‘Lack of Expertise Begets Under-Development’

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK The missing link in Africa’s underdevelopment is the lack of human capacity and expertise and time is long overdue for Africans to do things for themselves economically. Hence Namibians should strive towards this goal in order to accomplish the country’s developmental goal of Vision 2030. Prime Minister Nahas Angula said this after attending a weeklong World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa that was held in Cape Town, South Africa. Over 700 participants at the World Economic Forum on Africa, under the theme “Going for Growth”, identified priorities for sustaining recent unprecedented growth. They also assessed new opportunities and addressed challenges in order to boost the physical and social infrastructure needed to sustain the resurgence of Africa. Discussions also focussed on the impact of China and India and the commodity price boom underpinning much of Africa’s growth. Representing Namibia at this significant event last week, the Prime Minister said what is missing in Africa’s development is positive economic growth from within the continent itself. “We need to do things for ourselves and make our contribution to the economy,” said the Premier in a brief interview with New Era over the weekend. He noted that emphasis at the forum was placed on making progress economically and move with the ever-changing times in order to meet immediate demands and socio-economic challenges. “We need human capacity to manage our economy,” he said, adding that this topic was firmly on the agenda during the weeklong forum. At the same occasion, participants also highlighted the challenges of how China – Africa’s third largest trading partner – is impacting on Africa. Discussions also centred on how to revamp Africa’s investment climate and how to promote African brands, or Africa as a brand, to the outside world. Time has come for Africa to enhance its economic capacity, not only through human resources and expertise, but also by looking at the growing challenges of HIV/Aids, poverty, underdevelopment and joblessness, said Angula. Selected commitments by the World Economic Forum include launching a public-private partnership to strengthen public healthcare systems, while the African Development Bank has committed to be the main facilitator of pan-African infrastructure projects, thus filling a key role that is still lacking today. The Energy Poverty Task Force made a commitment to electrify 11 000 households in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Lesotho by 2008.