Aremu Queries Concept of Failed States, Charges Africans to be Optimistic About Africa
Africans have been enjoined to be optimistic about the prospects of good governance, democracy and industrial development if the continent would eradicate poverty in the 21st century.
A member of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies ( NIPSS) Comrade Issa Aremu made the charge while addressing participants of Course 29 of the National Defence College ( NDC) last Friday in Abuja. Course 29 of the Defence College was inaugurated in …are being attended by military officers of the ranks of colonels, their equivalents in the Armed Forces, as well as civilians officials from select strategic Ministries and Agencies within and outside Nigeria.
Delivery a paper on “Grassroots Mobilization and Development for the 4th Industrial Revolution”, Comrade Aremu advised the state actors and civil society in Africa against what he called “pessimistic received wisdom” which often declared Africa countries “failed states” through “magnified challenges” of development.
“It’s an open knowledge that the world is ravaged by a Virus pandemic with almost 2 millions fatalities. In America alone, under President Donald Trump, as many as 260,000 citizens had died. But nobody is eager to damn America “a failed state”. So also nobody was eager to hail African countries which he said had been adjudged to curtained Coronavirus disease better through sensitive and responsible leadership” he observed.
According to him, 60 years after independence, most African countries have made giant strides in social and economic development and democratic consolidation to revere the underdevelopment occasioned by centuries of colonialism and slavery. He said Africa must therefore leverage on the promises of Fourth Industrial Revolution to promote value addition and create sustainable Decent work for the teeming unemployed youths. The labour leader however said, sustainable development was only possible with optimistic perspective that must be critical of “Euro- centric concept of failed state” adding that “social science concepts are not value- free”.
“If Africans say they are making progress, we possibly will work for more progress, but if all we assume is nothing but addictive failures, then there will be resignation and despair, the unhelpful trade marks of underdevelopment”. He called for an immediate implementation of the recommendations of 2014 National Conference which according to him “cover socio, economic and political reforms” of Nigeria, adding that “a reformed and transformed Nigeria is a reformed African Continent”.
On Industrialization, the labour leader suggested that for Africa to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 2030, especially SDG 9 dealing with industry and innovation, Africa continent must innovate and industrialize. “Africa must copy China’s industrialization drive which has within 20 years moved over 250 million people out of poverty through manufacturing and industrialization. Africa must make what it consumes, otherwise it will be consumed by the rest of the world.”
Comrade Aremu acknowledged and commended various Industrial Revolution plans aimed at promoting revival of industries and creation of mass decent jobs in Africa .
“Industry is a key driver of sustainable jobs and development for national economies and the foundation of good living standards. It not matter whether it is first industrial revolution, (Industry 1.0), Second Industrial Revolution (2.0) Third Industrial Revolution (Industry 3.0) or the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), Africans must make what we wear (gold, rings and necklaces, clothes and textile), what we ride, (automobiles), what fuel our cars (petroleum products) what we build with (iron and steel), soaps we bath with (chemicals and allied products) and generate energy we consume. Africa must stop exporting raw cottons, crude oil, mineral resources, gold and diamond only to be importing finished goods from China, Europe and America.” he wrote.