The President Mahammadu Buhari has charged African Union and stakeholders in the development of Africa to vigorously pursue the processes of surmounting the challenges posed by corruption and internal conflict for a regionally integrated Africa as envisaged in the next 60 years.
President Buhari, who spoke at Africa’s Presidential roundtable tagged “the next sixty years in Africa: Looking for Wins” held at Intare Conference Arena, in the Rwandan city of Kagali, identified corruption and internal conflicts within the African region as the major challenges that should be tackled in a bid to actualize the sixty-year dream of a regionally integrated Africa.
President Buhari identified knowledge economy, artificial intelligence and delivery of ideas as well as serene policy environment as answers to Africa’s quest for development.
President Buhari was represented at the occasion by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Jusitce, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
“If we are talking of having a road network project infrastructure for example passing through Nigeria, Chad and perhaps down to Southern Sudan, a project which may take two to three years to complete may end up taking up to 15 years to complete arising from the conflicts making access and penetration to projects areas impossible,” the President said.
In a statement issued by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Media Assistant to Malami, on Monday, quoted Buhari as saying: “To my mind, I think there are major issues that constitute hindrance to Africa’s integration despite having in place a policy environment that will allow integration in Africa.
“I find the issue of corruption and prevailing conflict as serious set-back militating against the development and integration of Africa. Conflict and corruption within the region hinder policy environment and delivery of ideas”.
President Buhari said a project of $1bn would at the end of the day consume much more resources due to multiplicity of chain of corruption with the resulant effect of poor quality work.
“What are we doing to address these challenges? I think these are the major components that constitute impediment to the realization of issues related to the delivery of ideas, knowledge economy couple with infrastructural development. We must never underrate the negative effects of corruption and the prevailing conflict situation that are prevalent within Africa,” he said.
Speaking on the same issues, the Chairman of African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat said although there is no conflict between sovereign African states, internal wrangling within the region characterized by political unrest, insecurity, insurgencies and militancy must be addressed in order to “silence the gun” in the region.
Mahamat decried that over $50b were embezzled in Africa due to corrupt practices, the amount which, he said, was much bigger than combined international aids that the African continent received across the globe. He, therefore, charge Africans to have vision, commitment and conviction for the region will prosper to a greater level.
Nation Media Group (NMG) launched the Kusi Ideas Festival as of its 60th anniversary celebrations, and to begin building a “pan-African ideas transaction market” to capitalize on the opportunities and innovations available to Africa to help her win the 21st Century.