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Diversifying Africa’s Forces of Economic Growth alongside Agenda 2063 PDF Print E-mail
Development
Written by John Baimba Sesay-CHINA   
Monday, 27 February 2017 11:36

Imagine the words of Anver Versi in ‘Infrastructure-the foundation of prosperity’, thus; the development and growth of any modern economy is inextricably to the state of its infrastructure. “As a general rule”, the author writes, “the more developed and efficient a country’s infrastructure, the higher its national GDP…”-NewAfrican, December 2016.

Africa’s quest for infrastructure growth need not be overemphasized. Africa has had to embrace the rise of new development partners with different models of cooperation. This is especially so in rresponse to the continent’s available growth opportunities.

Like FOCAC-(Forum On China-Africa Cooperation) with the Chinese, TICAD- Tokyo International Conference on African Development forum is Japan’s framework of development cooperation with Africa, that was established in 1993, to affirm Japan’s proactive position on development assistance to African nations, writes Kazuyoshi Aoki, in ‘Japan & the TICAD Process’ At the TICAD II ‘African development towards the 21st century’, stated Kazuyoshi Aoki, that the Tokyo agenda for action was launched “with a view to improving development planning and good governance; and conflict prevention…”

During the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development held in (Kenya) in August 2016, first ever in Africa since it was formed, Japan committed herself to mobilize $30 billion for Africa’s infrastructure, health care and security, according to Africa Renewal December 2016-March 2017. And at the said meeting, three areas for Africa’s growth were reportedly considered; economic diversification and industrialization; ensuring a resilient health sector, and social stability.
$10billion from the announced $30billion, writes Africa Renewal December 2016-March 2017, is to be “injected into a three-year Africa Infrastructure Plan targeting projects in education, energy, urban transport (roads and ports), health, agriculture and others…” In response, South Africa’s Zuma called for Japanese investments “to be structured in a way that all African countries are able to benefit, particularly when it comes to bigger projects.”

The African Union has come up Agenda 2063– a program reflecting the continent’s solutions to her challenges. In brief it outlines the type of Africa the world should see in the next fifty years, particularly in utilizing the continent’s resources for the benefit of its people. However, Agenda 2063 will not happen spontaneously, but one that “will require conscious and deliberate efforts to nurture a transformative leadership that will drive the agenda and defend Africa’s interests.”

Africa has huge untapped resources, providing great potential for her to push towards fast and sustainable growth path and in achieving Agenda 2063. For instance, countries in the MRU sub regional body are notable of possessing enormous wealth of untouched resources and reserves of mineral resources such as bauxite; iron ore, gold and diamond, phosphates and other mineral deposits.

Peter Drysdale and Luke Hurst, ANU submitted in a work, titled ‘Regional prospects in Africa's mining sector’ that the huge lift in terms of trade of resource exporters in the past decade “has opened new opportunities for Africa, as it has for Australia at a very different stage of development. Neither continent could hope to take advantage of these opportunities without the help of foreign investment.”

Self-reliance, by way of the continent financing its own development is crucial for our growth trajectory but not in the short term. Given the continent’s resource rich potentials, it should continue to shape her needs along those commitments made by nations like Japan (ICAD) and even China-within the FOCAC framework, amongst other development partners.

As agreed at the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development, economic diversification and industrialization; ensuring a resilient health sector and social stability are vital if the continent must come to terms with the Agenda 2063.

The Johannesburg (South Africa) 2015 FOCAC Summit ended with an impressive financial assistance package of $ 60 billion, announced by President Xi. Of the said amount, $35 billion would be in preferential loans and export credit lines, $5 billion in grants, $15 billion for Capital for the China-Africa Development Fund and $5 billion for loans to develop African Small and Medium enterprises. (Source: FOCAC 2015: Consolidating China-Africa Relations – Analysis)

The continent should work assiduously in utilizing the ten mutual projects in various sectors, announced in South Africa in 2015, such as industrialization, agricultural innovation, infrastructure, financial services, green development, and trade and investment facilitation.

The forces driving the continent’s economic growth should be diversified, eventually giving us the Africa we need in 2063!

 

Editorial

2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul

 

The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in  Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of  the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th  IPRA conference in Turkey,  at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th  IPRA  conference in Istanbul  to serve a second term of two years.

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In Sierra Leone, the notion of corporate social responsibility has always been associated with the private sector. No wonder some people see the active involvement of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) in corporate social activities as strange, and many have opined that a tax collecting body should not be engaged in corporate social responsibility activities.

However, the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on corporate image is immense, even for tax collecting bodies. The perception that tax collectors are monsters vigorously bent on collecting people's earnings with no care for the environment or the vulnerable in the community they operate is evolving. Indeed, many revenue authorities in Africa are today socially responsible.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) in an article in its website argues that "the nature of Revenue Collectors' mandate makes them the hill of the nation such that whatever they do is mirrored and echoed by many".

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Media News

44 Journalists in Beijing for China Development Studies and Media Exchange

The 4th session of the China Africa Press Center (CAPC) Program hosted by the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA) was officially launched on Wednesday 1st March 2017 in Beijing, China. This year’s event is running simultaneously with the China South Asia Center 2017 program. Both programs brought together forty-four journalists from Africa and South Asia.

