OPPORTUNITY COST AND COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS: RELEVANCE TO AFRICA

Every choice individuals make involves an opportunity cost and this extends to choices made by Governments at a macro level, industrialists, Stakeholders, environmentalists, technocrats, technologists, academia and NGOs just to mention a few in Africa. Two major decision making processes will be addressed to: opportunity cost and cost benefit analysis.  It has been proven that smart choices made at any level either at the micro level or macro level in an Economy has determined the economic fate of the countries concerned. This is particularly relevant because at the level of the individual, time and earnings are insufficient to satisfy all that an individual wants and desires to consume. At the level of a nation, production inputs necessary to satisfy the goods and services citizens want are scarce. Accordingly, nations as well as individuals have to make difficult decisions regarding the use of scarce resources in the production of goods and services that are demanded. Simply put those Nations that make smart decisions are rewarded economically and those which do not, suffer dire consequences. The truth is choices are necessitated because we as individuals and collectively as communities and nations, always want and desire more relative to the availability of resources to satisfy those wants. This takes us to the realm of Technological Engineering efficiency which dictates that the least possible amount of resources should be used in the production of quality goods and services that are geared toward satisfying fully the wants and needs of customers (Economic Efficiency). When waste is avoided in this case, the remaining resources could be used for the production of extra quality goods and services that will benefit consumers as fully as possible (bottom line in marketing).

Cost Benefit Analysis: Cost-benefit analysis is the exercise of evaluating a planned action by determining what net value it will have for the company. Basically, a cost-benefit analysis finds, quantifies, and adds all the positive factors. These are the benefits. Then it identifies, quantifies, and subtracts all the negatives, the costs. The difference between the two indicates whether the planned action is advisable. The real key to doing a successful cost-benefit analysis is making sure to include all the costs and all the benefits and properly quantify them. It is the fundamental assessment behind virtually every business decision, due to the simple fact that business managers do not want to spend money unless the benefits that derive from the expenditure are expected to exceed the costs. As companies increasingly seek to cut costs and improve productivity, cost-benefit analysis has become a valuable tool for evaluating a wide range of business opportunities, such as major purchases, organizational changes, and expansions. Cost-benefit analysis is a decision support method used to help answer questions that often start with “what if” or “should we.”(Inc.com, 2012).

Opportunity Cost: The concept of opportunity cost is important to all decision-making processes. The opportunity cost of a course of action is the forgone benefit from an alternative action. In order for a benefit to be forgone, the chosen and alternative actions have to be mutually exclusive. This means that one cannot do both actions at the same time. Our lives are made up of choices about mutually exclusive actions, from deciding to go to college instead of working full-time for four years, to choosing between coffee and tea during a quick break. Opportunity cost can be computed in terms of anything – including money, ice cream cones, love, life experience, friendship, and “achievement”. The concept of opportunity cost reflects the scarcity of our resources (bottom line in Economics) – especially time and money. When we integrate opportunity cost into our decision-making, we ensure the most efficient use of our scarce resources (educatorblogwordpress.com, 2008).

It should be noted that the decision making process in both Opportunity Cost and Cost Benefit analysis is not only confined to businesses but also to Technocrats, Technologists, Stakeholders, Policy makers, academiaand Governments in African countries when it comes to making smart choices in National wealth creation and development in the context of scarce resources in the economy.

The question developing countries in Africa should be asking is are they making smart decisions to propel their economies to offer a better living standard for their countrymen or they have failed to live up to expectations?  On the flip side most African countries are potentially rich with their richness coming from a wide range of natural resources encompassing fantastic climatic and weather systems with a few exceptions, minerals, bio-diversity and fertile lands. On record, the tropical rain forests which are located in Least Developed and Developing Countries support the greatest bio-diversity on Earth.Despite these advantages the paradox is that most of the poorest people on earth could be found today in Africa and other Developing Countries. Have African decision makers lived up to expectations? No!

Tough choices facing African countries today!

Food Security: Are African countries doing enough to sustaining food security or not on the continent? Africa for a long time has been dependent on subsistence farming and yet the issue of food security has plagued Africa for decades with one of the worst ones being the severe drought and dire food security situation in the Horn of Africa in 2011. Since it is a matter of making smart choices why can’t African nations adopt a more robust approach to this menace by immediately adopting robust water and soil conservation methodologies by adopting drip irrigation, buried irrigation, spray irrigation and sprinkler irrigation, and using treated water for the cultivation of crops in arid and semi-arid regions? Why do so many countries in Africa destroying the eco-system by cutting trees down for firewood; and why is the population growth rate in Africa so high comparable to other developed countries;  and why is Africa not taking full advantage of Value Addition methodologies which have been adopted by emerging and developed countries.  Further, why is Africa not practicing commercial/mechanized farming that promises to increase crop yields exponentially? R&D is vital to boosting Food security and it should not be shunned by African Policy makers, academia, Industrialist, and elected governments in Africa.  Food security is a life and death issue and Policy makers, technocrats, stakeholders and elected government officials need to have a paradigm shift and make smart decisions to prevent future occurrences of food insecurity on the African continent.

Environmentalism: A balance environment plays a significant role in the socio-economic lives in Africa and African stakeholders should take the necessary steps by protecting the environment by adhering to the tenets of Kyoto Protocol that seeks to reduce/eliminate the threat posed by Global Warming.  The governments need to come up with proactive forestry laws today  that will prevent the  destruction of the vegetation cover in Africa. What is preventing them from doing that today?

Diversification of the Economies of African Countries: Some African countries are contented with their over reliance on primary goods (commodity goods) at the expense of processed goods and services (Value Addition) which are associated with these goods. Take a look at the advantages associated with Value Addition Methodologies: value addition creates jobs and it could be the foundation for the cottage industry in Africa and the developing world, a reliable source for foreign exchange, the enhancement of indigenous technology and specialization, has the potential to reduce unemployment through its inherent “multiplier effect”, export diversification also will ensure that African countries have a more diversified economy (no country in the world will like to place all its eggs in one basket). Further, value addition negates the perishability of primary goods (commodity goods) through processing and finally valued added goods value more on the International market than raw materials. Countries like Thailand, Malaysia and other developmental states which less than half a century  ago were classified as developing countries with most African countries, chalked rapid economic growth rates through the processing of natural resources into higher value added products. Today most of these countries have left African countries in the developing countries classification and are called Emerging Economies.  Further, value addition enhances food security and also offers numerous opportunities for livelihood sustainability. A word of caution, for this process to be successful it has to occur in an atmosphere of transparency, probity, accountability, fairness, morality and integrity. Why should African countries continue to languish in poverty and misery, when they should be placing so much emphasis on Value Addition and diversifying their economies in the process?  Case in point countries like Mauritius and Botswana that have diversified economies are doing so well economically with their GDP rates around $14,000 per capita Income; one of the highest in Africa today. To illustrate the significance of a diversified economy turn your attention to Angola that unfortunately is following a path that’s painfully familiar among African oil producing countries from Equatorial Guinea to Sudan. The pattern is: well connected businessmen and unscrupulous government officials grow impossibly rich and the ruling class uses its wealth and largesse to consolidate its own power. Much of this money is diverted into foreign bank accounts and assets abroad while the overwhelming majority of the population stagnates or even grows poorer. As in other parts of Africa, oil no doubt continues to dominate the economy. It currently accounts for around 90% of all exports in Angola, compared with 77% in Gabon, and 95% in Nigeria.The second stage of the oil curse kicks in at this point. Investment in other industries gets crowded out in part because it is hard for them to provide high enough returns to meet the cost of rising rents and salaries. Oil becomes virtually the only game in town and the benefits for workers is surprisingly limited with many of the more lucrative jobs going to foreign experts (Ofosu-Appiah, 2011) .  This is a decision making process and African Countries need as a matter of priority to make smart decisions to propel their economies in the right direction.

