turn, spawn detrimental incidences for a country. The problems of congestion of cities, an initial increase in inequalities, an initial dramatic increase in costs, etc. are inevitable by-products of urbanisation. Yet their potential adverse effects of persistent slums, high costs of living, increase in crime, etc. can be avoided. Housing issues are likely to spring up with urbanisation. By 1980, Korea, for example, was experiencing such disparity between its cost of housing and GDP—with a bewildering 13:1 ratio. Government intervention saw the reduction of this gap to about 3:1. The Korean government achieved this by designating 25% of the country’s land as urban and building two million houses within the span of just seven years. The influx of labour may easily lead to high unemployment rates if a nation does not act effectively to curb this. In fact, this theory of increased inequality is quite the ingrained phenomenon—a phenomenon termed the Kuznets Curve. The theory suggests that as nations grow, the gap between urban and rural areas first increases, then eventually decreases. The USA, for instance, witnessed such inequality in the mid19th century, but this was to eventually reduce with handson governmental interventions. In fact, these potential side effects of urbanisation do not end at a country’s attainment of sustainable development— thus the phenomenon of suburbanisation in developed

countries like the USA, where policies are put in place to help strike out the negative effects of urbanisation all the while enjoying its advantages. With some persistence, policy directions, and prerequisite funding, Africa too can benefit from urbanisation. It has been estimated that an amount of $130-170 billion annually would be required to solve the continent’s infrastructure problems. The question of where to get this money is daunting. This, however, is not a call for anti-urbanisation sentiments, for that is no option for developing countries in this highly industrialised age. Like any other economic trend, urbanisation requires good governance to blossom into sustainable growth. Urbanisation is an experiment in hope—it is to the immigrant, supposed to be a journey from an agrarian green to the greenbacks of the city, yet for the African continent, and its constituent countries and citizenries, it has been a journey from green to grey… Is Urbanisation a bad thing?

Author’s information: Co-founder, Blarney Stone Inc. (BSI Africa) Blarney Stone, Inc. is an incorporated private partnership founded on a promise to, inter alia, design programmes aimed at re-socialising the Ghanaian and African by utilising this 21st-century leading tool—the television, to instil a sense of patriotism and inclusiveness in the citizenry.

Brussels, Tuesday 14 May 2019


15 inspiring Young Leaders to debate inequalities at the European Development Days

Fifteen Young Leaders have just been selected by the European Commission. They will make their voices heard at the European Development Days. The European Commission has just announced the names of the fifteen inspiring young people from around the world who will enrich the debates at the 2019 European Development Days (EDD). These Young Leaders, aged between 21 and 26, have been chosen from among 404 applicants from 99 countries for their exceptional skills, expertise and active contributions to find solutions to development issues. They will share their vison on how to address inequalities to build a world which leaves no one behind, the main topic of this year's edition of the EDD. The Young Leaders Programme aims to ensure that young people have their say on the issues spotlighted each year. The Young Leaders will be able to share their views and experiences with heads of state, human rights activists, business and industry leaders, policymakers, entrepreneurs, representatives from non-governmental organisations and academics during the forum’s high-level panels.

Contact EDD 2019 Press Team Isabel Casteleyn Mob.: +32 471 61 06 65 Email: Follow the debate on social media: #EDD19

Introducing EDD 2019’s Young Leaders

Brussels, Tuesday 14 May 2019

This year’s Young Leaders come from a wide range of countries: Nigeria, the Philippines, Brazil, Zambia, Eswatini, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin, Malawi and Peru.

Sandra Ajaja

Nigeria, 23 years old INVESTMENT AND FINANCIAL INCLUSION Sandra is the founder of FemPower Africa, a social enterprise teaching women in Nigeria and Africa about technology, leadership and entrepreneurship. With over 2,000 members and 30 volunteers, FemPower Africa has facilitated the creation of 52 women-owned businesses, trained over 2,000 people in three countries, and taught 200 people Google Digital skills. Sandra worked for a year and a half for an organisation studying and investing in start-ups/entrepreneurs (for local and global firms seeking expansion in Africa). She takes an interest in ecosystems for women techpreneurs/developers/designers and advocates. She has a Bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Agriculture in Makurdi.

