African Leaders Urged To Share Ideas
5/4/2012 4:33:34 PM -
Vice President John Dramani Mahama has underscored the need for Africans to share ideas on best practices and values to make progress on the continent.
According to him, the best practices in economic reforms, democracy, human rights and social interventions devoid of partisan politics should be the focus of the leaders on the continent in building a better society for their people.
Mr. Mahama said this when he received the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Prof. Arthur Mutambara, at the Golden Jubilee Lounge of the Kotoka International Airport on Thursday.
Prof. Mutambara is in the country at the invitation of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to deliver a lecture on the topic 'Building A Peaceful, Democratic, Non-Partisan And Prosperous African State- Understanding Where African Leaders Have Gotten It Wrong' at its Democracy Lecture in Accra as part of activities marking the celebration of the Annual Constitution Week and the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Republican Constitution of Ghana.
The Vice President bemoaned the partisan consideration that usually characterized national debates, especially in Ghana and called for consensus building among the various political parties for national growth.
'On what issues should there be bipartisan consensus or on what issues should we declare a non-partisan space, where we all can agree on what the way forward is. Unfortunately in Ghana, we don't have that kind of space. Everything is subject to partisanship and politics,' Mr. Mahama lamented.
He added that 'from the days of elections, when government is sworn in, the campaign for the next elections start and so we are in a constant state of preparing for new elections. And this has been one of the major problems inhibiting growth of institutions'.
He reiterated the call by President Barack Obama, the US President, to Africans leaders to build strong institutions and not strong leaders.
'This is the advantage most of the developed countries have over us. It doesn't matter if it is the Democrats or Conservatives or which other government is in power if you are entitled to a passport in these number of days. If you want service from the public you will get it with this level of efficiency. That is the kind of institutions we should be building'.
Mr. Mahama also called for the removal of all forms of trade barriers on the continent to generate revenue for growth.
He commended the NCCE chairman, Charlotte Osei, who also accompanied the august speaker, for bringing a man of huge stature to speak on the topic.
For his part, Prof. Mutambara called for the national agenda and vision of African countries to be driven by the national interest rather than by political party interest.
He said values and morality could not be legislated and that respect for law and the constitution could only be achieved through education and sensitization.
Prof. Mutambara stressed the need for nations to have one country, one vision, one brand and one constitution, adding that a country could not have a brand without a vision and that those visions could only be realized with well-thought-out strategies.
The Democracy Lecture serves as a platform to deepen understanding about democracy and to engage the citizenry to internalize and live human rights and freedoms in practical terms as well as bring democratic governance closer to the people.
The lecture also marks the beginning of a series of governance platforms by the NCCE to remind all stakeholders about their rights, freedom and responsibilities as a people who have adopted democracy as a form of governance for national development in peace and harmony.