For African countries to be sustainable they need to at least use 2% of their national GDP for R&D. What is preventing African Countries from achieving these vital goals for the sons and daughters in Africa? R&D will improve indigenous technology; it will also create multiple jobs, modernize African countries and increase the award of vital patents to African countries.

Drawbacks associated with corruption, morality, political Instability, coup d’états, tribalism and nepotism on African Economies: No country in Africa can be said to be corruption free. To say the least corruption abounds in Africa. Case in point Nigeria is the oil giant of Africa. It is also one big problem. Nigeria pumped its first barrel of oil in the 1950’s and has since set records for corruption. The government own anti corruption watchdog, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission estimates that between independence in 1960 and 1999, the country’s rulers have stolen $400 billion in oil revenues — equal to all the foreign aid to post colonial Africa during the same period. And while a small elite became filthy rich, its members fought one another for the spoils. In 47 years, Nigeria has suffered a civil war that killed one million people, 30 years of military rule and six coups. Meanwhile two thirds of the country’s 135 million people remain in poverty, a third is illiterate and 40% have no safe drinking water and no electricity. Then there is the environmental cost. More than 1.5 million tons of oil has been spilled over 50 years, and the Niger delta is one of the most polluted places on planet earth. Not surprising, disenchantment with the country’s political leaders run deep emphasized Ofosu-Appiah (2011). African countries should be aware of this menace and its deterrence on economic prosperity. African governments, stakeholders, technocrats, technologist and academia need to operate under an environment of probity, accountability, fairness, good governance, morality and integrity at all times. What is preventing African leaders from being corruption free for the benefit of the entire continent?

University/Professional Education in Africa and the Labor Market: Primarily the University is considered the center of cultural life and cultural progress which are geared towards the maintenance and advancement of learning.Universities therefore have the duty to seek the truth and know the truth. This primary role can be fulfilled by:

§ The provision for the maintenance and diffusion of culture in the community

§ Carrying out research in all branches of learning

Arranging to undertake the education of undergraduate and graduatestudents.

 Lately there has been a profusion of University graduates and professionals in Africa.  While that is a good idea, the situation today is precarious because most of these young graduates cannot find jobs with the reason behind it being the  “mismatch of talents”. Universities have been training these graduates and professionals but unfortunately their skills cannot be used in African contemporary economies because their services/skills are not needed. There is a mismatch between the skills that employers want and the skills and talents graduates/professionals have to offer in exchange.  There is a caveat that has to be acknowledged by stakeholders in AfricanCountries, and that is the skills to be acquired by these University graduates from African countries should be in tune with both contemporary industrial and requisite developmental manpower skill requirements and needs of the country. That is the dynamics in the interplay of demandand supply in the Labor market has to be taken into cognizance in the determination of the quality, quantity, depth and appropriateness ofuniversity and professional education in Developing Nations. Why can’t developing countries train students based on the current needs of the country?  Case in point the emerging shortage of appropriate work skills in African countries have left several University graduates jobless. Jobs may abound but because of lack of appropriate skills these jobs cannot be filled.This is the outcome of a survey undertaken in the last quarter of 2010 involving 1201 organizations in 69 countries globally by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Case in point in a recent survey two-thirds of CEOs believe they are facing a limited supply of skilled candidates despite the high unemployment situationfacing African nations (Wamari, 2011). Further another account indicates that in another development, Peacefmonline reported on June 15, 2011 that 44.8 percent of graduates from the Ghanaian universities, polytechnics and other Tertiary institutions are said to be jobless as indicated by research data. According to Dr. William Baah-Boateng, the conductor of the study and also a labor economist and senior lecturer at the Department of Economics of the University of Ghana, these graduates are believed to be in the age bracket of 22 and 25. As a result of this vacuum, foreign experts are hired to fill these vacant positions in Africa. By making smart decisions by elected governments and academia more jobs will be created and local graduates and professionals could gainfully be used.

These challenges continue to evolve and African countries should step up to the plate to propel their various economies by always making smart economic choices when it comes to opportunity cost and cost benefit analysis for the benefit of their respective countries and the African continent. 

By Emmanuel Botchwey
ebotc@netzero.net

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Vibrant Economy:Is Africa on Track?

Vibrant Economy: Is Africa on Track?

Moses Hategeka

Africa is a home to the fastest growing economies in the world. Between 2001-2010, out of the top 10 fastest growing economies worldwide, six were from Africa. This is mainly attributed to the phenomenal rise of China, India and Brazil. China, India, and Brazil’s rise as global economic power houses, capable of influencing global economic trends, and their subsequent increasing presence in Africa, has birthed competition for Africa’s natural resources. The West can no longer monopolize Africa’s natural resource usage. But how well is the continent positioned to benefit from this competition?

The ongoing oil discoveries in countries such as Uganda, Cameroon, South Sudan and Burkina Fasso has attracted  global companies such as Tullow oil, Heritage, and CNOOC among others, which previously used not to be  present there. They have invested in sectors such as oil and gas, mining, hydro power generation and agriculture among others.

If Africa continues to attract more FDI as it is doing now, the continent will experience increased revenue flows, widened tax base, reduced dependence on foreign aid and overall infrastructural and social development in the next 20 years. African countries should increasingly invest more in road construction, power generation, industrial parks, sound micro and macro-economic policies as well as transformative and visionary leadership. This will continue attracting more investors.

As the millions of investors continue heading to Africa, for investment in various sectors, the continent should massively invest in developing its human resource, to ensure that, it gets human resource capacity, vital for proper utilization of its resources, this calls upon, the African countries to begin overhauling their education systems, which today is theoretical and cramming based learning, to skills oriented and research based learning. Though the continent is richly endowed with various resources, its citizenry lacks knowledge and skills, to use those resources for wealth creation, in my opinion, this is a big challenge, which must be systematically approached and solved.

Transformative and visionary leadership deficiency is a major obstacle to Africa’s development journey. With all the natural resources the continent is endowed with, the continent should be much richer than it is today, if it was not because of the poor leadership on the continent.  Almost all African countries are being led by transactional leaders, who together with their loyalists are mostly interested in wealth accumulation and power retention using their countries resources.

