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Africa needs visionary, forward-looking leaders – Ex-Ghanaian president

Former Ghanaian President, John Dramani Mahama, has said Africa requires leaders who are thinking years ahead and not short-sighted leaders to realise the potential of…

Former Ghanaian President, John Dramani Mahama, has said Africa requires leaders who are thinking years ahead and not short-sighted leaders to realise the potential of the continent.

He spoke just as a former president of Botswana, Lt. General Seretse Khama Lan Khama, blamed politicians for instability in Africa.

They spoke in Lagos at the weekend during the 2024 African Heritage Awards organised by Heritage Times.

Mahama who was conferred with the African Advancement for Exemplary Leadership said leaders must be accountable to the people.

He said to shape Africa’s path to prosperity, governments in African countries must reduce their involvement in the management of the economy, adding that it should be the business of the private sector to drive economic growth.

He advised African governments to adopt home-grown solutions in solving internal problems, adding that African leaders must support innovation and believe in the local solutions put forward by the entrepreneurs.

Former Botswana president said, “I have been a politician myself and I know for a fact that a lot of our problems and instability are caused by some politicians. However, my observation is that those politicians who fail to put the interests and needs of their people first are a cause for backwards.”

“This then results in power hungry, self-serving individuals taking control of our countries. We need leaders who are humble enough to understand that their role is simply to be of service to their people.”

According to him, it is high time Africa showcased her brilliance because the continent has the most vibrant population.

“There is no continent that can match the African people and for that we are very proud. I’m very much aware that some of the brilliant people we have in here have not had it easy as well but have persevered to make a mark in their undertakings.

“Therefore, let me urge all of you to use your stories to inspire others and to ignite positive change. Social media has enabled many of us to be able to reach millions of people worldwide and therefore we have no excuse but to spread our impactful stories. The media has for the longest time peddled only a negative narrative about the African continent and we all have a responsibility to change that.”

Chairman of Heritage Times, organisers of the award, Mr. Moses Siasia lamented that African heritage is threatened by forces of globalization, saying Africa must invest in preservation and promotion of its heritage.

“Preserving our African heritage is not merely a matter of nostalgia or sentimentality; it is a duty we owe to future generations. Our heritage is our identity, rooted in the land and woven into the fabric of our societies. It is the stories of our ancestors, the wisdom of our elders, and the aspirations of our youth. It is the rhythm of our music, the taste of our cuisine, and the colors of our art. It is the resilience of our people in the face of adversity, the ingenuity of our innovators, and the warmth of our hospitality,” he said.

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