Ghana’s Second Lady Samira Bawumia is highly optimistic Africa can attain the positive economic change it is yearning for years.
Delivering a public lecture on the theme: “Driving economic change in Africa in the 21st century: Ghana at the forefront” at University of Pennsylvania, US, Mrs Bawumia said Africans must believe in themselves that it is possible and will take everyone to be on board to drive that change.
“The positive economic change we yearn for in Africa is possible! Africa must not relent! We must all rally together to drive economic change. Together, we can transform our continent to attain its full potential,” she observed.
Mrs. Bawumia noted Africa has the expertise, but unfortunately the menace of brain drain has denied the continent of its skilled human resources who are excelling in advanced countries.
“We need to address the problem of brain drain and repatriate knowledge in order to drive economic change,” the Second Lady suggested.
She extoled individuals who have returned to the continent to make their expertise available to advance Africa and called on others to emulate it.
“Think of the Kenyan Juliana Rotich, co-founder and executive Director of Ushahidi, an entrepreneur who moved from Chicago to Nairobi to establish one of the fastest growing East African technology.
“Like Julian, let us ask old questions new. Let us reimagine our way of life, our way of doing things at home and at work; and we would be surprised the kind of answers that may show up and the opportunities that will present themselves.
“Fahad Awadh, a 29-year old entrepreneur from Tanzania has set up a cashew processing facility in Tanzania, in an effort to bring international standards and traceability to the cashew nuts industry in his country.
“Sangu Delle , a Ghanaian Harvard graduate, is the Founder and Executive President of the African Development Initiative, a social entrepreneurial organisation dedicated to investing in opportunities to improve the health, education and economies of communities in low-recourse settings. Kosi Yankey, a young Ghanaian entrepreneur, is currently working with Engineers Without Borders’ Business Development Sector to develop a training program for agribusinesses in Africa through Mobile Business Clinics,” Mrs. Bawumia mentioned a few as an example to the youth.
She advised the youth to be bold enough to take up the mantle to lead in every capacity.
“Let us reimagine Africa. Let us reimagine our communities in our search for solutions against social injustice, destruction of the environment, and poverty. Out of adversities and challenges let us find and grow opportunities. Let us focus on local solutions for our problems,” Mrs. Bawumia opined.
She added: “Would you say Africa has a drought of leadership? No! Leadership, small or large, is inherent in all of us. Most have not tapped into their strengths, while others just lack the courage to manifest it.
“To the younger generation of Africans, I say go ahead; be a leader – among friends, in your family, in your community, in your district, in your region, state, or country. You can grow your leadership. All you need are some simple ingredients: discipline and the will to empower yourselves, determination, the will to serve, the will to do the public good, the will to make life better for those less fortunate than you are.”