The immediate former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has advised African leaders to look beyond seeking foreign aid, noting that they need to advance their core interests and values.
Fayemi who stated this while speaking at the annual conference of the Society for International Relations Awareness, expressed the need by the African leadership to also as a matter of necessity, expunge the development aid framework from its thinking and embrace the audacity in defending the continent’s rights and interests in global affairs that has eluded it for too long.
While noting that: “Leadership audacity was at the heart of the launching of the pan-African project,” the former governor described as demeaning a situation where African leaders see powers from the grounds of development aid and support alone.
According to him, audacity served us well in the struggle for independence and decolonization, reminding us that President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana used to tell African leaders that we should neither face the East nor West, we should always face forward.
Fayemi said, “To rise to the challenge of the times, Africa must organise itself to develop and deploy the necessary strategic plans, policy packages and leadership resources that are fit for the era of rapid and complex change.
“It is this task of policy and leadership advancement that must be addressed as an urgent necessity if Africa is to play its rightful role in the ongoing dynamic of change in global order.”
Also speaking at the annual conference with the theme: ‘Africa in the turbulence of a world in search of direction’, the Chairman, Owei Lakemfa, advised President Bola Tinubu and other African leaders to engage career diplomats to proffer solutions to current conflicts being faced on the continent.
He, however, urged African leaders to define their interests, move the continent forward, and engage professional diplomats.
“Beyond these conflicts, we are confronted with a world in which the richest 10 per cent own 52 per cent of all income while the poorest 52 per cent get just 8.5 per cent.
“We have all ignored the reasons why the International Labour Organisation was established in 1919. The preamble proclaims that the ILO was set up because: ‘universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice’. It added that conditions ‘exist which involve such injustice, hardship and privation to large numbers of people as to produce unrest, such that the peace and harmony of the world are imperilled.”