By Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, Nov. 7, GNA - Dr Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, King of Tooro Kingdom in Uganda, has called for the inclusion of chiefs in the implementation of the Africa beyond aid agenda.
He said the presence of traditional leaders and cultural institutions in the drive to build a new future for the continent was both necessary and invaluable.
He said in Africa, monarchs and cultural leaders play a unifying role among the people across kingdoms and chiefdoms and were seen as a bonding factor in the socio-economic development of their nations.
King Rukidi IV said this on Thursday at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) High Level Dialogue in Accra.
The two-day meeting on the theme: “Africa’s Money for African Development –A Future Beyond Aid”, was formally opened by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The dialogue brought together leading actors in business, culture, media, arts, technology, innovation, traditional leaders as well as youth, women entrepreneurs, traders and environmentalists.
The dialogue aim to support leadership about Africa’s development towards a self-sustaining future, focusing on “Africa beyond Aid”.
King Rukidi IV said cultural institutions had stood above partisan politics and had created an enduring bond and love among the people.
“Cultural institutions are also repositories of tradition and continuity in these ever changing and evolving times,” he said.
He said the traditional leaders’ role in representing and preserving the historical and traditional roots of their societies was indispensable.
He said the agenda for the conference was about the prosperity of the people of Africa and the continent.
He, therefore, commended the organizers of the event for including the business leaders, cultural institutions, the youth and women.
“We also need the faith-based organisations and our diaspora to play a key role in the transformation of Africa’s future beyond aid,” he said.
“You cannot speak about Africa’s future without placing the youth who are the ones to inherit it at the heart of the conversation. We must put the youth at the forefront, harness their creativity and innovation, inculcate in them the value and need of breaking the donor dependence.”
King Rukidi IV said: “We want an Africa that is united and prosperous with a new narrative and perception of Africans taking ownership and becoming the architects of our own development. We want an Africa where our development is driven using the immeasurable natural resource endowments beyond the limitations of dependence on donor aid.”
“Yes, this is achievable. We are not the first to do it. Others have achieved it before. Japan did it. China did it. So, Africa must do it. Africa has incredible potential. What we need to do is change our mindset and have confidence and belief that Africa can prosper without aid.”
“We must leave no one behind in the quest for a future beyond aid. We must get families involved and children nurtured right from childhood to break the dependence syndrome, change their mindset and inculcate in them the values of self-respect and self-reliance and the need to undo the label of Africa as the beggars of the world,” King Rukidi IV stated.
Madam Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary General and Director, Regional Bureau for Africa, UNDP, said a future of Africa beyond aid was not a far-fetched notion “since the mid-1990s, aid has fallen as a share of Gross National Income across Africa, from 6.5 per cent in 1994 to 3.0 per cent in 2017.”
Madam Eziakonwa noted that at the same time, African countries were doing much more to enhance domestic resource mobilization and foreign direct investment.