Saturday, 30th September 2023

Mo Ibrahim Foundation: Osinbajo’s quest for Africa’s interest on global arena

Africa’s place in economic relations and global politics has continued to attract attention beyond the shores of the continent.

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. PIX: VON

Africa’s place in economic relations and global politics has continued to attract attention beyond the shores of the continent.

Recently, in Nairobi, Kenya, prominent African political and business leaders, civil society organisations, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa’s international partners gathered to brainstorm on issues vital to Africa’s interest on the global scene.

The event tagged, “ Ibrahim Governance Weekend (IGW), came under the aegis of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

During the three-day event, in which Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, and President William Ruto of Kenya featured conspicuously, discussions focused on: “Global Africa.’’

At the forum, Africa’s potential and deliverables in a world confronted by multifaceted challenges such as climate change, pandemics, conflicts, under stress global financial architecture were put in the front burner.

Speaking at the event on the theme “Africa in the World: Multiple Assets’’, Osinbajo it was imperative for Africa to develop an education curriculum that is relevant to the dynamics of a changing world.

The vice-president participated in the session alongside Donald Kaberuka, AU Special Envoy and former President of African Development Bank and Hafou Toure, Deputy Director of Cabinet for the Minister in charge of promoting Small and Medium Enterprises in Côte d’Ivoire.

Osinbajo said the creative industry remained one area that African countries can tap into to boost job and wealth creation without much intervention from government.

“The creative industry in Africa was a phenomenon that many would say happened without government.

“I think that in many ways what is important is to see how the creative industry can be supported.

“It is evident that there is a huge amount of talent and it’s evident also that the regulatory environment favours it because there are no impediments.

“One would say that, as much as possible, what we should seek to do is to see how we can expand that space and to support with credit where that is possible and infrastructure that will be helpful,’’ he said.

He said that in Nigeria, the National Theatre as an entertainment hub had shown great promise in supporting the industry.

He said there was the need to strike a balance between government’s intervention in the industry and the desire to allow it to function on its own without government’s meddling.

“I would say that we should be cautious in not interfering too much; at the same time, we need to provide infrastructure, we need to provide credit with such an exposure that they may need”, he said.

According to him, there is need to have a clarity of vision on where Africa is headed in terms of education.

“So understanding what such of educational programmes we need to put in place and even the vision for that programme you have to understand that we are dealing with several demographics.

“We are in a new place where the world has changed so dramatically and particularly in the past 10 years; where we have robotic, artificial intelligence; what sort of education makes sense to create job opportunities today?

“This is the time to think through the educational curriculum.

It is the time to decide how this curriculum will be relevant and would deliver the sort of persons that we want and create the sort of opportunities that we require,’’ he said.

Earlier, Mo Ibrahim, who is also the founder, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said it had become urgent for Africa to adjust to the fast-paced world.

“The world is changing; I think everybody knows that; all the previous assumptions are being broken; we see different powers rising; tensions, camps being formed, where exactly is Africa’s place.