Lourence Balatbat

Philippines, 21 years old SOCIAL PROTECTION AND THE EU SOCIAL MARKET MODEL Lourence is currently the Project and Development Officer at - Engadin Corporation. He manages the delivery of local, regional, and national advocacy projects and develops substantive impact evaluation reports. He is the founder and president of ASEAN Youth Philippines, a not-for-profit organisation in sustainable development representing over 15,000 young Filipinos . Lourence has also held leadership positions in several development organisations, through which he has spearheaded 52 projects, actively engaging around 60,000 young people. Lourence is pushing the idea that poverty alleviation through tailored social protection programmes must always be supplemented by state-initiated labour market integration if governments want to reduce income inequality. Lourence is currently pursuing an MA in political economy, international relations and development from the University of Asia and the Pacific.

Leticia Pinhero Rizerio Carmo

Brazil, 24 years old TERRITORIAL INEQUALITIES Leticia has an MA in urban planning, sustainable development and territorial systems and a BA in civil engineering. Currently, she is a Local Pathways Fellow at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth Projects, and is working on “The voices of Belo Horizonte’s women: collectively building public spaces that are safe and inclusive for all". Leticia works on women’s empowerment and the creation of public policies with a gender perspective in public places to enable women to engage and participate in political and economic decision-making processes. She was a youth representative to the national delegation at World Urban Forum 9 for implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

Inota Cheta

Zambia, 26 years old INEQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY Inota is the Co-Founder of 'She Entrepreneur', an NGO training women in financial literacy and entrepreneurship which has impacted 500 girls already. She has also worked with teenage mothers, helping them to enhance their skills and to identify and take up income opportunities. Inota was selected as a Mandela Washington Fellowship (Young African Leaders Initiative) in 2018 and as a global youth leader for the Restless Development agency, which saw her develop global campaigns seeking to hold leaders accountable for the promises they had made on meeting the SDGs. For Restless Development, a youth-led development agency, she spoke on a panel titled 'Innovators and Disruptors'. She holds an MSc in economy and finance.

Brussels, Tuesday 14 May 2019

Sephutile Mhlongo

Eswatini, 26 years old TAXATION, PUBLIC FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, FINANCIAL FLOWS AND EQUITY Sephutile currently works as an Analyst with CHAI Eswatini. CHAI is the Ministry of Health's development partner, acting as a technical advisor on health initiatives (introducing new drugs, prioritising the health service delivery benefits package, etc.). She is currently conducting research to be used by the Ministry of Health in advocating for system reform. Sephutile was previously a finance officer in budget and economic affairs at the Ministry of Finance of the Kingdom of Eswatini. She tracked and approved public expenditure for three government departments and ministries. She also assisted these departments and ministries in creating their annual budgets with a budget ceiling in place. Sephutile has a BA in social sciences.

Aaron Atimpe

Ghana, 24 years old GENDER INEQUALITY Aaron is a youth advocate for access to education, health and sexual reproductive rights, with a rural background. As part of his work in the Marie Stopes International Ghana Youth Advisory Board, he has been advocating to increase investment in youth sexual and reproductive health and rights across Ghana. In total, they trained close to 1,000 young advocates to become ambassadors for adolescent health and development with support from the United Nations Population Fund and UNICEF. Aaron holds a BA with a major in Geography and Rural Development and a minor in Political Science.

Louison Mbombo

Democratic Republic of Congo, 23 years old HEALTH INEQUALITIES Louison is the Founder of the Mbombo Initiative Against Malaria (Solidariedade Na Mokili), a not-for-profit organisation that, in partnership with Google and Microsoft, implements data analytics and machine learning to advance Malaria prevention and research, raising money for treatment, providing health education to families and health professionals, and distributing mosquito nets. The initiative has reached over 10 million people since its creation in 2015. In 2017, Louison was rewarded by UNESCO at the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition for the best project to prevent childhood malaria death. Louison is a student in Medicine at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil.

