H.E. Mr. Benjamin Mkapa, former President of Tanzania Chairperson, Members of the Board of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, Distinguished Invitees, Ladies and Gentlemen I am most grateful to President Thabo Mbeki for inviting me to deliver the second in the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (TMALI)‟s lecture series on African leadership. I am honoured to be here and I commend him for the initiative to focus on preparing the kind of democratic leaders of our continent who are proud to be African, who are not afraid to be original thinkers and who can govern well and deliver for the African people who have suffered too much. Like President Mbeki, I believe an African renaissance is possible and necessary. I said possible and necessary; I did not say easy. I was not easily persuaded to accept this invitation. It is a tribute to President Mbeki‟s persuasive powers that I venture to stand before you. It is nearly six years since I left office. I can rightly say that I am not a politician. At my age I am not a political or social activist. I am most certainly not a philosopher. For all these reasons, I feel confident that my remarks should not tax your minds inordinately! Why must we observe Africa Day? Because this is the day the Founding Fathers of African Independencedesignated to celebrate the release of African countries from the yoke of colonialism and Apartheid. It marks the founding, in 1963, of the Organization of African Unity, (OAU), the precursor to today‟s African Union (AU). It also serves as a reminder for Africans to renew their commitment to one another and to their history. But one may well ask: After fifty years of Independence is there much to commemorate and celebrate, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa? Over what achievements can we rejoice? What spirit are we called upon to renew? In these times of globalization, clamour for change and the global existential crisis, we may be tempted to forget our past and despair of the future. I invite you to review with me the causes of commemoration of African Independence and the factors opening up a surge in the spirit of African Development. ﻿We do have the duty to celebrate the contribution of the founding fathers of African independence. They were the architects of the struggle for independence, worked to unite our people against occupation, racism and foreign rule and steered our countries into the community of nations. They were architects of our nationhood no less than George Washington, James Madison and Abraham Lincoln were architects of American nationhood. In nearly all sub-Saharan countries, nearly half the population has not had the experience of life under colonial, racist rule. There is a danger that for them the travails and injustices of colonial rule will seem theoretical. Africa Day should stir them up to engender the importance and usefulness of the Independence struggle. The demographic picture elicits yet another consideration. The concentration of the minds of the political agitators and freedom fighters may have given the impression that Independence was an end in itself. However, all along, the struggle had a broader objective, namely improvement in the welfare of the colonized people. Africa Day should remind us of this development dimension to Independence. It should serve as an occasion to review policies announced, implemented and achieved, as well as the challenges ahead. Programme Director, The one most distinguished characteristic of the founding fathers of our countries, and of their generation of leaders, is LEADERSHIP. They showed an unwavering commitment to the struggle, being prepared to go to prison and suffer other multiple indignities. With a singleness of purpose, they united people of diverse ethnicities, religious faiths and racial colours. They sacrificed the security of jobs and the comforts of family. They evinced a spirit of volunteerism and sacrifice without compare. They have now passed on the leadership to the second and third generation, incumbents, and the youth who believe their time has come. Are these latter walking in their footsteps? It seems to me appropriate that Africa Day should serve as occasion to reflect on what others see in and think of African Independence. Fifty years on what do the countries of the Older World think of African Independence? Are we more respected? Our sovereign States have joined a host of international Organisations, beginning with the Big One, the United Nations (UN). Are we truly treated as equals in these organisations? As China, India and Brazil are regarded? Programme Director, The other characteristic of the Independence leaders was their VISION. From Nkrumah to Houphoet-Boigny.William S Tubman to Modibo Keita, Nasser to Ben Bella. Nyerere to Kenyatta, from Mandela to Kaunda, they envisaged an Africa evolving from Liberation (Independence) through development and on to African Unity. The first goal they managed well, to the point that today only Western Sahara remains under occupation. On the international scene they multiplied the numbers of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). In the context of the bi-polar Cold War this was the expression of their independence and a veritable way of protecting our newly won political freedom. The mantle of leadership in the pursuit of the second goal, namely all round development, they have passed on to the current leadership in Africa. Happily