As we see it today in Africa can a mere 5 percent average growth in agriculture be sufficient to improve human living conditions? Can it significantly raise the level of living anytime soon? I doubt it very much. I believe to succeed our focus must be first to have food security and then to adopt a rapid industrialization strategy that is based on agricultural development, making sure that any resulting economic progress has visible positive human dimensions. Africa needs improved physical capital and human know how. You just cannot raise you ability to produce more without capital accumulation, physical and human. If you consider the biblical parable of the talent, more is given to the person with more ability. So since more ability comes from increased human capital and availability of physical capital, it follows that theses de a prerequisite for economic salvation and promotion. Folks, there are no two ways about it. Our political leaders must set up an environment that sustainably supports capital development and attracts capital inflows. If we check the fastest growing emerging economies in say East Asia, we will see that they are constantly receiving and deploying large quantities of capital from from outside the country in addition to what they are developing themselves. To be serious we must ensure that our tertiary institutions are connected with their environment and their communities. Farming communities must be seeing working with local universities. However quite clearly, to have good foreign direct investment, our countries must first ensure that its people have confidence in the economy. If nationals have no confidence in the economy, I would be suspicious of any foreign investor rushing in. So in Nigeria, for example let us first get Nigerians to have confidence in the economy. Here is how you do it. You first make sure that you solve at least one important problem. Start with a not so difficult one. That's how boxing trainers prepare the next heavyweight champion. They first give him winnable fights where he Knocks out opponents, preferably in his home town in from of his people. He gains confidence from his wins and accolades from his people. Then after increasingly difficult fights, he is ready for the heavyweight championship of the world. Africa must work together to ensure that their export of processed or even semi-processed commodities is not impeded or frustrated by international conventions and policies. Our authorities must go out and open up international windows and doors for our processed and semi-processed commodities as these are less prone to price recessions. In the past, the compulsion to earn hard foreign currency in order to repay foreign loans often led to increased exports of raw commodities and agricultural products. As we now know all too well the inability to channel capital inflows into viable economic activities has constituted a lost opportunity for development. The oil-fueled growth of the Nigerian economy for example seeped away into ostentatious consumption in one form or another. So to pull it together, the highest priority should be given to indigenous or locally developed forms of technology. When this succeeds, other good things will come. I am Magnus Kpakol, and that is my view.
Posted: Sep 22nd, 2016 @ 06:48:30 AM