Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has stated that for African countries to attain desired prosperous future, they must focus on homegrown development.
The minister, who was speaking to an audience on the topic: “New Global Partnerships For Africa’s Development: Creating our Desired Future Together,” at the Harvard Kennedy School in the USA at the weekend, noted that the right choice is for African citizens and the leaders to focus on self-development, stressing that, just as it is with individuals, no nation would want to make another great at its own expense through partnership.
He said: “Nobody is going to do Africa any favour and the current generation of Africa’s youths and leaders must quickly banish what I call the ‘Foreign Investor’ syndrome.
“Nobody will help African nations fulfil their individual promises except the people of those nations by the choices they make. We, the people of Africa must change our mindset from users to makers. We must make things that others can and want to use.
“We have enough resources in copper to dominate technology, enough cassava to replace corn starch with cassava starch, enough cocoa to make our own chocolate, enough nickel iron ore to build our own steel plants and 1.2 Billion people who guarantee a market for what we make and a shared prosperity for as many.”
Admitting that the road to prosperity will be very difficult, demanding and sometimes littered with failure, Fashola said that was the story of those societies whose relationship with Africa was the subject of this discussion at the event.
“It is the story of different choices, of reforming education system, of replacing spiritualism with self-confidence, and a belief in the enduring and indomitable spirit and capacity of the African person. It is a choice that will require us to own our own identities as we have seen the Chinese and Emiratis do recently.
Fashola also said that the choices being made by President Buhari’s administration are focused on self-grown economy and are already yielding the desired results. He also disclosed that Nigeria’s total import bills for wheat, sugar, rice, fish, and milk have reduced from $2.1billion in 2015 to $595Million in 2018.
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