Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Accra, May 31, GNA - The Founder and President of Ashesi University College, Dr Patrick Awuah, has challenged Africans to be part of the world’s technological value chain and not just educate themselves to use technologies produced from other continents.
He said many Africans were using technological devices which did not originate from the continent and, therefore, urged African leaders to educate their citizens to leverage on the market economies through economic integration.
‘‘West Africa must be integrated with Central, Eastern, Southern and Northern trade blocks as fundamental building blocks for economic development,’’ he said.
He said Africa must share its ideas with other societies so that it could build intercultural understanding and facilitate Africa’s transformation.
Dr Awuah, who is an Engineer, Educationist and Entrepreneur, was contributing to a panel discussion on the topic: ‘‘Fostering Economic Development through Transformational Leadership’’ at the third Mandela Washington Fellowship West Africa Regional Conference in Accra on Wednesday.
The two-day event would focus on: “Promoting Regional Development in Africa through Youth Innovation and Leadership.’’
There were more than 200 participants drawn from West and Central Africa including Liberia, Mali, Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders began in 2014 and it was the flagship programme of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) which was launched in 2010 by former US President Barack Obama to empower young people through academic coursework, leadership training and networking.
Dr Awuah said African leaders must operate with the goal that Africa would one day be equal with the rest of the world in terms of economic, social, political, scientific and cultural outputs.
African leadership should, therefore, work towards ensuring the freedoms and empowerments of its citizens, he said.
Mr James Mulbah, the Chief Executive Officer of Green Cities Incorporated from Liberia, whose company specialised in waste management, said Africa was generating 106 million tonnes of waste per year and urged the leaders to ensure sustainable recycling of waste.
He said waste management was a global challenge and there must be conscious effort to deal with it.
Mr Mulbah said he established the waste management company that undertook research into re-cycling of waste by focusing on waste value chain and separating them into various components to be used in producing biogas, fertilizers and animal feed.
In addition, the recycled plastic waste was subsequently sold to schools at discount prices in order to reduce importation of plastic materials.
YALI has four centres on the continent including Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and Senegal that trains young leaders in leadership, entrepreneurship and professional development.
Former President Barack Obama initiated the move to support young African leaders to spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance and enhance peace and security across the continent.