The skyrocketing corruption in Africa is largely due to the lack of political will on the part of leaders to stamp it out as they themselves are its beneficiary. The current misuse of Africa’s resources by leaders is outright stealing with impunity. Take the case of Equatorial Guinea whose leader Theodore Nguema  is worth more than $800 million in addition to owning expensive property in different capitals in the world but whose subjects are living on less than $1 a day. DRC also loses more than $700 million annually to corruption. According to the World Bank reports Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Gabon and others, are also lose millions of USA dollars to corruption. Unless corruption is practically firmly dealt with, Africa will continually lag behind other continents in terms of development.

Africa still lags behind other continents in terms of technological inventions and innovations. It doesn’t have the capacity to fully exploit its resources (such as oil, uranium) hence surrendering this to developed and emerging countries who ship them to their home countries in raw form and sell finished products back to Africa at a high cost, this practice is facilitating the creation of jobs in already developed and emerging countries and making the continent more poorer.

The cost of doing business in Africa is still relatively high due to undeveloped infrastructures such as poor roads, less electricity and limited Railways connectivity. This is limiting some investors to come and invest in Africa

Power generation on the continent is still very low to effectively stimulate industrial development. Majority of the African countries are producing less than 100 kWh power per capita. It is only South Africa that is producing significant power to stimulate industrial development. African countries should consider pooling resources together to develop a large pool of hydro-power in DR Congo and Ethiopia for the benefit of the whole continent. They should also do the same, to develop other energy sources such as oil and gas, solar, geo thermal and nuclear as many of them are endowed with uranium. They should also think about investing in bio-fuel technology development

Due to lack of clear stipulated employment and investment policies in Africa, many foreign investors have taken advantage of this to repatriate a big percentage of profits back to their home countries, thereby facilitating capital flight from Africa. This practice should stop. African countries should adopt investment policies that compel foreign investors to reinvest 70% of their profits back to African economies and make 80% of their staff indigenous Africans.

Youth employment creation is very critical. As recent revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt reveal, the continued failure of the African governments to address youth employment means that many of the African governments are sitting on a time bomb.

Democracy should go beyond holding elections to ensuring good service delivery. Transformative leaders will speed this up.

MOSES HATEGEKA, is a Ugandan based independent governance researcher, public affairs analyst and writer

Email:moseswiseman2000@gmail.com

HOW DO GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS , TECHNOCRATS, STAKEHOLDERS, POLICY MAKERS, INDUSTRIALISTS, TECHNOLOGISTS AND ACADEMIA IN AFRICA RESPOND PROACTIVELY TO STEM THE EVER WIDENING ECONOMIC GULF BETWEEN RICH AND POOR NATIONS?

Developing countries

Developing countries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EMMANUEL BOTCHWEY

ebotc@netzero.net

HOW DO GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS , TECHNOCRATS, STAKEHOLDERS, POLICY MAKERS, INDUSTRIALISTS, TECHNOLOGISTS AND ACADEMIA IN AFRICA RESPOND PROACTIVELY TO STEM THE EVER WIDENING ECONOMIC GULF BETWEEN RICH AND POOR NATIONS?

The wealth gap between developing and developed countries went from 3 to 1 in 1820 to 72 to 1 in 1992 (Thompson, 2006).  The million dollar question is why is the situation getting dire and hopeless in the wake of globalization that promises to give economic sustainability to both Developed and Developing Countries? Today we have several well educated Africans in Academia, technologists, technocrats, scientists, IT personnel, several University professors and good Universities in Africa and yet, ironically the situation is getting out of hand. Something should be very wrong! While a lot of attention and concern of the ever worsening disparity is been felt worldwide, African countries should not expect a reduction in the gap between the Developed and Developing countries to be handed to them on a silver platter; rather they should implement measures to supplement efforts being made to reduce the impact on this intriguing phenomenon by playing a key role via initiating value addition and the processing of primary goods (natural resources/commodity goods) before being sold on the local or international market. There is also the need to shift from subsistence farming to commercial/mechanized farming. Research and other studies have indicated that national wealth creation in contemporary economic growth/food security is not tenable with the continued practice of subsistence farming (which appears to be the mainstay of most African Economies) in Africa.

By adding value to primary goods it will not only create wealth and jobs, but it will also boost indigenous technology, boost the award of patents to African inventors, Universities and those in Research and Development, raise the standard of living of Africans, enhance the flow of more foreign exchange and help to reduce the widening gap between Developed and Developing countries. It is a fact that anytime raw materials are shipped out, it creates jobs in foreign countries at the expense of African Countries.  Why can’t African countries process raw materials locally from low tech goods to high tech goods before they are sold on the international market, to reap the full benefits of globalization?  T technological Engineering Efficiency and Economic Efficiency should be the norm to pave the way for competitively priced higher value added goods from African Nations in global trading. The governments in Africa and for that matter the Developing World should also embark on an agrarian revolution with the introduction of mechanization and the adoption of good agricultural practices. African Countries should shift their focus on an overwhelming percentage of GDP emanating from the Primary Sector to the Secondary and T ertiary Sectors respectively. Agriculture should entirely be based on R&D and further be implemented through cooperation between farmers and researchers. Research results should move with speed to the field for trials and implementation, and problems arising in the field should be directed promptly to scientists for solutions. This will also entail Research establishments having consistent close contacts with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It is absolutely prudent for Developing Economies to venture into bio-technology, drip irrigation, the cultivation of drought resistant crops like sorghum and millet and the sustained use of treated industrial wastewater for agriculture especially in arid and semi-arid regions in Developing Countries to ensure food security sustainability. To permanently arrest the endemic drought induced famine situations and ensure a lasting food security in Developing Countries, the governments, scientists, stakeholders and technologists should design pre-emptive measures to forestall such calamities that had brought starvation, death, malnutrition and untold hardships to millions through reforestation, soil conservation and water harvesting technologies. Drought is predictable and these measures are feasible and can be implemented. The constraints on the availability of arable land, the acute water shortages and the endemic threat of food insecurity have necessitated venturing and investing into methodologies that rely less on nature and the minimization of water usage in the cultivation of crops which are also geared towards making efficient use of the limited water resources in arid and semi-arid areas in the Developing World. A case in point is the inevitable situation and events leading to the worst 2011 famine to be encountered in the Horn of Africa in 60 years. Such technologies and methodologies that exist and have been used successfully in Israel, the US and other nations globally can be used to fend off hunger and improve the standard of living in Developing Countries. These technologies include: Drip Irrigation, Buried Irrigation, Spray Irrigation, Sprinkler Irrigation and the usage of Greenhouses to cultivate crops year round in the middle of the desert. To ensure food security, economic growth and sustainability of livelihood, Israel has been able to pump water from the Sea of Galilee in the far north to the rain starved central part of Israel to boost agricultural production. The feasibility of these processes and advances have been proven successful by nations like Israel, the United States in their application to marketable products, ranging from genetically-engineered seeds and bio-pesticides to light-degradable plastics and computerized irrigation/fertilization systems. Still on arid and semi-arid regions, the search for water saving techniques should spur the development of many types of computerized controlled irrigation systems, including the drip Irrigation methodology which essentially directs water flow and nutrients straight at the root zones of plants, so that smaller amounts of water can be used efficiently (Technological Engineering Efficiency) for crop cultivation. Once mechanization is introduced in agriculture, it will release labor from the Primary Sector into the Secondary and Tertiary Sectors through division of Labor and Specialization.