President Mbeki and his other three colleagues namely Abdulaye Wade, Olesegun Obasanjo and Abdel Aziz Bouteflica, took up this challenge and formulated the New Partnership for Africa‟s Development (NEPAD). They then grounded it in a value system, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) which would monitor and guide NEPAD‟s practitioners. The NEPAD is an official development strategy of the AU. Some twenty-five Member States have signed up to the APRM. I for one fear that when it comes to practical, result and target oriented implementation, many countries may be found wanting. At the political level, we have as I have said changed the OAU into the AU. This is no mean achievement, especially when we bear in mind that the Secretariat, now Commission, is headed by a President as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Its operational capacity is however severely hampered by the fragility of its financial base. Contributions are paltry and slow in coming; at any one time the African Union sustains a huge deficit! When one takes account of the phenomenon of geographical distribution of the staff, the odds are increased.A pillar of the work of the continental organisation is the regional cooperation organisations, such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), etc. These have proved far more effective, in particular in the pursuit of regional economic integration. Their leaders meet in Ordinary Summits once a year and have before them manageable and well researched agenda items. Yet when I was in office, a senior politician asked me: Is the SADC an organisation of the people or of Presidents? When pressed he continued: Do you honestly believe that the ordinary citizen feels that his life is being affected by your exchanges and toasts, protocols signed and final press releases? Would your citizens miss these Summits? This is a shortcoming of both the regional and continental organisations. The NEPAD momentum is slowing down. The Summits have descended into annual parades. Implementation of past decisions is inadequately reviewed. New development initiatives are not sufficiently backed by funding, and so become simple resolutions of hope. Our actions do not match the ambitions we proclaim. Churning out position papers will not fight poverty, illiteracy and disease. Analysis of our problems must happen concurrently with deliberate capacity building to address them. Programme Director, Have we got our priorities right? Independence removed the indignity of being racially discriminated against and foreign rule. Removing that indignity should give us the strength to tackle the other, for me, fundamental indignities poverty, ignorance and disease. These are the indignities that make our people truly fragile and our States so-called failed States. First let us look at the poverty of Food Insecurity. I dare to say that it is inexcusable for any Sub-Saharan country not to be able to feed itself! I have been to almost all sub-Saharan African countries.Individually and regionally they are endowed with land and water resources to grow food for themselves and the region. When one sees countries like the Sudan and Egypt make use of the Nile waters for food production one will understand that this is not a pipedream. Nationally and collectively, food self-sufficiencyis possible. At the AU Summit in Maputo in 2003, leaders approved a detailed plan for African agriculture, the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), which is part of the NEPAD. Recognizing that agriculture should be priority number one, they pledged to give it support by allocating 10% of the annual government budget to it. Only about a third of the Members have reached this target! Meanwhile the continent spends over $33 billion a year importing food including most probably Uncle Ben‟s rice!! Why should it take UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to warn us that The state of food and nutrition security across much of Africa remains fragile? We can eliminate this crisis if only we remember the Shona saying: What grows on its own is a forest: a field grows when it sees its master. Programme Director, Then there is the Poverty of Knowledge. This too diminishes our freedom. It incapacitates our struggle to improve our material and social welfare. Illiteracy limits our access to written knowledge for development. Ignorance blinds us to political and economic rights, nationally and internationally. Education is therefore priority number two because it raises the dignity of the person and the nation. The third prerequisite for a dignified independence is Freedom from Disease. A population constantly plagued by breakouts of epidemics is necessarily weak. It may not have the energy to grow food and feed itself. It will lack the capacity for initiating and managing enterprises and marketing their products. It impacts upon the capacity to defend itself. It constitutes a truly fragile State. However we must bear in mind the limitations of our human resources and financial capacity to deliver curative health services. We can prevent outbreaks of disease at less cost than we can hope to treat diseases in modern facilities with state of the art equipment. As ancient wisdom exhorts us: flies cannot fall into a tight closed pot, or prevention is cheaper than cure. I consider these three freedoms from food insecurity, from ignorance and from disease as the fundamental and priority measure of the dignity of