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Invest in your people - Kufuor urges African leaders

 

Accra, Aug 21, GNA - Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, on Monday called on African governments to use state resources to invest in their citizens in order for them to attain the commanding heights to grow their economies.

     "We need this in this era of advancement in Information Communication Technology, where information is assessed at the click of knob, Africa can no longer continue to lag behind the rest of the world," he said.

     A statement signed by Frank Agyekum, the Former President’s spokesperson and special aide, said Mr Kufuor was speaking as Chairman of the IX Leon Sullivan Summit, which opened at the Sipopo International Conference Centre in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, under the theme "Africa Rising”.

     Former President Kufuor said: "Of all the continents, Africa alone is unable to feed itself largely because both the agricultural and technological revolutions which propelled others forward passed us by" and therefore called for innovative measures to overturn this.

     He said the Africa Union through the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), had shown how by pooling resources together, Africans could create value, increase wealth and become more competitive in this era of globalization.

     The NEPAD blueprint, he said, called for partnerships among Africans and with the outside world on a 'win-win’ basis in an effort to make up for the lack of technological development on the continent through years of neglect and subjugation.

    "Africa can only benefit from such partnerships if it empowered its people with the cutting edge skills that will enable them to stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world," he added.

    Former President Kufuor urged the governments to continue on the path of constitutionalism, saying good governance should be their hallmark while they upheld rule of law and human rights of their people.

    "Wherever possible, opportunities must be made to ensure free education for all school-going children, to at least the secondary level; healthcare must be affordable, easily and readily accessible and policies such as National Health Insurance Schemes should be instituted as safeguard for their citizenry,” he noted.

     "Other social safety nets such as Special provision for the indigent should be established to support the poor and those handicapped," he told the gathering.

     The summit was opened by the Equatorial Guinean President Obiang Nguema Mbasago, and was attended by President Yayi Boni of Benin and Chairman of the African Union, President Ernest Bailey Koromah of Sierra Leone, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Executive Secretary of the African- Caribbean - Pacific Organization, among others.

     There were also delegations from 26 African countries, about 150 African-Americans and people of African descent in the Diaspora at the five-day meeting.

     Former President Kufuor, who arrived in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on Saturday, is expected back home on Thursday, 23rd August, 2012.

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