Mo Ibrahim Foundation: Osinbajo and quest for Africas interest on global arena

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

A news analysis by Chijioke Okoronkwo, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

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

Recently, in Nairobi, Kenya, prominent Africas political and business leaders, civil society organisations, multilateral and regional institutions and Africas international partners gathered to brainstorm on issues vital to Africas 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, Africas 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 said 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 Cte dIvoire.

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 happen 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 talents and its 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 governments intervention in the industry and the desire to allow it to function on its own without governments 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 Africas place.

Things are really changing around us and where are we? What is our relationship with these people?

We need to understand and define our relationship with rest of the world; what does Africa offer the world and what does the world offer Africa? he asked.

As part of activities lined up for event, the Osinbajo also participated in the Africa Europe Foundation (AEF) themed Earthshot 2023 Milestone.

At the event he posited that Africa had the potential to change the narrative and become the solution to the net zero ambitions of the world.

I think that agenda is importantthe Climate Positive Growth Agenda

For me, the next steps are crucial; first, we need to get African governments and Heads of State around this agenda and that is crucial because it is one climate positive that is a win-win situation for Africa and the rest of the world, he said.

The Osinbajo said there was need to present to each government, where the benefits and trade-offs might lie so that consensus could be reached quickly and effectively.

He said Africa should be clear about what it wants from the rest of the world, adding that African leaders needed to take a common stance on climate change.

In his submission at a session with Ibrahim and Ruto, he argued that the global financial system was struggling to respond the challenges of the time.

The whole system was focused on prescriptions from the World Bank, IMF and other institutions and most times, the prescriptions went the wrong way.

There wasnt room for emerging frontier, new ideas on how to finance development; and as a result, you find out that the system has not responded to frontier economies, emerging economies, he said.

While it is true that you can get overseas development assistance at 0.5 per cent; concessional facilities at 0.5; but when you need real development resources, you want to run your own development the way know how, you end up with 10 per cent 15 per cent, 20 per cent.

Which means that the current financial architecture, to put it bluntly, is rigged against those of us in the global South.

This is because we cannot meaningfully address our development need using the financial resources from this architecture, he said.

Stakeholders are of the view that Africas common interest can only gain traction in international discourse if there is a concerted pursuit of the continents interest by African governments. (NANFeatures)

Source: NAN News