African Independence. More emphasis should be given to the war against them. The terrain to fight them must be of our own demarcation. The weapons and terms of their deployment must be of our own determination. The indices of success must be established by us. External support groups whether civil or State, must be selected by us; their deployment too must be monitored by us. The war is fundamentally our own and we can win if we set our sights objectively. This is the first challenge and imperative facing the second generation of African Leaders. Programme Director, I wish to draw this imperative to the particular attention of Youth leaders. Often in discussions I have heard remarks from them to the effect we have-beens, older leaders are conservative and opposed to change. I think this is an unfair charge. We say in Swahili that the one who is born before you sees the sun before you. Older leaders are not adversaries of change or innovation. Change is unavoidable and we should not think we can stand still and develop at the same time. But we do have a duty to ask: What change? In which direction? How? And to what end? Programme Director, The first imperative is ownership of the task of defining our Independence and owning the process of consolidating it in dignity. The second is the ownership of the process of post-independence transformation. At independence Sub-Saharan countries embarked on political transformation to give citizens voice and choice in governance on the one hand, and on the other to increase the scope of their ownership of their countries‟ economies. I fear that in addressing these dual challenges present leaders defer excessively to exhortations, advocacy and the threats of erstwhile colonial masters and their allies. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) revolution has opened up the world, warts and all, to people in both urban and rural areas. We are bombarded by accounts of events, analyses of causes, assessment of social impact and projections of stability or impending disorder, by the day. Presently for example, the airwaves and the daily printed page is saturated with the phenomenon called the Arab Spring. This is supposed to connote the political, social and economic turmoil North Africa and in the Middle East which is causing havoc upon governance and economic production in the name of Peoples Power. These happenings are projected to spread to Sub-Saharan African countries, with the most superficial references to these countries‟ political systems, social fabrics, or social policy reforms! The propaganda assault is augmented by the conduct of foreign diplomats, who in our countries are prone to behave as if they are shepherds of western systems of governance and viceroys of global democracy. It used to be said that a diplomat is one sent abroad to lie for his country. In Africa to-day they are more inclined to impose their political and economic order on their countries of accreditation! But these trends in fact reflect the culture of dependence on our part which has grown, post independence. Politically we are pliantly lectured to adopt political structures and electoral systems. The risk of consequential instability is not much considered. Civil society organisations mushroom by every considerable acronym, advocating every considerable right, with no regard for the capacity of our countries to deliver. Very few of them can be said to be home-grown! The economic dependence mindset is more pronounced and more disconcerting. When we want to broaden our network of trade and investment we are faulted. We are warned to fear the unknowns, such as the Brazil Russia India and South Africa (BRICS). Note the obsession of western trading nations with the issue of so-called business relations between Africa and China! They tell us that China is bad for Africa, and we begin to believe it. Yet while no one says the Chinese are saints, or that we should negotiate with them with our eyes closed, there is absolutely no gainsaying that there is nothing China could possibly do in Africa worse than what those who warn us about China did to us in the past, and even now. And when we start talking about what some in the industrialized world did to us in the past they quickly respond by saying that this is history and irrelevant; but their own history is neverirrelevant! Before he passed on, my Founding President Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere chaired the South Commission and subsequently the Board of its operations, the South Center, based in Geneva. This project seeks to promote South solidarity and South-South cooperation, by providing intellectual and policy support required by developing countries on wide ranging issues, including trade for development, innovation and access to knowledge, climate change and global governance for development. The Centre‟s 50 members or so are obliged freely to support it by voluntary financial contributions. But only a fifth can be depended upon to make their regular voluntary contributions. South Africa is in the frontline in giving this support, and enabling its national, Ambassador Abdul Minty to assume the responsibilities of its Convener. As Chair of the Center I am deeply grateful for South Africa‟s support. I cite this project and the record of its South support to indicate how low is the spirit of self-reliance and South-South cooperation has declined. Programme Director, Aid is another manifestation of the dependence