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Africa needs right leadership, synergy to develop, say Farounbi, scholars

By Rotimi Agboluaje, Ibadan
22 August 2021   |   4:05 am
Leaders of thoughts, eminent Nigerians and scholars have emphasised the need for Africa to collaborate and have right leadership, to enable the continent to move forward and attain development.

Leaders of thoughts, eminent Nigerians and scholars have emphasised the need for Africa to collaborate and have right leadership, to enable the continent to move forward and attain development.

The leaders included a former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr. Yemi Farounbi, the Director-General of Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Mr. Seye Oyeleye, renowned scholar, Prof. Ademola Araoye and Dr. Tunde Adegbola, among others.

They said this at the public presentation of a new book entitled: “The Ghettos of Pan-Africanism” written by Professor Ademola Araoye.

The event, which held at the Tunde Odunlade Arts and Culture Connexions, Bodija, Ibadan at the weekend, was under the Chairmanship of Oloye Lekan Alabi.

Farounbi said what Africa needs is strong leaders that can help develop the people and resources. 

The elder statesman urged the leaders to harness the abundant human and natural resources to enable the continent compete favourably with global economies, and that Africa must not be a dumping ground for advanced countries.

In his contribution, Oyeleye said Africa must develop itself out of the colonial mentality, which has boxed the regions into adopting colonial mindset.

The DG also called for synergy among African leaders in breaking barriers that limit them, and build up more on things that promote them and core African values.

The book reviewer, Professor Tunde Adegbola, a human language technologist, said the author played up two words: “ghettos” and “Pan-Africanism” to portray a situation, where despite the present not-too-good condition of Africa, past Pan-Africanists’ efforts should stir up the spirit to bring out the real African identity to attain its place in the comity of nations.

He said: “… Pan-Africanism is the effort of Africans to unify to present the unique personhood of African thought that through it, we can realise the kind of African Renaissance in which Africa takes its rightful place in the world.

“Talking about ghettos of Pan-Africanism, therefore, is expressing a frustration in the fact that this effort at Africa unifying itself, presenting the unique essence of African personhood has been a still-born.

“There have been very many false starts, many attempts that have not yielded positive results, and what the author has done by virtue of his experience as someone who has worked very deeply in Africa, in arena where he has had access to heads of states of Africa, access to policymakers and people at the base, was to synthesise all these experiences and use them to express what he sees as the possibility of that Pan-Africanism.”

The author, Prof Ademola Araoye disclosed that he wrote the book to put together his wealth of experience in his career all across Africa to portray the need for African leaders to work together to achieve a focus together.

“The book is to sensitise Africa to the need to rise to the challenges of its era, which is a realisation that the African state as presently constituted cannot compete.

“The only way to be completely competitive is to consolidate your what I call a fictive solventis of African states with one viable sovereign entity that can turn its own against what I call the hawks and the sharks,” he said.

The author identified the sit-tight syndrome of the political class as a challenge facing the continent, saying many of them have been in power for too long and keep recycling themselves without noticeable impact on the people.

Chairman of Afenifere Renewal Group, Hon. Wale Oshun, who said he did not believe in Pan-Africanism as a struggle, however, called on African leaders to do things that would unify various countries, rather than looking forward to a single African country under a leadership.

He said: “I do not believe in Pan-Africanism. You need to have clear dreams that must focus only on the concept of unity, and that development is not something that you grow out of unifying a large continent of multiple and diverse backgrounds and all that, so that a small nationality with the right leadership and with the right determination will develop.”

Other dignitaries in attendance included the Secretary-General of Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Dr. Kunle Olajide, Chief Tunde Kelani, Chief Ayo Afolabi, Dr. Candy Bon and Professor Omololu Soyombo, who chaired panel discussions on the book, among other dignitaries.

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