Friday, April 29, 2016

Eschew “Corruption And Self-Enrichment” – Former President Pohamba To African Leaders

H.E. Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba

The former President of Namibia His Excellency Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba has asked contemporary African leaders to eschew acts of “corruption and self-enrichment” in order to have their citizen’s rally unwavering support behind them to unleash the development they desire.

He said each country must embrace democracy and its attending characteristics and there should be no more coup d’états, unconstitutional changes of governments, arbitrary arrest and detention of people for political reasons.

Speaking at the Africa Leadership Lectures of the University for Development Studies (UDS) on the topics: “Inspirational and Extraordinary Africa Leaders”, “African Integration” and “My Vision Of A Fully Integrated Africa”, Mr. Pohamba paid glowing tribute to great African leaders such as Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Patrice Lumumba of Congo among others, for their inspirational leadership and determination to liberate Africa from white supremacy and oppression.

According to him, due to the bravery and exemplary leadership style of these great leaders, their fellow country men and women found it necessary to rally support behind them in the liberation struggle. 

Mr. Pohamba maintained that without visionary African leaders, the liberation of Africa from colonial rulers would have been delayed. 

He also urged Africans to stand firm and resist the temptation of being racist, xenophobic, ethnocentric or engaging in religious conflicts. “There is the need for Africa to put an end to all wars, civil conflicts as well as gender based violence. This is a necessary condition for socio-economic development and integration of the continent”.

He said Africa could not achieve full integration if women who constituted more than half of the population of the continent were not equal participants in the development of the continent. He said in the context of Africa integration, Africa should reckon that a gender sensitive approach to development was not the way of political imperative but a basic condition for sustained socio-economic recovery.

Moreover, he charged political leaders to provide the necessary political will and mobilize resources for the implementation of programmes and at the same time crack the proverbial whip so that all those tasked with the implementation of treaties would do what must be done. 

Turning his attention to free trade barriers, the former President of Namibia said Africa should not only be the path for exporting raw materials but also value addition using indigenous knowledge and the productivity of the people. 

African Heads of State At An AU Summit
Africa integration, he said, should promote inward-looking investments and facilitate the acquisition and application of appropriate technologies.  He called for the need for African made products to be marketed widely in the continent and perfect the available technology as well as expand the few assembling plants to enable them produce in large quantities for the African market. 

This year’s lectures is on the theme: “Genesis and Trajectory of Contemporary African Leadership: Reaffirming the legitimacy of African leadership philosophies and approaches, tackling the evolution thereof and projecting the vision for a united and integrated Africa.”

The 3-day event which began on Wednesday April 27 –Friday April 29, was the fourth edition. It is held annually to contribute to national and transnational discourse on productive leadership culture that will support and advance Africa’s development. 

The Africa Leadership Lectures is a platform to subject the issues of leadership and development in Africa to the required critical thought. It also creates a forum to inspire positive and innovative leadership initiatives as well as stimulate and initiate a platform for an action on constructive leadership in Ghana and Africa.

At the climaxed of the lectures on Friday, the UDS conferred an Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honoris Causa) in the doctor of letters category on Mr. Pohamba for his exemplary leadership style which led to the transformation and development of Namibia, and making him to win the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement of African Leadership in 2015. 

Alongside the former Namibian President, about 132 students also graduated. They received Masters of Science, Philosophy, Arts, Postgraduate Diploma and Doctors of Philosophy in Community Health and Development, Education, NGO Management and Rural Development, Crop Science, Soil and Water Conservation and Management, Animal Science, Agricultural Economics, Strategic Planning and Management, Development Management, Development Studies, Social Administration, Environment and Resource Management, Management Studies, Development Communication, Leadership in Development, Business Planning and Microfinance Management and Endogenous Development.

Meanwhile Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba was born on 18th August 1935 and served as the second President of Namibia from March 2005 to March 2015. He won the 2004 election overwhelmingly as the candidate of SWAPO, the ruling party, and he was re-elected in the 2009 election. 

Prior to his Presidency, Pohamba served in various ministerial positions, beginning at Namibia's independence in 1990: he was Minister of Home Affairs from 1990 to 1995, Minister of Fisheries from 1995 to 1997, Minister without Portfolio from 1997 to 2000, and Minister of Lands from 2001 to 2005. He was also Secretary-General of SWAPO from 1997 to 2002 and Vice-President of SWAPO from 2002 to 2007.

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