Africa's deplorable economic condition, decades after the attainment of political independence, has been blamed on bad leaders who facilitated the plunder of the continent's resources.
Speaking at a national prayer conference held in Accra to commemorate Africa Day yesterday, a cross-section of politicians, traditional leaders and the clergy were unanimous in slamming African leaders for failing to manage the resources of their countries well.
Citing high levels of corruption and greed which were still prevalent among some of the leaders in Africa, the speakers at the conference challenged leaders in Africa to live above reproach and endeavour to break the cycle of poverty on the continent.
In a plain talk which set the tone for the day, the Founder of Sheepfold Ministry, Rev Gideon Titi-Ofei, urged African leaders to do away with old ideologies which retarded progress and embrace new ones which would promote the development of the continent.
He underlined the need for African leaders to liberate the continent from the manipulations of the Western world, pointing out that "if our political leaders go round the world begging for money, then we will continue to serve the rich".
The national prayer conference, which was organised by Mission Africa Incorporated, in collaboration with the Parliament of Ghana, was on the theme, "Preparing for the return under favour".
It also provided the platform to pray for the restoration and development of Africa. The participants also prayed for peace and stability in the country, particularly in Dagbon.
The Chairman and Leader of the Convention People's Party (CPP), Dr Edmund Delle, who presided over the function, said it was unacceptable that given the enormous human and natural resources which Africa was endowed with, it was still grappling with poverty.
He said the challenges facing Africa required a new breed of leaders who would offer selfless service and who had a sense of direction to move the continent into economic development and prosperity.
Dr Delle stressed the need for African leaders to unite and speak with one voice, especially on economic issues, in order to make a positive impact within the globalised environment.
“African leaders cannot compromise on unity because it is the basis for their survival,” he said, and paid glowing tribute to the founding fathers of the AU, notably Ghana's first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, for championing the cause of a united Africa.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation for Future Leaders, Mr Emmanuel Dei-Tumi, said no amount of prayers could change the destiny of Africa unless the prayers were backed with action, determination and hard work.
He urged Africans to change their negative attitude and invest in education and information technology in order to succeed in the global village.
Mr Dei-Tumi criticised the unproductive attitude of some Africans, such as spending time to watch movies and the craze for beauty pageants. "Our young men and women are learning how to walk like frogs," he said sarcastically.
The Founder of Mission Africa Incorporated, Dr Kodjoe Sumney, said it was time to stop the negative perception about Africa because life and death were in the power of the tongue.
It was, therefore, imperative to say positive things about Africa, since there was hope for the better.
He said the focus of Mission Africa was to portray the good things about Africa and help promote its development.