Val Amiel Vestil

Philippines, 24 years old CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENVIRONMENTAL INEQUALITIES Val is the Executive Director and Founder of the Association of Young Environmental Journalists in the Philippines. Their flagship project is "Camp SEWI: Student’s Environmental Writing Initiative", a youth-led capacity-building training workshop on environmental journalism and stewardship for university journalists all over Negros Oriental, Philippines. This project has trained over 50 young university journalists across 5 universities in the region. Val also helped change the university publication policy to include environmental topics in its editorial agenda. He has been named part of the ‘Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations in the Philippines 2019’ and ‘2nd Negros Young Heroes: Gawad Parangal sa Kabataan 2019’. Val has a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication.

Akosua Peprah

Ghana, 26 years old EDUCATION AND HEALTH INEQUALITIES (EDUCATION) Akosua is the Founder of the Mmaakunim Foundation, a social venture with the aim of educating, creating opportunities and making resources available to marginalized women in Ghana. Through this foundation, Akosua engages with peers and experts in underprivileged communities and works with government officials to influence policy to make education accessible and available to kids in rural Ghana. Akosua has launched the Happy Flow Project, providing access to sanitary well-being to 135 girls between the ages of 13 and 18 in Damongo in Northern Ghana. The initiative provides monthly sanitary materials and organizes workshops on sex education, leadership, health and nutrition, and hygiene. Akosua holds a BA in English and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies from Ohio State University.

Brussels, Tuesday 14 May 2019

Inès Tatiana Hounjo

Benin, 25 years old BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE: MANAGING DIGITALIZATION AND TECHNOLOGY FOR INCLUSIVE GROWTH Inès is an African IT expert, currently interning at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in coordination with the Ministry of Planning, giving technical support and capacity building for CSOs. Prior to that, she was an intern at Comtel Technologies. She has also participated in programmes to increase the digital capacities of young women and acts as a voluntary mentor for Women TechMakers. She wants to address access to digital tools and its barriers (financial means or education). Inès holds a BS in Computer Science from The Benin School of Applied Economics and Management (ENEAM).

Rejoice Namale

Malawi, 24 years old REDUCING INEQUALITIES: A CATALYST FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH, POVERTY REDUCTION AND ENSURING THAT NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND Rejoice is working on fostering youth/women participation in socio-economic and political decision-making processes in Malawi. She founded the Youth Arise Network to teach entrepreneurship skills and train over 120 youth in bricklaying, electrical installation, carpentry, woodwork, joinery and painting. She trained over 300 urban youth volunteers and reached over 1,000 youth in numerous speaking engagements focused on enhancing volunteerism, leadership skills and personal development. In Kenya, she successfully assisted in facilitating a Training of Trainers session on budgeting and social accountability with youth trainees and she mobilized over 600 women to participate in county budget planning processes. She holds a Bachelor in Communication and Cultural studies and a certificate in Youth Employment and Development.

Mwala Mooto

Zambia, 24 years old INEQUALITIES, TRADE AND PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPMENT Mwala Mooto is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mooto Cashew Suppliers Ltd, a social enterprise aimed at reforesting Zambia and addressing gender inequality by empowering women with perennial cashew trees that will supply them with food and an extra income. They have 50,000 cashew seedlings that will be ready for planting this year. Mwala’s company has established a network of 100 women who they are training on Eco-inclusive entrepreneurship and will supply with cashew trees for planting. They have acquired 100 hectares of land where they intend to plant cashew trees this year. Mwala has spoken at Global Entrepreneurship Week and International Youth Day in 2018. Mwala is currently pursuing an MBA in Finance at the University of Zambia.

