University don slams African leaders for failing their electoratesBy Ghanaian Chronicle
1/31/2011 12:58:57 PM -
A SENIOR Research Fellow of the Legon Center for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) of the University of Ghana, Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso has descended heavily on African leaders for abusing the electorates and failing to fulfill campaign pledges.
He slammed them for ignoring the masses after winning elections, stating that successive governments on the continent were rather power-drunk, at the expense of providing developments, which was the cause of under development in many countries.
He said, instead of thinking about the welfare of the people who elected them into office, many African leaders, after receiving the nod of the people, would rather be paying unnecessary attention to plans about how to win subsequent elections.
According to him, instead of positioning the country to develop with the aim of addressing the challenges confronting the people, and devising appropriate means of addressing their concerns and improving on their welfare, the governments would rather pay attention to frivolous issues, to fancy their chances of winning subsequent elections.
Dr. Antwi-Danso made the observation when he addressed officials of the Custom Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) in Takoradi, as a Guest Speaker of the recently held International Customs day, which was observed in Takoradi.
According to the University don, 'Every government is thinking about the next election,' instead of how to help find solutionS to the problems of the country. He, therefore, urged CEPS officers to develop themselves skillfully, academically and technically in their chosen fields, and to ignore governments that would come and go, advicing the electorate not to 'rely on governments.'
He chastised governments and African politicians for ignoring the plight of the people when given the mandate by the electorate, stating emphatically that he was not engaging the officers in politics, but rather he was facing realities, whilst stating the facts. 'I'm sorry I am not doing politics here,' he noted.
According to him, it was long overdue for governments in Africa to concentrate on building their countries, rather than just asking continuously for the mandate of the people, without necessarily translating that into development. 'It's about time that governments took bold steps in nation building,' he added.
Apart from concentrating on elections and ignoring prominent development issues affecting the welfare of the people, another important issue which has not been addressed, because it had not caught the attention of African leaders, he said, was statistics and data collection.
According to him, 'One of the problems facing developing nations in Africa is data collection, we hate data' he said, wondering how the continent could develop without the use of appropriate data to guide the pertinent issues underpinning the development process of the continent.
He blamed African leaders for the lapses in the data collection process stating emphatically that people sit in offices churning out concocted figures to blind fold people as if they were accurate and precise for measuring development process and progress.
'Data analysis is very important, if leaders will make it a purposeful concern. However, if they fail, sorry! We cannot develop because if leadership would change, then we must change our mentality and the way we do things,' he observed.