Lessons also have to be drawn from the endemic occurrences of drought induced famine globally. According to a United Nations reporter 2.4 million people were in dire need of relief food in the Horn of Africa and this figure could spiral out of control to 3.5 million if immediate action was not taken to forestall the calamity (Daily Nation, 2011). Developing and Developed Countries will have to live with changes in the weather supposedly caused by global warming by embracing measures such as water harvesting techniques and methodologies like the construction of dams, the digging of bore holes as showcased by the tapping of subterranean brackish water by Israel from the Negev desert, the construction of channels and the channeling of excess rain water into man-made tanks for agricultural usage during the dry spells, the planting of more trees and the shunning of deforestation, practicing drip irrigation techniques that target the root zones of plants which have been practiced successfully in arid and semi arid regions of the world by for example Israel and the US, recognizing the importance of terracing, furrows and ridges methodologies in arid and semi arid farming, implementing measures to ensure a drastic reduction in the emission of deadly gases from global industrialization, and using more environmentally friendly renewable energy sources in a green industrial revolution in Developing and Developed countries and observing to the letter the Kyoto Protocol as regards the mitigation of emissions.

Further, the Universities should train graduates who will come out as technocrats, business entrepreneurs, geologists, technologists, researchers, scientists, environmentalists, industrialists and other professionals that will act as a catalyst to the Value Addition Industry. That is the skills to be acquired by these graduates from Developing Countries should be in tune with both contemporary industrial and requisite developmental manpower skill requirements and needs of the country. The implication here is that the dynamics in the interplay of demand and supply in the labor market has to be taken into cognizance in the determination of the quality, quantity, depth and appropriateness of university and professional education in Developing countries. In order to boost innovations and technology, the governments should set up funds that will finance research and new inventions that will cater for the rapid development of their countries. At least 2 percent of the national GDP should be allocated towards vibrant R&D Programs. This process will boost rapid growth levels in Developing Countries’ share of the number of patents, peer-reviewed scientific publications and technology exports. This technological drive will enhance the rapid acceleration of inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) which is one of the main channels of technology transfers.

Developing countries should take a fresh look at embracing the concept of developmental state which has been successful not only in South East Asia as showcased by the Asian Tiger and Tiger Cub states but also in South America by Chile, Ireland in Europe and Africa with Mauritius and Botswana being pioneers on the African continent. A distinction needs to be made here and that is: in states that were late to industrialize, the state itself led the industrialization drive, that is, it took on developmental functions. A case in point the United States is a good example of a state in which the regulatory orientation predominates, whereas Japan is a good example of a state in which the developmental orientation predominates. These two differing orientations toward private economic activities, the regulatory orientation and the developmental orientation, produced two different kinds of business-government relationships. Some of the best prospects for economic growth in the last few decades have been found in East and Southeast Asia where the State itself led the industrialization drive. As a consequence of this approach China, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia are developing at high to moderate levels. Thailand, for example, has grown at double-digit rates most years since the early 1980s. China has been the world leader in economic growth since 2001. It is estimated that it took England around 60 years to double its economy when the Industrial Revolution began. It took the United States around 50 years to double its economy during the American economic take-off in the late nineteenth century. Several East and Southeast Asian countries and other Developmental Countries globally today (case in point Botswana and Mauritius in Africa) have been doubling their economies every 10 years (Wikipedia.org, 2011).

Developing Countries should concentrate on efforts not only to add value to primary goods before their sale on the International market but also strive to achieve a Balance of Trade surplus in International trade which arises when the value of exports exceeds the value of imports. The implication of this is very paramount when it comes to national wealth creation since by this process the domestic economy will be receiving a net inflow of payments from the foreign sector. Essentially more payments coming in than going out would mean the domestic economy will have not only more income coming in but also an enhanced standard of living for Developing countries. Conversely the vice versa- Balance of Trade deficit where the value of imports exceeds the value of exports will not only bring fewer income into the domestic economy but it could greatly hamper the standard of living and the creation of national wealth. The Developmental States of South East Asia, Africa, South America and Europe would not have achieved their current phenomenal economic growths without consistent balance of Trade surpluses. Same rule applies to countries like China, the United States and Japan.

Attempts should be made by all players in global trading to reduce or eradicate protectionism since the benefits of free trade outweigh benefits associated with protectionism.

Executive Secretary Abdoulie Janneh, commenting on a recent survey released by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on the topic “A technological resurgence: Africa in the global flow of technology” on January 21, 2011 has stressed the need to prioritize technology development and transfer through four core areas, including the promotion of university-industry-government partnership, where existing research centers can be used to acquire, adapt and diffuse emerging technology and serve as technology incubators. The study also recommends the strategic use of government contracts to encourage technology upgrading of domestic firms and joint ventures with foreign suppliers; promotion of industrial alliances to enable African or other firms in Developing Economies to access emerging and existing knowledge and skills at home and abroad; and entry into international research and development agreements between African and other Developing Countries and leading technology-exporting countries (Janneh, 2011).

It is critical for stakeholders and the governments in Developing Countries to acknowledge that the transformation can only be successful in an atmosphere of transparency, probity, accountability, morality, integrity and good governance. Finally the creation of economic wealth in the three sectors, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary in Developing Countries should co-exist with a balanced environment. A balanced environment can be attained through a process known as “mitigation” in climate change jargon. This process will usher in low carbon economies based on a much more efficient use of energy and raw materials in the Developing World. Further, this will mean the provision of decent jobs, with high labor productivity but also with high eco-efficiency and low emissions, which hold the promise to provide good conditions and incomes, and will be essential for growth and help to protect the climate. Such “green jobs” already exist and some have shown spectacular growth (ILO.ORG, 2007).

