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14.03.2005 Diaspora News

African Govts asked to revamp economy to reflect political achievements

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From: Clemence Okumah, GNA Special Correspondent, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Cambridge, United Kingdom, March 14, GNA - Although multi-party democracy is taking roots in Africa, the economies of the various countries on the Continent are not advancing to commensurate with the political gains.

Governments of African countries should, therefore, initiate more pragmatic policies to support investments, particularly in agriculture, manufacturing and other productive ventures to revamp their economies. Mr Alfred Sallia Fawundu, UN Resident Co-ordinator and former UNDP Resident Representative in Guinea Bissau, Benin and Ghana, made these remarks in an interview with the GNA at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom at the weekend.

He said: "It is undisputable that some African governments are providing infrastructure and related services such as water, electricity, hospitals, schools and roads among other things to the people".

But this should be backed by sound macro-economic policies aimed at expanding the economy to increase productivity, create more jobs, widen the tax net, rake in more domestic revenue and raise export earnings to make the repayment of loans possible."

Mr Fawundu, who is currently a visiting Scholar at the University, is researching on: "Aid and Development Nexus, the African Experience," said good governance per se could not bring about prosperity and urged African governments to double steps to ensure rapid and sustainable economic growth.

He requested the governments to ensure that the acquisition of factors of production was made easy and legal to create a favourable investment climate for entrepreneurs, both local and foreign. Mr Fawundu noted that although economic development was grounded in the legal ownership of assets, their acquisition, particularly that of land was cumbersome and often characterised by litigation, scaring possible investors from the Continent.

He urged African governments to collaborate with traditional authorities to review the land tenure system and to improve and decentralise the administration of land and property ownership. Mr Fawundu observed that modern entrepreneurship among other considerations thrived on adequate information and urged African governments to ensure the proper networking of communication systems to facilitate the gathering and transmission of economic data and to ensure their timely use.

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