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Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, Senyo Hosi has detailed reasons Africa has been unable to achieve its vision of “rising” like other continents.
He said, African countries are rising at a snail pace as a result of lack of industrialization which has increased the rate of unemployment on the continent.
Speaking on the topic, “Africa Rising - Lacing Politics, Industry and True Partnership for Sustainable Development” at the 2018 African Development & Investment Convention (ADIC) summit at Zurich in Switzerland, Mr. Hosi said, Africa is endowed with many natural resources yet has failed to compete with countries on other continents due to lack of innovation.
He explains, though Africans are intelligent when it comes to theory, they fail at applying the theoretical knowledge which is critical to industrialization and the development of the continent.
“We have arable land but Africa is still feeling insecure. To change this narrative, Africa must practically industrialize. We have about eleven countries underperforming as far as employment is concern. This brings me to one conclusion that Africa is rising but not with its people,” Mr. Hosi stressed.
He maintains, Africa needs to develop its human resource for the effective exploitation of the many natural resources so as to drive sustainable development because, “Africa cannot rise without its people, else its rise will be unsustainable and a rise in absentia”.
The African youth, according to Senyo Hosi, are gradually becoming unproductive despite the availability of these natural resources owing to the excessive exposure to the internet and social media.
He said, “We have 12 million of our youth joining the workforce each year. The maintenance of the status quo is a catastrophe in waiting. Social media and the internet have exposed our youth to the definition of a better world and a better lifestyle…They sit in the midst of so much resources and yet still they cannot realized their own aspirations. It is quite a weird situation.”
He also highlighted the primitive models being used by Africa economies as one of the reasons the continent is not rising as this model does not drive transformation.
Mr. Hosi strongly believes it is time Africa “thinks outside the box”, change this “narrative” and turn it fortunes around through agriculture and industrialization.
“It must optimize the value of its natural resources and agrarian output. It must structurally transform its economies from what I’ll call a primitive model to one which is secondary and tertiary production model. We must think a bit more outside the box,” he reiterates.
Countries on the continent have also been urged by the CBOD boss to cut down on import and be producers of the products they use adding “Africa can’t continue to import crude and petroleum products”.
He used the situation at Nigeria as one of the major problems Africa must address.
“Nigeria is just such a sad situation. I’ll really struggle carrying myself as a Nigerian economist, a Nigerian politician with the situation we have in Nigeria. It’s sad. How can you spend so much exploiting so much crude then exporting like doughnut? There’s something wrong somewhere,” he observed.
He bemoaned the export of expensive natural resources and import of petty items that can be made on the continent by adding value to these resources and making larger profit out of them.
“We cannot continue to export copper and import electrical cables. We cannot continue exporting coffee and import starbucks, we can’t continue exporting cocoa and importing chocolate. We should be thinking and knowing that we should be better than that,” Senyo Hosi cautioned.
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