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President John Mahama

Africa states its case at UN

The annual ritual of heads of member countries addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), came to an end in New York a few weeks ago. Our President, John Dramani Mahama, was among the distinguished heads who addressed the 6th General Assembly of the UN.

As was expected,  global issues in all spheres including political, economic,  social and terror dominated discussions. 

Some countries, especially the emerging economic giants, used the opportunity to announce their arrival on the big stage and demanded equal opportunities and mutual respect.  India, in particular, expressed its readiness to partner any country or institution in space exploration, having achieved the singular honour of becoming the first country to enter the Martian orbit at first attempt. 

Others that have achieved success in this area, albeit after more than one attempt are the United States (US) and Russia, as well as the European Union.   

It appears the US and its European allies are more preoccupied with the threat of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and to a lesser extent, the separatist movements in Ukraine.

Africa, as usual, came with very little success story but with a lot of problems it expected the rest of the world to offer solutions to.  The latest in an already unending list of problems is the Ebola scourge which is ravaging Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and to some extent, Nigeria.

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Ebola has come to add to Malaria,  HIV/AIDS, other diseases,  poverty, illiteracy and ignorance and has succeeded in diverting attention from whatever little efforts countries in the West Africa sub-region are making towards economic and social progress. 

The continent already has other major problems including corruption,  bad leadership and poor governance to battle and any addition such as Ebola only compounds matters.

The question which continues to baffle many development experts is why Africa, a continent considered to be one of the most endowed in terms of natural resources, should remain the poorest and least developed? 

Apart from the factors mentioned earlier, it appears the continent has not emerged from the humiliation it suffered from slavery and colonialism, twin evils that continue to have serious psychological effects on Africans.

It is true history has not been fair to Africa and its people.  But should we continue to mourn the past and fail to extricate ourselves from the grip of under development? Is our case such a hopeless one?

Maybe we need to address the leadership problem with more seriousness. African leaders who are always begging for donor support are among some of the world's wealthiest. 

Lack of self confidence has not helped matters. Over reliance on foreign ideas and theories have had the effect of making us look inferior.

The continent needs a new breed of leadership.  A leadership that will have vision and set upon itself a mission to accomplish set objectives. 

Our leaders cannot continue to attend every international forum carrying along baggages of problems for others to solve.

Many other countries, including China, Brazil,  India,  South Korea and Turkey are making their mark on the world stage. Why should ours only be heard crying for assistance?

Ours cannot be a true image of God. Our leaders should stop spending hours plotting to rob their countries of their resources and move this continent forward to end this state of helplessness. 

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