President Paul Kagame’s statement on Tuesday while officially opening the Ombudsmen and anti-corruption officials conference, that Africa must embrace good governance that promotes accountability if it is to attract more business and move forward in its on-going transformation, should serve as an inspiration.
The President is dead right to say graft, “renders doing business very costly and leaves our continent globally uncompetitive.”
It’s true that the continent has abundant resources, but sadly, Africans are still stuck in poverty.
One reason Africans wallow in poverty is because the leaders who are supposed to be the guardians or custodians of their resources are the very people who abuse or mismanage them.
A reason for us all to take an active interest in demanding accountability every second of the way from leaders who are in charge of public funds.
Fighting graft to attract more investment is a way of ensuring that the livelihoods of Africans are uplifted, moreover this is the only way of gradually weaning ourselves off donor dependency.
This would be Africa reaching that sure stage of maturity, re-thinking an exit strategy out of donor dependency.
However, an alternative agenda to donor or aid dependency requires resoluteness in dealing with available resources to the benefit of citizens, something that cannot be done without fighting graft.
Unless those in power realize that the billions lost to graft each year, resulting in diminishing investor confidence, will leave us poor and helpless in perpetuity, at the whims of other people’s agendas.
There is urgent need for drastic change of attitude, not just on the part of the leaders but the citizens too, who have to unite to fight graft, as it constitutes the remaining stumbling block between us and prosperity.