syndrome. On the face of it has a glorious luster, because it is associated with humanitarianism, solidarity and development. Originated and touted in order, rightly, to help newly independent countries find their feet, it has become an indispensable factor in their economic and budgetary equation. Many Sub Saharan African (SSA) countries depend on aid handouts for their budgets; the aid coming bilaterally from developed countries or multilaterally through the United Nations Agencies. Aid, we are told is not a conspiracy; it is simply economic diplomacy. When I got into office, we depended on aid for close to 50% of recurrent expenditure! I am glad it has come down to 28% and continuing to decline. Many SSA countries depend very substantially on these aid tranches, not only for development, but also for recurrent expenditure. The cumulative effect is the inculcation of the culture of aid dependence and an unacceptable diminution of independence thought and action. During colonial times the notion was purveyed to us that colonial rule was a partnership between the colonial government and the people. We rejected it because we were forever the horse, and the government was the rider. We must be equally worry of the sale of development partnership. Apart from the obscurity about which partner benefits most, it clouds the question as to who of the so-called partners bears principal responsibility for development. African countries must disengage from the Aid Trap, as Dr. Dambisa Moyo so brilliantly argues in her bookead Aid. They must take development into their own hands, own it and mobilize themselves to achieve it. The former colonial powers continue to dominate international economic relations and institutions. We must liberate ourselves from this domination. The 0.7% Aid for Development formula is not the key to the elimination of poverty, ignorance and disease. It is the 100% understanding and resolve of the poor people that is the sure and genuine key to their development. Which brings me to the third imperative: to build the Capacity to Negotiate. Does the case for self-reliance and against the aid dependency syndrome invalidate the spectacle of a globalizing and increasingly interdependent world? No. Rather it is a plea for a more independent and Africacentred appraisal and advocacy. Every day, in a plethora of forums, a new heterogeneous, pluralistic global political, economic and social order is being negotiated, from permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council to the development round at the WTO. Independent African states take their seats at the negotiating table. Often they do not have agreed positions and goals; and it is not because the AU has four official languages!! They are sometimes advised by the nationals of the countries they are negotiating with! The on-going negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between African countries and the European Union (EU) well illustrate this shortcoming. The Cotonou Agreement which set out the terms of trade between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries having expired there was need to conclude a new one. The EU conceived a new strategy, namely that separate agreements should be negotiated with regional groups of countries hence the EPAs. Additionally, the agreements would now be comprehensive, covering all sectors of economic relations. The intent of the EU was and remains very clear: to divide not to rule but to profit. Where before there was one agreement covering all three regions of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP), now there would be several group agreements from which, on the strength of comprehensive reciprocity, the EU would derive maximum profit. On the part of the ACP countries, this framework and manner of negotiation would in the end strip them of any powers to protect existing industries, to add value to their exports of primary commodities, while stifling the growth of their services sectors, among other deficiencies and failures. Intermittently, group negotiations have reached the stage where some countries have refused to initial texts before signing, where others have demurred altogether. In my capacity as Chair of the Board of the South Center, I wrote AU Heads of State and Government before their Tripoli Summit urging them not sign these EPAs and spelt out how they were not necessary. I set out the disadvantages of the texts and how they would impact adversely the development prospects of the countries concerned. I ventured to submit a Draft Agreement of our own which would answer the EU‟s importunities. Finally I strongly lobbied for the negotiations to be held at an all Africa level. To this day I have received only three replies to my letter. All three are positive; but they are only three! Most tellingly, one of them writes: My view is that the EPAs will indeed have serious economic, social and political consequences for our countries. On the issues of the elimination of tariffs which is the centerpiece of the EPAs, the wanton opening up of our economies without support for diversification and competitiveness, will lead to difficulties in industrialization and will result in the regression of our economies to mere markets for products manufactured in the European Union. Programme Director, Building Negotiating Capacity To overcome the knowledge and skills gap as we undertake these negotiations is the reason why I have placed building negotiating