The 8th African Development Forum [ADF viii] formally opened at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this week. At the plenary session on Monday, speakers stressed the need to find critical solutions to harness the continent’s huge natural resources to accelerate its transformation, tackle the immense losses Africa incurs yearly through lack of adequate strategy and focus on the management of its resource base.
Nigeria, Algeria, Ghana and South Africa specifically canvassed new rules of engagement with the continent’s foreign developing nations such as Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia and India on the platform of the South-South’s co-operation to harness Africa’s resources for mutual benefit.
United Nations [UN] Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary for Economic Commission for Africa [ECA] Mr. Carlos Lopez led other speakers who included the Vice President of African Development Bank [AfDB], Mr. Aly Abou-Sabaa, Chairperson of the African Union[AU] Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Ethiopian Minister of Industry, Dr. Mekonnen Manyazewal, in setting the agenda of the forum with the theme, ‘Governing and Harnessing Natural Resources For Africa’s Development.’
The Ethiopian Prime Minister in a keynote address, listed corruption, inefficiency of State Institutions, under-performing private sector and natural resources as the ills that have been identified as affecting our continent.
Personally, I believe that there is too much talking going on and not enough ‘doing’. We have been identifying these ills for the past decade and although there has been some improvement, we still have a long way to go in properly harnessing the abundant natural resource on this continent for its good and development. What do you think? Do you endorse more forums and conferences or should they make it stop already? Let us know in the comments section below.