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Africa's failure blamed on bad governance

Africa's failure blamed on bad governance

Tue, 11 Mar 2008 Source: GNA

Kumasi, March 11, GNA - Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, President of ECOWAS Commission (EC), has affirmed that Africa's failure to manage its own affairs economically is due to bad governance.

This, he said, manifested itself in the phenomenon of military dictatorship and autocratic regimes.

Dr Ibn Chambas was speaking at a lecture in Kumasi organised by the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on Monday.

The occasion was also used to launch the Focus FM, a local radio station located on the KNUST campus.

Speaking on the theme: "Managing Our Own Affairs, the African Dilemma and the future's Promise," Dr Chambas noted that military regimes often regarded their security as priority over that of the entire citizenry, adding that, in many cases, they lacked the foresight to even tag a rudimentary infrastructure based for sustainable development.

Accountable government, he said, was the incubator of human security, stating that empirical data from conflict zones in West Africa spoke unequivocally to the correlation between bad governance and instability.

The manifestation of bad governance, he stressed, included government policies that endangered an unfavourable economic and political climate and discouraged investment in the ECOWAS region.

Dr Chambas mentioned corruption and bureaucratic systems as impervious to scrutiny and not answerable to the public.

He bemoaned that even in societies that were normally at peace, the legacy of bad governance manifests itself in the form of collapsed infrastructure, youth unemployment and marginalization, not to mention criminality and proliferation of millions of illegal small arms and weapons.

Currently, West Africa is experiencing the fastest population growth in the world, he noted and called for a rapid growth of its economy, at least at seven percent, in order to address the pervasive and excruciating poverty in the region.

Dr Chambas stated that Africa was lagging behind the other continents in terms of human development and on the world market with Asia and the others and urged rapid measures to reverse the trend to enable the continent achieve its millennium development goals by halving poverty by 2015.

The SRC president of KNUST, Mr Ebenezer Asumani, said the lecture would deepen students' patriotism and give them a sense of responsibility and allegiance to their motherland.

Source: GNA