capacity as a paramount imperative in furtherance of the dignity of African Independence. Success in meeting these imperatives, however, depends on the SSA countries constructing a consensual development vision. It must be a vision which is overarching and arrived at by a process of extensive and participatory consultation. It must harmonize two principal elements the political and the economic. In these 50 years of African Independence many countries have embarked upon democratizing or Africanizing the independence constitutions and governing structures. We must resist replications of Western or Eastern models. It was John Kenneth Ealbraith who noted: Under Capitalism man exploits man. UnderCommunism it is precisely the opposite! We experience too much judgementalism mostly of them about us and not vice versa! We are obliged to strive to know more about ourselves, because as the Ewe people of Ghana say: lack of self-knowledge makes one a slave! Our governance systems must reflect our historical and current day realities. In this way citizens will feel they own the governance system, be ready to live by it and to defend it. Programme Director, The economic element of the national indeed even that of the integrated Continental vision needs to describe plainly the policy of ownership of natural resources, especially land and energy resources. These are often the issues that divide citizens and nations. Additionally terms for their exploitation by nationals and foreigners must be explained, as must the way returns will be used in the war against the three enemies I have cited. These are the contentious issues that often divide citizens and provoke nations to go to war! In reacting to these challenges with an African perspective we shall be honouring our founding fathers. They sponsored the independence paradigm in an African context. We must contextualize development in an African reality. We must define development against the time-proven African philosophy and values of Sharing, Neighbourhood and Community. Against the backdrop of the many challenges, missed opportunities, self-inflicted wounds as well as those obstacles imposed on Africa and Africans by neo-colonial institutions and other unfavourable forces in the global economic and political system, it is now opportune to turn our attention, in these early decades of the 21st century, in identifying those human qualities or value systems that are truly transformational and would rightly distinguish the next generation of African leadership. What are the hallmarks of competent leadership we demand of present day aspiring African leaders? These are: 1. Self confidence and self reliance 2. Tolerance of Diverse Views/Opinions 3. Discipline, Focus and commitment; and 4. Accountability and Transparency in public affairs Because Visionary leadership one would argue has in many instances and contexts been the missing success conversion catalyst. SELF CONFIDENCE Few would argue against the fact that Africa‟s founding fathers were exceptional personalities who oozed with considerable confidence. They were confident in the righteousness of their cause, in the demand for freedom, in the trust of their followers and in the Africans equality with all other races of human kind. They harboured no evident Complexes! To them, it was the Africans‟ right to misgovern themselves, if need be, than to be dominated by others! At the height of the Cold War, many insisted and declared that they looked neither East nor West but Forward! They theorized and lived the African Personality and the virtues of Negritude. In essence they were very proud of their Africanness and very often flaunted it on the international and national stages. SELF RELIANCE The belief in self reliance is a natural outcome from self-confidence. Self-dependency was essential to promote the strategy of national production which focuses attention primarily (but not exclusively) on domestic resources and priorities for the accomplishment of national objectives. Though its historical theoretical antecedents in Africa were framed within the politics of Socialism its practical relevance remains and is valid today and into the future. Africans, leaders and citizens, will remain grateful for the external development and other forms of assistance they receive but we must also accept that the Continent‟s sustainable development is solely our responsibility. Many of the founding fathers believed this sincerely. Few in my generation have also emphasized it but it is a fact that future leaders must not forget. The world simply put does not owe Africa and Africans a living! DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE Democratic practice is not historically alien to African societies. In so far as the Continent featured kingdoms, chiefdoms, non- centralized (so-called Acephalous), clan or lineage societies, there is no political system that could be described as having been characteristic of a single African historical past. Clearly, therefore, political dictatorships in modern Africa are nothing but the result of perverse institutional and ideological mutations emerging from colonial rule and neo-colonial influences and arrangements e.g. the Big Man Syndrome, Bossy Bureaucrats, the Soldier- Politician etc. Throughout the continent today, the search continues for truly democratic governance that operates in the interest of all citizens. There is no denying that Western liberal democracy with its emphases on