African Leaders Have Huge Responsibility - President Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama on Friday said African leaders had a huge responsibility of putting in adequate measures for future generations to triumph. "This responsibility has to do with scaling up information and communication technology, education, health facilities and other amenities that would empower them to perform better than our generation," he said. President Mahama said this when he delivered a lecture on: "Economic Governance in Unchartered Waters," at the John F. Kennedy Junior Forum of the Institute of Politics at the Harvard University in Boston. The lecture, which attracted hundreds of students and academia, gave President Mahama the opportunity to explain certain issues pertaining to the African Continent as opposed to those in the developed world. President Mahama said although some former African leaders ended up becoming dictators, their positive roles towards the attainment of independence and establishing basic democratic structures could not easily be swept under the carpet. "We are currently building upon the foundation that they put in place, notwithstanding some of the black decades recorded in the past by some of our leaders," he said. On Africa's over dependence on the Bretton Woods Institutions for the stability of their economies, President Mahama said every sovereign nation, including African countries, cherished freedoms but the capacity to harness natural resources were insufficient to make them independent. "We have a lot of natural resources and produce a lot, but our inability to add value to process into finished goods has been partly responsible for that dependence. “For almost 60 years that Ghana gained independence, she has been mining gold, yet unable to establish a single gold refinery forcing her to continue exporting gold in its raw form to the international market," he said. On decentralization, President Mahama said Ghana had advanced where district assemblies were given money (District Assemblies Common Fund) to undertake social development projects of their choice. "What Government is currently pursuing to amend in the Constitution about decentralization is the election of the District Chief Executives which would make them more responsible and efficient in grassroots democracy," President Mahama said. Answering a question on airline connectivity in Africa, President Mahama said although it was still not the best, it was improving compared to the past decade where travelers moved out of the continent before reconnecting to other African countries. He said African economies needed stability with much capacity to process available raw materials to become fully independent.