The 2014 annual summit of the group of 20 developed and emerging economies took place from Nov. 15 to Nov. 16 in the Australian city of Brisbane. As usual the leaders of the G20 countries deliberated on issues that have ramifications for not only their respective economies but also the rest of the world, including those who were not represented at the deliberations.
This year, the grouping addressed the global growth challenge in an ambitious and meaningful way, by focusing, among other things, on empowering development so that developing countries can attract infrastructure investment, strengthen their tax base and improve their people’s access to financial services. But how much Africa will benefit is another matter.
Firstly, the continent is under-represented in the body. South Africa is the continent’s sole member, meaning that Africa’s views are not adequately canvassed. Also, since the Chairpersons of the African Union and the Nepad Planning and Coordinating Agency who are usually invited as observers to G20 meetings change every year, it makes continuity and effective representation difficult.
To further buttress the point about Africa’s under-representation, the Association of African Central Banks, unlike its peers in other regions, is not a member of the Financial Stability Board, another body comprising the Finance Ministers and central bankers of member countries, which meets regularly to take crucial decisions affecting the global economy.
So Africa’s participation at the meetings often suffers due to uncertainty and inconsistency of its inputs. It is no surprise then that the continent’s priorities are not fully incorporated into the G20 agenda. Yet, Africa can no longer remain on the margins where global leaders are making decisions on the world economy. The continent has a duty to convince the grouping to address its major concerns, particularly the strengthening of productive capacity, increasing productivity, value addition and accelerated industrialization.
It would be fair to acknowledge the launching of an outreach program by the G20 aimed at redressing Africa’s lack of meaningful representation at its meetings. But if the grouping wants to truly add value to the continent’s developmental aspirations, it could start by supporting its efforts at promoting economic transformation through industrialization, economic growth and employment creation.
Also, it needs to pay attention to infrastructural development on the continent and help boost intra-African trade, which still remains at a low level. In a nutshell, the continent will do well to collaborate with the global body in making its growth more resilient to external shocks and to create more jobs to develop sectors that have large multiplier effects such as manufacturing and agriculture.
However, until African membership of the forum is increased with more countries joining South Africa, it may not have the desired impact. For example, it must be strongly canvassed that Nigeria too merits a place by virtue of its current status as the largest economy in Africa. Not only is the country the 26th largest economy in the world valued at more than $510 billion, it is also the most populous nation in Africa with more than 170 million people. Clearly, this makes it too big a market to be ignored.
To further strengthen its case, Africa must also deploy high-quality resources to manage the Africa–G20 relationship, and have a clear picture of needs as part of the overall policy and planning framework which is an essential basis for meaningful dialogue among equals. Governments — jointly and individually — need to rectify the capacity deficits that hinder the continent’s relationship with its partners.
On its part, the G20 needs to see Africa’s development as part of the solution to the global economic challenges, and not as something to be treated separately. It has to bear it in mind that Africa’s economy stands to benefit from an improved global economy. It has to pay attention to the development priorities of the continent, including infrastructure development as the key to attaining structural transformation.
The G20 can increase investment in infrastructure by making cheap funding available. For the African Capacity Building Foundation, with a mandate to develop human and institutional capacities on the continent, it will continue to support the continent in developing the requisite expertise to engage with the G20.
The Foundation will help the continent to better understand the issues relating to doing the necessary analytical and policy research on major concerns and build up the coordination capacities among the continent’s regional and sub-regional organizations.
Most importantly, the Foundation will strive to enhance the negotiating capacity of African countries in order to be effective in the G20 processes, in building Africa’s analytical capacity to monitor financial and trade flows, and the capacity to monitor the implementation and impact of G20 programs and projects.
Prof. Nnadozie is the Executive Secretary of African Capacity Building Foundation based in Harare.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.