The review of climate change by former World Bank Chief Economist Nicholas Stern has concluded that mitigation is technically possible. The review also concludes that the cost of stabilizing emissions at safe levels today is rather modest and in any case far lower than the cost of inaction; meaning the opportunity cost will far exceed the cost of taking decisive corrective action today. Based on sectoral analysis of statistical data on GDP in the economies of Developing and Developed Countries (CIA WORLD FACT BOOK, 2011) it is logical to conclude that there is a correlation existing between the sectoral distribution pattern (of labor/GDP and overall GDP creation) in the economy where a slimmer labor force/smaller GDP in the Primary Sector and the subsequent increase in the labor force and GDP creation with progression from the Secondary to the Tertiary Sector resulted in phenomenal cumulative GDP rates per nation. It is for this reason that Developing Countries are encouraged to not only have more diversified economies but also encourage commercial/mechanized farming as against subsistence farming, introduce technology into farming while strictly adhering to Technological Engineering Efficiency and Economic Efficiency in all sectors, and recognizing the significance of the processing of (primary products) raw materials into Higher-valued-added products (from low-tech goods to high-tech goods). Having export diversified economies is significant because market conditions that cause one sector to perform well (like crude oil production in the Primary Sector) may cause another sector to perform poorly or vice versa. Hence, global economic shocks can easily be absorbed by diversified economies while simultaneously creating more national wealth. Further, the success story of High performing Asian economies that experienced substantial increases in exports, and specifically exports of manufactured goods, and high growth rates of their GDP over many decades has prompted many analysts to view export development and diversification as the new engine of growth. In the light of the experience of successful exporting countries, there is a growing consensus in economic literature that outward-oriented policies combined with selective market friendly interventions can help countries grow more, and reap the benefits of trade liberalization. There is also a growing consensus that patterns of economic development is associated with structural change in exports and increased export diversification. In virtually all regions of the world, the patterns of trade have changed from primary exports to manufactured exports of labor intensive types and subsequently to more resource Intensive manufactures, but Africa is one of the rare regions where exports remain predominantly of primary nature (Samen, 2008). There is, therefore the urgent need for a paradigm shift in Africa and all other Developing Nations yet to join the bandwagon.

Finally my urgent call for value addition methodologies and export diversification as the mainstay of African economies is simple and practical. Take a look at the advantages associated with them: value addition creates jobs and it could be the foundation for the cottage industry in Africa and the developing world, a reliable source for foreign exchange, the enhancement of indigenous technology and specialization, has the potential to reduce unemployment through its inherent “multiplier effect”, export diversification also will ensure that African countries have a more diversified economy (no country in the world will like to place all its eggs in one basket). Further, value addition negates the perishability of primary goods (commodity goods) through processing and finally valued added goods value more on the International market than raw materials. Countries like Thailand, Malaysia and other developmental states which less than half a century were classified as developing countries with most African countries, chalked their rapid economic growths through the processing of natural resources into higher value added products. Further, value addition enhances food security and also offers numerous opportunities for livelihood sustainability. A word of caution, for this process to be successful it has to occur in an atmosphere of transparency, probity, accountability, fairness, morality, good governance and integrity.

When this transformation is properly undertaken in the absence of other derailing factors like civil wars, drought, political instability, corruption, tribalism, coup d’états, greed, pest infestation, floods, nepotism, protectionism and bad governance, Developing Countries will not only start creating national wealth but will also improve and strengthen indigenous technology. In conclusion the economic salvation, bridging the gap between poor countries and rich countries, the achievement of autarky and the issue of food security in regards to Developing Economies hinge squarely on efficiently and effectively exploiting the parameters bestowed upon them by their various economies in the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sectors; and also giving Developing Countries or later developers, the leeway and the ultimate responsibility to chart their countries’ developmental trajectories, which leave room for diverse developmental paths (Mkandawire 2005: 48).

For a detailed account on how to bridge the gap between developing countries and developed countries check the links below:

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TRANSFORMING THE ECONOMIES OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

EXCERT FROM TRANSFORMING THE ECONOMIES OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES-COMPLETE

Unemployment in the Developing World

EXCERPT FROM TRANSFORMING THE ECONOMIES OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
Unemployment in the Developing World

Two major factors come into play when dealing with the unemployment situation in Africa and the Developing World……these are Value addition and Export Diversification. For far too long, African Countries have placed so much emphasis on selling primary goods (Raw materials or natural resources). Developing countries need to have a sustainable export diversification platform and adopt value addition methodologies to create jobs, enhance indigenous technologies, improve access to more foreign exchange, increase the number of patents, raise the standard of living and enrich R&D standards in their various countries. Any time raw materials are sold without been processed, Developing countries are deprived of creating more jobs in their economies, having less access to foreign exchange, hinders ingenuity and indigenous technology, increases unemployment and impedes economic development. Secondly, selling raw materials in bulk helps to explain the increasing gulf between developing countries and developed countries. There is also a growing consensus that patterns of economic development is associated with structural change in exports and increased export diversification. In virtually all regions of the world, the patterns of trade have changed from primary exports to manufactured exports of labor intensive types and subsequently to more resource intensive manufactures, but Africa is one of the rare regions where exports remain predominantly of primary nature (raw materials) (Samen, 2008). My recent research on GDP in Developing and Developed Economies have proven that there is a correlation between the sectoral distribution pattern (of labor/GDP and overall GDP creation) in the economy where a slimmer Labor force/smaller GDP in the Primary Sector and the subsequent increase in the labor force and GDP creation with progression from the Secondary to the Tertiary Sector resulted in phenomenal cumulative GDP rates per nation. There is, therefore the urgent need for a paradigm shift in Africa and all other Developing Nations yet to join the bandwagon.

All of these do not come in a vacuum. Developing Countries need to spend at least 2% of their National GDP on research and development since this is the engine needed to keep propelling the economies of Developing Countries. For this to be feasible there is a caveat that has to be acknowledged by stakeholders in Developing Countries, and that is the skills to be acquired by these University graduates from Developing Countries should be in tune with both contemporary industrial and requisite developmental manpower skill requirements and needs of the country. That is the dynamics in the interplay of demand and supply in the Labor market has to be taken into cognizance in the determination of the quality, quantity, depth and appropriateness of university and professional education in Developing Nations. Finally this transformation could only take place in an atmosphere of transparency, probity, accountability, integrity, fairness,  morality and good governance.

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GLOBAL WARMING

EMMANUEL BOTCHWEY

Global Warming is real and should not be underestimated under any circumstances. Have you asked yourself why there happens to be strange weather phenomena globally; case in point the long and severe drought in the Horn of Africa and the subsequent sufferings of millions and the attendant economic downturn, or why has there been a drastic reduction of the ice caps around the North Pole, or the extreme cold in Europe this year while at the same time there were record breaking temperatures which were tied or broken on the continental USA, or why there has been a rise in water levels in the oceans which were considered responsible for the destruction of the coastal habitats and dwellings of millions on the Northeastern coast of the continental USA in the wake of Hurricane Sandy? This is an attempt to refresh your memory since these calamities will continue and will be worse if nothing concrete is done to reduce the spewing of Green House Gases into the atmosphere with major culprits coming from industrialized Countries. The opportunity cost of taking decisive corrective action today is lower than waiting for doomsday to strike in future as a result of  humanity’s negligence of the environment.  Humanity’s survival is at stake because if nothing is done, Global Warming will negatively impact not only the delicate balance existing between flora but also fauna and the physical environment with devastating consequences…which could encompass desertification, drought, death of livestock and people, and an economic downturn.

