NAIROBI, Kenya, May 6 – The Africa Union Executive Council on Friday began deliberations on how Africa can utilise its resources to reduce poverty and boost development in the region.
According to Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed, whereas Africa has diverse resources, poverty continues to bite hard, a situation that requires elaborate transformation.
“Africa is a rich continent but poor people. We all know that Africa is rich in natural resources, and in spite of all that we remain poor, we remain very illiterate, we are languished by diseases. That’s why we are discussing how we can utilise our resources to our advantage,” she explained.
While noting that Africa’s big population translates to a big market and big pool of labour, Mohammed said it was imperative that Africa hold discussions and agree on mechanisms and programmes that can be adopted and implemented to develop the continent.
The high population, she said, was also highly skilled to fit in competitive job market which unfortunately had not translated to helping Africa but instead had seen export of labour to developed countries.
“How do we utilise our resources to our own advantage? What should we put in place – what mechanisms and what systems should we put in place so that we can deliver the fastest? These will form basis of the deliberations,” Mohammed explained.
Africa which enjoys a rich base of raw material, Mohammed complained, was exporting the raw materials to the west and then later buys manufactured goods made from the same materials at exorbitant prices yet Africa has the capacity to manufacture the same goods locally.
The retreat which will continue up to Sunday will also analyse successes achieved in different African countries and help countries lagging behind emulate.
The three day retreat was held in preparation for the AU summit slated for June in Kigali, Rwanda.