The program you will give journalists the opportunity to cover major domestic and international events in China such as the upcoming Two Sessions, i.e, the 5th Session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) and the 5th Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese

People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) (similar to Parliamentary sessions in many countries) in March, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May and the 9th BRICS Summit in Autumn this year.

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Commentary

Dr. David Tam-Baryoh: A New Broom in Sierra Leone Politics

Dr. David Tam-Baryoh is a household name in Sierra Leone, mostly because of his“Good Governance” popular radio programme called monologue. In fact the programme has become sopopular that most people prefer to call the presenter “Mr. Monologue”. Recently Mr. Monologue said in two or three of his programmes that he would be going intopolitics. It looked like a joke the first time he said it. But after saying it over threeor four times it is no longer a joke.

So Dr. David Tam-Baryoh is going into politics in 2018. Those who are very closeto him will tell you that this is a fact. The Doctor has made up his mind. Afterdiscussing and editing serious national issues on newspaper pages and on the airwaves for almost twenty five years, hehas decided that he cannot achieve much for the people behind the microphone and the pen. He now wants toengage into something that will make a direct impact on the lives of Sierra Leoneans.

And the Doctor thinks politics is the best way to do this, if we look at politics as“the authoritative allocation of scarce resources within a nation state.” He wants tobe part of the allocation of Sierra Leone’s scarce resources.

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View Point

Precious Minerals, Public Trust and Government’s Openness

By late 2001, the Anti Corruption Commission arrested then Sierra Leone's  transport and communications minister, together with his wife, “for involvement in illegal diamond mining” in Kenema district.  Large quantum of illicit diamonds had been found in their possession, according to a BBC report at the time.

With some diamonds said to have been smuggled out of the country by the minister, the incident happened at a time when the rebel war was raging and the key perpetrators- the RUF were also seriously involved in illicit mining and smuggling. The minister was later jailed in 2003 for two years for illegal possession of diamonds.

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News - Press Release

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The Legal Aid Board’s Alternative Dispute Resolution on Tuesday, 7 March 2017 resolved a long standing dispute in respect of a property on Newcastle Street, in Kissy, Freetown between one Mr. Solomon Samba Mansaray and his seventy-seven year old elder sister Madam Marian Kamara who is in the country on holiday from the United States of America.

The two who had not been on speaking terms were reconciled. Both promised to work together in the interest of peace in the family. In this vein, Madam Marian Kamara agreed to cancel a U$ 400 debt owed by Mr. Mansaray. 

While the tension between the two had been lingering several years,Mr. Mansaray decided to report the matter to the Board in Freetown when he got information that Madam Marian Kamara was planning to sell theproperty.   The owner of the property who is the sister of both parties had died over a decade ago without leaving a will.

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Society -Local News

Njala demonstration stretches LAB to the limit

The Legal Aid Board office in Freetown was stretched to the limit following the storming of the office by desperate students ofthe Njala University seeking the intervention of the Board to secure the release of their colleagues who had been arrested and held in police cells around the city.

On a normal weekday, you would expect at least forty people crammed in the Freetown office to seek the services of the Board. The situation on Thursday, March 23 was characterized by mild chaos as too many students wanted to visit the office to provide updates on students arrested by the police.

The team of Legal Aid Board staff comprising Bankole Morgan and Anthony Karim Kamara negotiated the release of five of the six students detained at the Central Police Station. One was not released because of an alleged inflammatory statement to bring the city on its knees.

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Development

U.S. Africa Command Launches a 33-Nation Maritime Exercise: Sierra Leone Maritime “Full Speed Ahead”

During March 23-31, the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) issponsoring “Obangame Express”, an in-port Command Post exerciseand at-sea maritime exercise designed to enhance maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.The exercise includes 33 partner nations, as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). 

The exercise is designed to improve cooperation andinformation sharing, and to refine tactics, techniques and procedures among participating nations.

The “Obangame Express”exercise will be based on realistic modern-day scenarios such as piracy, illegal fishing and hijacking.  During the exercise,Maritime Operations Centers (MOCs) will be challenged to recognize illicit acts and share trackinginformation with other MOCs throughout the region.

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Politics

Ansumana Usman Koroma Urges Sierra Leoneans To Support the Registration Process

The winner of the Pride of Australia Award, Ansumana Usman Koroma popularly known as AUK has called on all Sierra Leoneans within and outside Sierra Leone to support and fully participate in both the ongoing voter registration that has started March 20 to end April 19 2017 and the forthcoming nationwide civil registration process slated April 24 to June 11 2017.

AUK who is a Political and Policy Analyst working in Australia said the mass registration of every citizen is a very important process in the development agenda of the country. He therefore appealed to all Sierra Leoneans to put politics aside and understand that the process would help government consolidate citizens’ data and enhance effective service delivery and improve monitoring of government programmes and policies.

He stressed that the national civil registration authority is created to promote a greater sense of nationalism and common identity.

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