 If you want to have access to a detailed account I will entreat you to check my new book TRANSFORMING THE ECONOMIES OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES by clicking on the links below: PRICE DROP! Save almost 50% off the retail price.The price of my book has plummeted to an all-time low (new low) in the spirit of the impending holiday festivities! The price of the book has been slashed by almost 50%. The current price is $89.00 but with this discount the markdown price is $44.47. Check the links below and type in the code VFNFZ6YR in the bar for discounts and check out. Those who are interested in e-books and have Kindle fire etc you will get the entire information on Global Warming and more with special applications to developing countries at a discount rate of $5.50

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GLOBAL ANALYSIS AFRICA: A RICH CONTINENT OF POOR PEOPLE

 

MOSES HATEGEKA

Why is it that Africa has for decades failed and is still failing to attain a sustainable fundamental economic transformation despite the fact it is abundantly endowed with rich natural resources like, gold, uranium, timber, oil, etc, which have for decades been and are still being used to advance development in developed nations and also now in Asia especially China?. my systems analysis, about systems in use in Africa since independence to todays’ 21st century, backed up, with intellectual discussions, I have had, on several occasions, with some scholars and political analysts, reveals that, Africa’s socio- economic and political systems, have since then, been and are still birthing leaders, who are myopic, self seekers, unpatriotic, unadventurous, and who are lacking a lot when it comes to being inventive and innovative in all aspects. This is a reason why even in this 21st century, the continent, is still lacking transformative leaders, to steer it, in the right direction.

In fact, in my recent discussion, with Jacob Simmons, a retired American development economics professor, he pointed out that, “Africa’s major problem, in her development journey, is transformative leadership deficiency”, he went on to say that,  ‘Africans themselves must rise up and effectively deal with this problem, if they are to benefit from their countries’ rich natural resources”

His words, were echoed, by Macharia Munene, a political analyst and international relations scholar, based in Nairobi, Kenya, who told this writer that, “until when Africa rises up and decisively deal with its transformative leadership deficiency problem, the continent will continue to lag behind other continents in the world in all aspects of development”

98 per cent of African leaders, are transactional leaders, interested, mainly, in satisfying, their egoistic agendas, of wealth accumulation and power retention, using their countries resources. As long as you a supporter of their agendas, you can steal and misuse public resources at will, and still remain scot free.   Corruption in the continent is shamelessly the way of life today, and is, being used as a system of governance by incumbent leaders in rewarding their loyalists with juicy jobs and multi billion contracts.

As reported in, Inspector General of Government, corruption trends full report 2011, and 2007 world Bank corruption report on Uganda, Uganda has since 2000, been loosing over $500 millions annually, to corruption, other countries as reported in 2005-2010, world bank reports, on corruption indices on Africa, like, Kenya, DRC, Nigeria, Angola, have lost and are estimated to be loosing  more than that, to corruption and their leaders, are the beneficiaries, of this vice, the poor roads, Skelton health facilities, constant power outages, limited access to clean water, and poor educational facilities, visible all over the continent, are all due to corruption, as the money, that is supposed, to provide, for these facilities, is always diverted, for personal enrichment, in most cases by the leaders themselves, their family members or by the people who are  loyal to them or by people, who are business associates with them. No wonder in Africa, the easiest way, to make and attain enormous wealth, in the shortest time possible, is through joining politics, or by establishing close links, with people, with political powers. In Africa, people join politics, not to serve their people, but to make money and more money.

It is only countries like Rwanda, Mauritius, Cape Verde and Botswana that have, for the last eight years, managed and are managing, to practically fight off corruption, transparency and accountability, are a must, in the day to day, management, of these countries’ affairs. Rwanda which in 1994, was severely affected, by the genocide, in which, an estimated 900,000 citizens, mostly Tutsis and moderate Hutus, lost their lives, under the then, state staged and managed killings, has, under leadership of President Paul Kagame, put its ugly past behind and moved on, to become a shining example, of how a corruption free country, can attain accelerated development. The country’s excellent infrastructures, is making it, to strategically position it self, as an ICT hub in the continent, and is currently, attracting large volumes of foreign direct investments, because of the investors confidence in the economy, that is being led, by leadership, that has, persistently, shown, practical political will, beyond reasonable doubt  in curbing corruption.

52 per cent of world’s arable land is in Africa. The continent is also a home to world’s large expanse of dry lands that is estimated to be covering about 2 billion hectares, which in essence, means that, the continent is possessing enormous agricultural land resource potential, which if well utilized, can feed half of the world’s population with enough food, but the leadership in the continent is doing very little if not nothing, to effectively utilize this precious land resource. The continent is facing severe food shortages which in some areas, like in North and North eastern Kenya, Somalia, Darfur-Sudan, Northern Ethiopia, South Sudan, Karamoja-Uganda, among others, has led to massive death resulting from starvation and persistent famine and which continues to severely affect people’s lives.

Millions of families in the continent cannot afford to have two meals a day, many are surviving on one meal a day while others’ survival, is pegged on humanitarian aid organizations like world food program, Red cross, e.tc, their children are not fed on a balanced diet, and as a result, they are, suffering from malnourished caused diseases, which is stunting their normal growth. Every morning I wake up, I always, ask my self, what is the use of having a leadership that has all the resources to use but is failing to plan for and meet its people’s needs?

African leaders and tribal chiefs, are also beneficiaries, of land grabbing bonanza, on going in various African countries, such as, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Liberia, Uganda, Zambia, DRC, among others, they have been cited, in several reports, to be collaborating, with Chinese and western owned companies, in form of accepting bribes from them, in return for dishing large tracts of governments and community owned lands to them. Of course African leaders and chiefs will not admit this, but that is a reality, which many Africans are now aware about. China is also allegedly through, its overseas development fund, funding its citizens to acquire millions of hectares of land in Africa to grow food and biofuels, for exports back home. Western countries are also allegedly doing the same. These foreign companies are also offering irresistible money offers to African poor farmers, in exchange for their land to them. Many have had their lands bought and many are still selling, If nothing is done to stop this practice, millions of Africans will soon find themselves landless and turned into slaves in their own continent. What a shame!

Research indicate that, 40 per cent of Africa’s citizens in the continent, are living below poverty line, surviving, on less than $1 per day, poverty levels, are rising day by day, as you extensively move in rural Africa and discuss with rural African dwellers, you will come face to face with what we call real poverty. In Emuhaya district-western Kenya province, Pauline Akinyi, a mother of six children, narrated to me, how her three children are not attending primary school near by her home, simply because she cannot afford to buy books and pencils for all her children at once, to use, she went on to tell me that, she has applied for help from an NGO operating in her region, which has promised her, that, it will soon be helping her in meeting the school needs of her three children.

In every place you go to in Africa, you will come across either an NGO or CBO, promoting these and that, ranging from human rights issues, food security, good governance, education, orphans, women’s rights, transparency and accountability e.tc, instead of business and vocational incubation centers, which to me, is what the continent needs, if it is to have an innovative and skilled mass of people, to propel it forward. The continent is increasingly becoming a Non government organizations and community based organizations powered and driven region, which to me, is a pity, because many of these organizations, are mostly engaged in promoting hand out mentality, where by, they are always giving free food stuffs, clothes, medicine, education materials, e.tc, to African people, instead of teaching them how produce and make these things themselves, millions of Africans, are therefore persistently failing, to use the rich continental resources, at their disposal , to create wealth, get me right, not all NGOs and CBOs are bad, there are some which have and are indeed sustainably transforming people’s livelihood through imparting life changing skills on them.

