Africa must stop being net exporter of capital

THE Vice-Prime Minister of Cape Verde Dr Olavo Correia has appealed to fellow African countries to embark on new practices that will help the continent to move faster in bringing an impact on its population.

Dr Correia extended the call during the Ministerial Technical meeting held at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC) in Dar es Salaam, on Tuesday ahead of the African Human Capital Heads of State Summit which convenes today.

According to him, Africa is endowed with enormous natural resources which if utilised well can accelerate a huge potential in the continent.

“There is a need for leaders from the African continent to invest in its human capital so as to take advantage of the available riches in benefiting their people,” said Dr Correia indicating that a country may possess road, infrastructure and others, but without the right skills instilled to its human resource it was equivalent to nothing.

He added that: “Today millions of people in the continent do not have access to energy, clean and safe drinking water and lack quality jobs yet millions are being moved overseas due to illicit financial flows within the continent.

He, however, noted that millions of Africans were fleeing their countries due to lack of opportunities, calling for the change in the individual attitude and mindset of people within the continent.

Much as the World Bank and other development partners increase its investment in human capital, he said if the continent does not play its role all the efforts will become to waste.

He appealed for a more democratic Africa that is more transparent and one that fosters accountability, urging for more investment in awareness as a critical aspect in ending the scourge.

“Let’s start with changing our behaviour and attitude by closing the doors to illicit financing with more engagement of the World Bank for the continent to realise its goals…Our focus should be on harnessing the education of individuals,” he said.

As the discussion on investing in human capital continues, he said the issue of the dignity of Africa should be addressed by creating conditions for Africa to live in dignity.

The Vice- Prime Minister was of the view that currently Africa is the net exporter of capital, but the situation must not remain this way quoting the World Bank Vice-President, Ms Victoria Kwakwa in her address during the COP27 Summit which convened last year in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, where she underscored that the African continent was not where it deserved to be and something has to be done rather than standing on the sidelines.

He pointed out that Covid-19 pandemic has brought new challenges such a staggering unemployment rate and digital divide among others.

“We have global private partners to invest in our countries but what was lacking was the mechanisms to make the leap. The continent has to promote good governance, responsibility and accountability,” he said.

He cited an example of Cape Verde where the country was using its taxpayers’ money to invest on human capital, indicating that the goal was to ensure the access to education and health reaches 100 per cent from the present 70 per cent comes 2030.

He said in 2026, the country has aspired to eradicate extreme poverty, where the people live in dignity.

“Good leadership and a sense of commitment among the people and leadership were vital in harnessing the continent’s human capital potential,” stated the Vice-Minister.

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