Carlo Angeles

Peru, 26 years old ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGE OF INEQUALITIES IN MIDDLE INCOME COUNTRIES, TAILORING TOOLS AND PRIORITIES TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND INEQUALITY DYNAMICS OF THESE COUNTRIES Carlo Angeles is an advocate for sustainable development. At 25, he was appointed National Director at the Organization of Youth of the Ministry of Education, becoming Peru’s youngest senior government official. In this capacity, he designed Peru’s first civil society participation and accountability mechanism for the Sustainable Development Goals. He has represented youth in various international development processes and served as a regional focal point for Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Nations Major Group of Children and Youth for the UN Habitat III process. Currently he serves as the Executive Director of Lab2030. In this capacity, he is leading a national discussion that represents over 500 USD million annual investment for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, by implementing Sustainable Procurement processes.

Brussels, Tuesday 14 May 2019

Yasmine Ouirhane

Italy/Morocco, 23 years old REDUCING INEQUALITIES: A PRECONDITION FOR PEACEFUL, INCLUSIVE AND RESILIENT SOCIETIES Yasmine is the newly recognized “Young European of the Year 2019”. She has interned at the Permanent mission of Morocco to the UN, and spent one year working with the United Network of Young Peace Builders in the Netherlands to implement UNSCR 2250. Prior to this, she was an intern at the National Human Rights Council of Morocco supporting CSO participation in COP22. Yasmine is an expert at the AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub, where she works in the Peace & Security cluster. In this role, she wrote a proposal on the role for youth in tracking basic services in fragile contexts with accessible digital support to feed into peace processes. She worked with the European Youth Forum on the organisation of YO!Fest, gathering 8,000 youth and worked with the UN/EU, being selected several times as a youth representative. Yasmine obtained her Master in International Security, Geopolitics and Intelligence from the Italian Society for the International Organization.

Judicaelle Irakoze

Burundi, 24 years old MOBILITY AND INEQUALITIES Judicaelle is a feminist writer, social entrepreneur and refugee advocate highlighting the positive contributions of migrant people. As an immigrant in the US, she has worked on different projects focused on racial and gender equity in Maine where she organized the first conference to celebrate the contributions of immigrant women. She interned with UNHCR Uganda and has worked with young women refugees in the Nakivale refugee camp in Eastern Uganda on sexual and reproductive health. She raised funds for refugee children in Northern Kivu to go to school and launched a movement for immigrant youth to tell their stories through art and fashion. She also co-organized the Refugees Matter show in Rwanda.

Background - Addressing inequalities: building a world which leaves no one behind The European Development Days (EDD) highlight Europe’s commitment to building a sustainable and fairer world. The forum builds on the core belief that cooperation is key to achieving real change towards a poverty-free and sustainable world where everyone has the prospect of a decent life. An essential aim is thus to inspire the desire to work together in a spirit of true partnership through facilitating networking. This year the EDD will take place on 18th and 19th June 2019 in Brussels and focus on promoting inclusiveness and equality as a catalyst for progress towards global sustainable development. The EDD 2019 will examine and discuss the goals of the 2030 Agenda and the EU’s commitment to addressing inequalities. The EDD 2019 forum – Addressing inequalities: building a world which leaves no one behind – will be structured around the three main themes: Why inequalities matter for sustainable development; Understanding the structural causes of inequalities; Working better together through more effective policies to address inequalities; and the 5 "Ps" of the 2030 Agenda: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, Partnership.

You can find more information about the Young Leaders Programme here. You can find more information about the EDD here. You can find the media section here. You can find the programme, regularly updated, here.

Everyone is given a voice in this open, collaborative and inclusive platform. Each year, the global development community is invited to contribute directly to the official EDD programme by proposing activities and sessions.


Each year, the forum attracts more than 8 000 participants from over 140 countries worldwide, representing 1 200 organisations from the development community. The forum fosters a true spirit of partnership with all development actors. Since its launch in 2006, the forum has been an incubator of new ideas to bring about real change towards a poverty-free, sustainable and fairer world, where everyone has the opportunity for a decent life.

EDD 2019 Press Team Isabel Casteleyn Mob.: +32 471 61 06 65 Email: Follow the debate on social media: #EDD19

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African Leadership Magazine - June 2018  

African Leadership Magazine - June 2018