The continent, is richly blessed with lakes, that contains, various, fish species, that, are very nutritional, to the human beings, lake Malawi, the Africa’s third largest lake, alone, contains 500 fish species, which is largest, for any single, lake in the world,  but surprisingly, very few people in the continent, are feeding on fish meal, because, its prices are very expensive and out of rich for millions of poor citizens, who are the majority, 85 per cent of the fish, is exported, by rich middlemen and foreign companies, who exploits fishermen, by paying them cheaply, for their, labor services, no wonder fishing communities, are some of the poorest, communities in Africa.

Countries, such as, DRC, Zambia, Angola, Nigeria, Libya, South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, e.tc, are richly endowed with mineral resources, such as, oil, timber, copper, uranium, among others, that have always been and still are being, exploited, by, politicians, unscrupulous international businessmen and foreign companies, for personal wealth accumulation reasons, in complete disregard, of using these resources, to improve their people’s lives. In these countries, politicians are stingingly very rich and are living extravagant life style, which is full, of making shopping trips abroad, dining in expensive places and having many concubines, as their citizens, goes to sleep on an empty stomach everyday. These mineral resources are also being used by developed countries, to advance technological development, such as nuclear and ICT technology, in which Africa is not a participant

Equatorial Guinea that earns over $2 billion dollars, still has in its slightly over 500,000 people, thousands of people living below poverty line, as all the country resources, are enjoyed by president Theodore Nguema, his family members and loyalists, who are owning expensive property abroad, in cities, such as, Washington D.C, Paris, Berlin, etc, in addition to running various dollar accounts in these cities. According to march and November 2009, global witness report on corruption in Equatorial Guinea, President Nguema, his family members and cronies, have over the years to date, been excessively enriching themselves out of the oil resources, that the country is endowed with. Some month back, one of his sons had his expensive vehicles confiscated by police in Paris, where he also owns expensive villas. DRC, with all the rich natural resources, is endowed with, has got some of the worst road and health facilities in the world, its late president Mobutu, used its resources for personal enrichment, and at one point in time, he was in the list of the richest people, in the world, with millions of dollars and property abroad, the leaders, who succeeded him to date have, also failed to improve on its road and health infrastructures, as big part of the country, is inaccessible by road and millions of its women, continues to loose their lives, while giving birth.

The country’s gold, diamond, uranium, timber, tin, copper, and tin, are being exploited by warlords operating in various parts of the country especially in the eastern part of the DRC, who are always supported, by rich foreign companies, foreign countries and by regional countries, who are profiteering a lot from these mineral and timber resources, though none of them, will come out openly to admit their actions, they are the reasons, why there is endless wars in the  DRC, which has claimed millions of lives, of its citizens and forced millions of others to become refugees in other countries

In sum, real transformation can only be birthed by transformative leadership spearheaded by transformative leaders. As thus, if Africa is to attain, a sustainable fundamental economic transformation, that meets the expectations of its citizens, it will have to be led by transformative leaders as opposed to today’s transactional leaders. As Africans, it’s high time we realize that, development of our continent, is purely a responsibility of us, the Africans. We must therefore rise up and fight off, today’s transactional leaders and replace them with transformative leaders. If we don’t, history will judge us harshly. Martin Luther King junior once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

MOSES HATEGEKA, is a Ugandan based independent governance researcher, public affairs analyst and writer

EMAIL:moseswiseman2000@gmail.com

MOSES HATEGEKA

Why is it that Africa has for decades failed and is still failing to attain a sustainable fundamental economic transformation despite the fact it is abundantly endowed with rich natural resources like, gold, uranium, timber, oil, etc, which have for decades been and are still being used to advance development in developed nations and also now in Asia especially China?. my systems analysis, about systems in use in Africa since independence to todays’ 21st century, backed up, with intellectual discussions, I have had, on several occasions, with some scholars and political analysts, reveals that, Africa’s socio- economic and political systems, have since then, been and are still birthing leaders, who are myopic, self seekers, unpatriotic, unadventurous, and who are lacking a lot when it comes to being inventive and innovative in all aspects. This is a reason why even in this 21st century, the continent, is still lacking transformative leaders, to steer it, in the right direction.

In fact, in my recent discussion, with Jacob Simmons, a retired American development economics professor, he pointed out that, “Africa’s major problem, in her development journey, is transformative leadership deficiency”, he went on to say that,  ‘Africans themselves must rise up and effectively deal with this problem, if they are to benefit from their countries’ rich natural resources”

His words, were echoed, by Macharia Munene, a political analyst and international relations scholar, based in Nairobi, Kenya, who told this writer that, “until when Africa rises up and decisively deal with its transformative leadership deficiency problem, the continent will continue to lag behind other continents in the world in all aspects of development”

98 per cent of African leaders, are transactional leaders, interested, mainly, in satisfying, their egoistic agendas, of wealth accumulation and power retention, using their countries resources. As long as you a supporter of their agendas, you can steal and misuse public resources at will, and still remain scot free.   Corruption in the continent is shamelessly the way of life today, and is, being used as a system of governance by incumbent leaders in rewarding their loyalists with juicy jobs and multi billion contracts.

As reported in, Inspector General of Government, corruption trends full report 2011, and 2007 world Bank corruption report on Uganda, Uganda has since 2000, been loosing over $500 millions annually, to corruption, other countries as reported in 2005-2010, world bank reports, on corruption indices on Africa, like, Kenya, DRC, Nigeria, Angola, have lost and are estimated to be loosing  more than that, to corruption and their leaders, are the beneficiaries, of this vice, the poor roads, Skelton health facilities, constant power outages, limited access to clean water, and poor educational facilities, visible all over the continent, are all due to corruption, as the money, that is supposed, to provide, for these facilities, is always diverted, for personal enrichment, in most cases by the leaders themselves, their family members or by the people who are  loyal to them or by people, who are business associates with them. No wonder in Africa, the easiest way, to make and attain enormous wealth, in the shortest time possible, is through joining politics, or by establishing close links, with people, with political powers. In Africa, people join politics, not to serve their people, but to make money and more money.

It is only countries like Rwanda, Mauritius, Cape Verde and Botswana that have, for the last eight years, managed and are managing, to practically fight off corruption, transparency and accountability, are a must, in the day to day, management, of these countries’ affairs. Rwanda which in 1994, was severely affected, by the genocide, in which, an estimated 900,000 citizens, mostly Tutsis and moderate Hutus, lost their lives, under the then, state staged and managed killings, has, under leadership of President Paul Kagame, put its ugly past behind and moved on, to become a shining example, of how a corruption free country, can attain accelerated development. The country’s excellent infrastructures, is making it, to strategically position it self, as an ICT hub in the continent, and is currently, attracting large volumes of foreign direct investments, because of the investors confidence in the economy, that is being led, by leadership, that has, persistently, shown, practical political will, beyond reasonable doubt  in curbing corruption.

