All those aspiring for political power in Africa and the world over, do so with the sole objective to better the lot of their people. When they win elections, every leader is able to do so much during his or her reign. But soon after leaving office, they do realize that they have behind them unfinished assignments needed to get the people out of poverty and deprivation. They would wish their nations to rub shoulders with the best nations of The world.

Just like the presidents of developed nations of Europe and the United States of America, former presidents of Ghana, Nigeria and other countries such as Presidents Rawlings, Kufuor and General Obasanjo, who all had two terms in leadership in their times have refused to retire from active work to better the lot of their people and Africans generally. In view of the experiences they have gathered over the years, they are invited regularly to meetings and conferences of the United Nation, European Union, Africa Union and the Economic Community of West Africa [ECOWAS] to share their experiences on education, health, agriculture and developments generally.

Their involvement in the affairs of the continent is quite important because Africa, a continent endowed with immense natural and human resources as well as great cultural, ecological and economic diversity, remains underdeveloped. Most African nations suffer from military and civilian dictatorships, corruption, civil unrest and war, underdevelopment and deep poverty. The majority of the countries classified by the UN as least developed are in Africa. Numerous development strategies have failed to yield the expected results.

Although some believe that the continent is doomed to perpetual poverty and economic slavery, Africa has immense potential. We can come out of our over reliance on our economic and colonial masters in all our areas of development. We can stop the exodus of our youth to Europe through the Sahara Desert to perform menial jobs as slaves in modern times. We can do so through the positive use of our natural and human resources.

The continent is generally agricultural yet the people of the continent most of who are young, live on imported food especially rice on which we spend millions of dollars. Former presidents Obasanjo and Kufuor have all called for huge investment of agriculture and the establishment of agro based industries. They began these policies in their times and have since refused to relax on it. This idea to make use of our youth to till the land has been accepted by many governments in Africa. Ghana for example under Nana Akufo Addo, has initiated a policy to expand agricultural base in Ghana through one village one dam policy and agriculture for job program. The programs are geared towards wooing the youth to get involved seriously in agriculture.

For this program to succeed the curriculum of our schools must be geared towards providing students with the love for agriculture. The above programs are in tandem with the objectives of the two leaders. Apart from food production another thing that is needed to help the orderly growth and stability of the continent is the training of our youth with entrepreneurial skills after which the successful ones would be provided with startup capitals. The current government of Ghana is trying its hands on this area of development. This is also part of the objectives of the two former leaders.

This way the current and coming generations would be productive and get involved in national development through productive means. When this succeeds in Ghana it would surely be copied by other African countries who do travel to Ghana to compare notes with us. The pieces of advice being offered by the former presidents and the actions taken by some governments in Africa are so important for two reasons.

Africa would be able to produce and live on its own agricultural products. When we succeed in pushing through our industrial policies, Africa would be able to add value to her agricultural produce needed to cut down on our heavy dependence on imported agricultural and imported goods. When these policies succeed the African continent would succeed in reducing the number of youth and children who are trafficked to Europe through the Sahara Desert. Those of our youth would indeed after acquiring knowledge , be useful to themselves in agriculture and industrial development of the nation.

By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai


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