African Development Bank president Dr Donald Kaberuka made a brief presentation on Challenges and Opportunities facing Africa at the FNB Building, West Campus, on March 14.
In his opening, deputy vice-chancellor, Prof Yunus Ballim said: “We certainly have a shared sense of history with much of sub-Saharan Africa. Also, we share similar problems and solutions to those problems.”
Kaberuka outlined four key challenges faced by sub-Saharan Africa. These were government defiance and the implications for business confidence, managing natural resources and managing external shocks. He found it unacceptable for so much wealth in food and minerals to be exported, while over half the population lived below the poverty line in many countries. He said this was happening because economic resources were not being managed well.
As a solution, Kaberuka recommended a free movement of natural resources within the African continent as well as government investing in greater infrastructure.
He expressed his wish for governments to provide more support to farmers by providing agricultural subsidies, saying it would work best on a temporary basis.
He said it was important to find solutions to Africa’s challenges, as opposed to finding individuals to put the blame on, and that we should work and develop together and stop “wasting opportunities”.