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27.06.2022 Interviews

'Effective production mechanism is key to Africa's economic freedom'

By Martin-Luther C. King || Contributor
Mr. Abdulrahman Olawale SolagberuMr. Abdulrahman Olawale Solagberu
27.06.2022 LISTEN

Contemporary African leaders and politicians need to wean themselves from depending on neocolonial powers for solutions to their countries' socio-economic problems if Africa is to actualise the vision of Ghana's founding president Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and other esteemed pan-Africanists of an economically-empowered Africa with a common identity, head of Nigeria's Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board ( JAMB) head office annex in Ilorin, Nigeria Mr. Abdulrahman Olawale Solagberu, tells MARTIN-MARTIN-LUTHER C. KING on the sidelines of the Tribute Concert awards 2022 recently held in Accra to honour deserving Yorubas in Ghana.

He says now is the time for African leaders to go beyond rhetorics to quickly begin to initiate and implement policies that actually economically empower Africans all over the continent.

Excerpts:

Q. How can contemporary African leaders and politicians go beyond rhetorics to begin to practically actualise and fast-track the vision of a united and economically empowered Africa?

A. The true economically empowered Africa can not be attained without effective production mechanism, the factors of production: land (natural resources), capital, labour and entrepreneurship efficiently deployed to reduce cost of production, and make products competitive in the market, both local and foreign.

If locally produced goods and services are not at competitive price, cheap foreign goods and services will drive away locals.

So, economic integration of the African continent will come to reality if we become a productive continent, rather than being a consumptive continent.

Q. Ghana's first President Kwame Nkrumah not only talked but also acted out his pan-Africanist ideology. Are the present crop of politicians in Africa really following in Nkrumah's footsteps?

A. The great Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and other esteemed pan-Africanists, did their best to promote Africa as a continent with one identity. They used the gain of the movement to uproot and eradicate colonialism in Africa, initiate social, cultural and economic development for the continent.

The present crop of politicians in Africa are products of neocolonialism who largely depend on their former colonial masters to solve their economic, social, cultural and political problems. It is an obvious fact that no one can like you as yourself. So, they will always promote policies that will favour their masters. Our present crop of politicians has been brainwashed!

Q. What is your impression of the Tribute Concert 2022 awards?

A. The awards events are the right step in the right direction. It will serve as an inspiration to get the best out of citizens.

If the legacy of the dead can be celebrated, then the living should be rest assured that, they will not labour in vain. The awards will enhance community and national development.

Q. Many of the awardees have roots stretched across both Nigeria and Ghana. Therefore how can the awards be used to deepen relations between Nigeria and Ghana, both on people-to-people and governmental bases?

A.The Nigeria-Ghana relationship can be deepened through cultural, social and economic ties. To demonstrate this on the people-to-people relationship level, inter-marriage should be encouraged, as it will automatically deepen cultural and social ties. On the economic relationship front, trans-border trade should be encouraged, because people need economic activities to survive; but with necessary supervision from the respective governments.

On the other hand, relationship at governmental level should be expanded through enhanced foreign policy initiatives that will witness the exchange and cross-fertilization of good ideas to promote good governance, security of lives and property of the citizens.

Internships for professionals, sabbatical leave for academia, and exchange programs for students are also some of the steps that can fast-track inter-governmental relationships.

Q.What category were you awarded in?

A. My grandfather, Sheikh Girigisu Abubakar was awarded the Hero of Excellence.

Q. Briefly tell us about yourself?

A. I head the matriculation and monitoring unit of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), national headquarters annex, in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.

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