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I – 2DP was represented at the 2012 Africa Development Forum in October, 2012 by its Executive Director, Ambassador Nana Bema Kumi and the Head of the Development Policies Section, Mr Alexander Archine. The Forum focussed on good governance of Africa’s natural resources.

Prior to the opening of the Forum, the Executive Director was interviewed on phone by a BBC correspondent. Below are the salient points raised by Ambassador Kumi during the discussion.

She emphasised that failure by African Governments to utilise the wealth gained from our natural resources to develop their respective countries could be attributed to the following factors:

1. Inadequate leadership in terms of inappropriately informed African officials at the level of initial as well as subsequent negotiations for the exploration and exploitation of such natural resources. Such officials end up accepting deals which are not in the best interest of African countries.


2. Uninformed political leaders who fail to see the hidden vested interests of foreign experts who have the know-how and the capital to carry out the needed exploration and eventual exploitation.

3. Our political leaders often choose to focus on the income that will come to state coffers, regardless of the ratio that is pocketed by foreign companies, thus acquiescing , ab initio, to a situation of unequal relationship.

4.The failure of our governments to give prominence to the development of appropriate human capital  which is fundamental in ensuring and sustaining ownership of governance of Africa's natural resources by nationals. One of the positive outcome of such a strategy, if adopted, will be an enhanced programme to produce an ever- increasing number of educated and skilled employees whose economic and social interests will be tied to the sucessful operations of the foreign companies involved; such that issues of environmental degradation and the overall socio-economic development of the local communities will be approached in a collaborative manner with a view to come out with solutions which will benefit the people and not in a confrontational manner that leads to localised conflicts which in turn retard progress in affected countries.

5.Governance of natural resources is highly human capital intensive. Failure to devote significant percentage of revenue that have accrued from past exploitations to building the needed human capital over the years have left many African countries at the perpetual mercy of foreign experts and companies who continue to give us a rough deal

6. Coupled with the lack of adequate capacity building of our nationals are the political and personal choices often made by our national and local leaders which do not augur well for the economic strides we need to make including corruption and lack of transparency at all levels of transactions.