separation of powers, representative government, free, fair and regular elections, rule of law and accountable bureaucracies are all attributes that would go a long way in positively transforming African societies. Such reforms, however, must meaningfully work for all citizens who must stamp them with their own characteristics. In Africa today, much of this is work-in-progress. The evolution must continue as it does in all societies that have chosen this course, however long ago. Recent civil unrest in Greece - the cradle of historic democracy, - in circumstances of deteriorating public finances is a lesson and a case in point. Particularly, this is a challenge for the African civil society and its institutions. The future of democratic governance in Africa will depend primarily on how pro-poor the process and outcomes are. The poor in Africa constitute the majority of civil society and often are the primary victims of unbridled state power. In truth, who are those poor? First and foremost, they do not have a legal identity. They are statistic a number, as part of the population size of those who have not gone to school, those who have died in floods, those infected with HIV/Aids etc. At best they have a national identity card or a voter registration card, which cannot be used as tools for self economic transformation. The poor have property, but strictly speaking, it is not recognized in law because it is likely to be unregistered and therefore lack a legal address. Yet both in an urban and a rural context, secure tenure is the most critical factor to protect poor people‟s livelihood. They own land, but again whether it is in urban or rural areas, it is strictly speaking not recognized by law because it is likely to be un-surveyed, unregistered and untitled. Some may own a business, but it is likely to be informal and extra-legal, mainly because they sought to circumvent the multitude of steps, barriers and costs required to start and register and operate a business. A diagnostic study commissioned in Tanzania about five years ago reported that the bulk of economy estimated at $30 billion in was in the informal sector, and that 98% of businesses operated extralegally and 89% of real property was held extra-legally. I do not think that the poor of Tanzania are very exceptional! Pro-poor governance therefore must be central to democratic governance in any African country. DISCIPLINE, FOCUS ON OBJECTIVES AND COMMITMENT The World Bank estimates that the annual cost to Africa economies of absenteeism of public officials in primary schools and health services is in billions of dollars. In fact, the problem is considered so acute that this institution labels, along with other forms of lack of discipline and commitment as soft corruption In the absence of commitment, principles don‟t matter! Public officials in Africa therefore rarely resign from their positions or show contrition on points of principle. This is the case in spite of recent proliferation of notices on Codes of Conduct and Accountability Standards. These values were held in high esteem by leaders in the early post independence era-the commencement of nation-building. We must ask. Why do they seem to have disappeared and how can we bring them back? Finally, a leadership that is committed to serving its followers must do so openly. Transparency and accountability are principal keystones of modern democratic governance. They are vital, especially in view of the scarcity of resources and knowledge which characterize African societies. In such contexts it becomes important that politicians, civil servants and other leaders do what they say they will do and be seen to be doing so. The challenge is real and one that calls for Africa‟s present day leadership to come up with innovative ideas on how best society can achieve greater openness and oversight over public institutions and personalities, without sowing disunity or dampening the entrepreneurial spirit so crucial for development I look to the Youth Leadership therefore to eschew the get rich quick‟ mentality, to innovate an education which incorporates Africanness and ethics. I plead for a Youth Leadership which has cultural pride, African pride, self-pride in contestation with donor enculturation. It will be seen that I am calling for SSA countries to develop a governance and economic ideology that will nourish equality and fraternity among their people on the one hand and be the spring board of continental cooperation on the other. I believe that in this way we shall be seeking the realization of our founding fathers vision of African Unity. The Unity then becomes a tool of development but also ensures that Africa has Voice on the international arena. I am a poor student of my country‟s founding father, Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, and my remarks today may sound pessimistic. So let me end with his optimistic thought: On 16 October 1997 he addressed the South African Parliament and he concluded his remarks thus: I started my address by pleading that I am not a politician. I want to affirm that I am not a Statesman either. Because I know of the story of Father and Son discussing career prospects. The son asks the father: Son: Father, what is a politician? Father: Son, a politician is a human machine with a wagging tongue. Son: Then, what is a Statesman? Father: It is an ex-politician who has mastered the art of holding his tongue. Thank you for your attention and forbearance!!