By Elias Mhegera – FORMER President of Germany Dr Horst Köhler has counseled African countries to find ways to solve the growing population of the youths who go without employment.
Dr Köhler who is an economist served as the Germany president from 2004 to 2010. Prior to that, he was President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 1998 to 2000 and head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2000 to 2004.
He was speaking before delegates from various circles in Tanzania from politicians to religious leaders, academicians, students and journalists on Wednesday this week. The development forum discussion was organized in collaboration by the Tanzania Development Initiative Programme (TADIP), and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS).
The main theme of the discussion at the Movenpick in Dar es Salaam was “Cooperation and Solidarity- Opportunities for an International Social market Economy”. Other presenters at the event were Prof. Benno Ndulu, Governor, Central Bank of Tanzania, Dr Camilius Kassala from the Institute of Financial Management and Mr Paschal Lesoinne.
Lessoine who is the managing director of Tanzania Portland Cement Company (TPCC) represented the private sector during the discussion which discussed opportunities and challenges of this country’s economy. The moderator at the event was Ms Rose Mwakitwange who is the Managing Director-East Africa Business and Media Training Institute.
The former president said that African experts and politicians should not spend much time blaming their former colonial masters for their economic woes because the new generation does not look at their problems from that perspective.
“I have had several encounters with the African youths, they put all the blame in their current leaderships and they know nothing about colonialism, this is a new reality and challenge that African leaders must learn to cope with,” he said.
Dr Köhler said that he had many encounters of discussions with African leaders like Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and John Kuffuor of Ghana both now retirees who complained that there was a stiff competition in the World Market which affects a lot the developing countries.
Speaking in this occasion Prof Ndulu said that Tanzania’s economy has not been stable mainly due to external influences whereby the key players in the market oriented economy have an enormous influence in the world trade.
For instance they are the ones which control the global economy; they dictate economic trends and the world financial bodies. “Currently the global financial capacities from the major powers tend to affect the host countries,” he remarked.
He challenged African countries to look into ways to resolve their economic woes by adhering to financial discipline which is oriented to the problem perspective.
The Bank of Tanzania (BoT), governor admitted that Tanzania is still depending a lot in foreign aid because some people in this country are very good payers of tax while others in quite a big number are evaders although they do depend on expenditures from national revenues.
Earlier while officiating the opening session Steve Mbogo from TADIP had briefed attendants of how cooperation could be beneficial if there was a fair and balanced global trend. He argued that currently African countries are cooperating with their European counterparts from an inferior position.
The ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) secretary general Mr Wilson Mukama said that the developed countries cannot escape the truth that they are responsible for African problems including poverty.
This stance was somewhat opposed by Dr Kassala who said that African politicians to a large extent have been enslaved by the five Ps he mentioned those as the laxity of power, property, prestige, pomposity and popularity.
He thus impliedly, concurred with Dr Köhler that lack of political accountability is a serious problem in Africa to the extent that production is below capacity in many sectors. The don asked politicians to fulfill their promises so as to reduce the sufferings of their people.