Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Secretary General of the Commonwealth has called on African leaders to focus on building of infrastructure to consolidate on democracy, security and respect for rule of law.
Anyaoku made the call on Thursday in Abuja at the 2019 Investment in Africa World Summit and Expo, a bilateral investment forum.
The theme of the forum is “Unveiling Investment Opportunities and Government Incentives in Africa for International Investors and Benefits from Bilateral Agreements’’.
Anyaoku said the call became necessary in view of the fact that no nation could achieve a stable development without security, rule of law and respect for human rights.
According to him, having achieved independence on the basis of believe in democracy, the challenge Africa faces today is to consolidate on the democracy and make democracy real in their individual countries.
“Democracy is not an event, it is a process, it goes slowly along to consolidate and entrench democratic ideals.
“Africa is still struggling to develop its social economic potential because colonialism in the continent was based on the principle of extracting raw materials by the colonial masters.
“Infrastructure was neglected; power was neglected, education and health facilities were inadequate and roads and railways were focused only to enable the transfer of raw materials from their sources to the seaports.
“The challenge of Africa today is the development of its social economic potential, consolidation on its democracy and internal security because unless a society is secure, it cannot develop meaningfully,” he said.
Anyaoku called on African leaders to build unity within the continent in a practical, integrated and collaborative manner.
He said failure to build the unity would be continue to hinder the countries from building structures that enable the continent to tap its social economic potential.
He said the formation of sub regional organisations would help to build the infrastructure needed develop the regions.
According to him, the cooperation that Africa needs to boost intra-African trade is the expansion of possibilities of trade within the continent.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the forum, which also featured Africa Achievers Awards was on the topic: “using Science and Technology for the sustainable economic development of Africa’’.
The awardees are the former Secretary General of Commonwealth and Prof. Mohammed Haruna, the Executive Vice Chairman, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).
Other awardees are Dr Mohammed Jibrin, the Director General, National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI) and the Namibia Investment Promotion Centre.
In his remark, Mr Angelo Elosia, the Chairman and Coordinator, 2019 Investment in Africa World Summit and Expo said the award was in recognition of the awardees contributions to the development of Africa.