52 per cent of world’s arable land is in Africa. The continent is also a home to world’s large expanse of dry lands that is estimated to be covering about 2 billion hectares, which in essence, means that, the continent is possessing enormous agricultural land resource potential, which if well utilized, can feed half of the world’s population with enough food, but the leadership in the continent is doing very little if not nothing, to effectively utilize this precious land resource. The continent is facing severe food shortages which in some areas, like in North and North eastern Kenya, Somalia, Darfur-Sudan, Northern Ethiopia, South Sudan, Karamoja-Uganda, among others, has led to massive death resulting from starvation and persistent famine and which continues to severely affect people’s lives.

Millions of families in the continent cannot afford to have two meals a day, many are surviving on one meal a day while others’ survival, is pegged on humanitarian aid organizations like world food program, Red cross, e.tc, their children are not fed on a balanced diet, and as a result, they are, suffering from malnourished caused diseases, which is stunting their normal growth. Every morning I wake up, I always, ask my self, what is the use of having a leadership that has all the resources to use but is failing to plan for and meet its people’s needs?

African leaders and tribal chiefs, are also beneficiaries, of land grabbing bonanza, on going in various African countries, such as, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Liberia, Uganda, Zambia, DRC, among others, they have been cited, in several reports, to be collaborating, with Chinese and western owned companies, in form of accepting bribes from them, in return for dishing large tracts of governments and community owned lands to them. Of course African leaders and chiefs will not admit this, but that is a reality, which many Africans are now aware about. China is also allegedly through, its overseas development fund, funding its citizens to acquire millions of hectares of land in Africa to grow food and biofuels, for exports back home. Western countries are also allegedly doing the same. These foreign companies are also offering irresistible money offers to African poor farmers, in exchange for their land to them. Many have had their lands bought and many are still selling, If nothing is done to stop this practice, millions of Africans will soon find themselves landless and turned into slaves in their own continent. What a shame!

Research indicate that, 40 per cent of Africa’s citizens in the continent, are living below poverty line, surviving, on less than $1 per day, poverty levels, are rising day by day, as you extensively move in rural Africa and discuss with rural African dwellers, you will come face to face with what we call real poverty. In Emuhaya district-western Kenya province, Pauline Akinyi, a mother of six children, narrated to me, how her three children are not attending primary school near by her home, simply because she cannot afford to buy books and pencils for all her children at once, to use, she went on to tell me that, she has applied for help from an NGO operating in her region, which has promised her, that, it will soon be helping her in meeting the school needs of her three children.

In every place you go to in Africa, you will come across either an NGO or CBO, promoting these and that, ranging from human rights issues, food security, good governance, education, orphans, women’s rights, transparency and accountability e.tc, instead of business and vocational incubation centers, which to me, is what the continent needs, if it is to have an innovative and skilled mass of people, to propel it forward. The continent is increasingly becoming a Non government organizations and community based organizations powered and driven region, which to me, is a pity, because many of these organizations, are mostly engaged in promoting hand out mentality, where by, they are always giving free food stuffs, clothes, medicine, education materials, e.tc, to African people, instead of teaching them how produce and make these things themselves, millions of Africans, are therefore persistently failing, to use the rich continental resources, at their disposal , to create wealth, get me right, not all NGOs and CBOs are bad, there are some which have and are indeed sustainably transforming people’s livelihood through imparting life changing skills on them.

The continent, is richly blessed with lakes, that contains, various, fish species, that, are very nutritional, to the human beings, lake Malawi, the Africa’s third largest lake, alone, contains 500 fish species, which is largest, for any single, lake in the world,  but surprisingly, very few people in the continent, are feeding on fish meal, because, its prices are very expensive and out of rich for millions of poor citizens, who are the majority, 85 per cent of the fish, is exported, by rich middlemen and foreign companies, who exploits fishermen, by paying them cheaply, for their, labor services, no wonder fishing communities, are some of the poorest, communities in Africa.

Countries, such as, DRC, Zambia, Angola, Nigeria, Libya, South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, e.tc, are richly endowed with mineral resources, such as, oil, timber, copper, uranium, among others, that have always been and still are being, exploited, by, politicians, unscrupulous international businessmen and foreign companies, for personal wealth accumulation reasons, in complete disregard, of using these resources, to improve their people’s lives. In these countries, politicians are stingingly very rich and are living extravagant life style, which is full, of making shopping trips abroad, dining in expensive places and having many concubines, as their citizens, goes to sleep on an empty stomach everyday. These mineral resources are also being used by developed countries, to advance technological development, such as nuclear and ICT technology, in which Africa is not a participant

Equatorial Guinea that earns over $2 billion dollars, still has in its slightly over 500,000 people, thousands of people living below poverty line, as all the country resources, are enjoyed by president Theodore Nguema, his family members and loyalists, who are owning expensive property abroad, in cities, such as, Washington D.C, Paris, Berlin, etc, in addition to running various dollar accounts in these cities. According to march and November 2009, global witness report on corruption in Equatorial Guinea, President Nguema, his family members and cronies, have over the years to date, been excessively enriching themselves out of the oil resources, that the country is endowed with. Some month back, one of his sons had his expensive vehicles confiscated by police in Paris, where he also owns expensive villas. DRC, with all the rich natural resources, is endowed with, has got some of the worst road and health facilities in the world, its late president Mobutu, used its resources for personal enrichment, and at one point in time, he was in the list of the richest people, in the world, with millions of dollars and property abroad, the leaders, who succeeded him to date have, also failed to improve on its road and health infrastructures, as big part of the country, is inaccessible by road and millions of its women, continues to loose their lives, while giving birth.

The country’s gold, diamond, uranium, timber, tin, copper, and tin, are being exploited by warlords operating in various parts of the country especially in the eastern part of the DRC, who are always supported, by rich foreign companies, foreign countries and by regional countries, who are profiteering a lot from these mineral and timber resources, though none of them, will come out openly to admit their actions, they are the reasons, why there is endless wars in the  DRC, which has claimed millions of lives, of its citizens and forced millions of others to become refugees in other countries

In sum, real transformation can only be birthed by transformative leadership spearheaded by transformative leaders. As thus, if Africa is to attain, a sustainable fundamental economic transformation, that meets the expectations of its citizens, it will have to be led by transformative leaders as opposed to today’s transactional leaders. As Africans, it’s high time we realize that, development of our continent, is purely a responsibility of us, the Africans. We must therefore rise up and fight off, today’s transactional leaders and replace them with transformative leaders. If we don’t, history will judge us harshly. Martin Luther King junior once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

MOSES HATEGEKA, is a Ugandan based independent governance researcher, public affairs analyst and writer

EMAIL:moseswiseman2000@gmail.com