The Former Kenya anti corruption czar , Professor Patrick Otieno Lumumba has charged Africa trade unionists to venture into mediation of conflicts rocking the continent, instead of waiting for non Africans to do the job.
Professor Lumumba while speaking at the ongoing 5th Ordinary Congress of ITUC-Africa holding at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, said those mediating for the crisis in the continent are doing so in their selfish interest .
On the theme of the conference “AMKA Africa” meaning Arise Africa, professor Lumumba who was one time Director of Kenya Law School urge labour leaders in the continent to act rather than complaining or lamenting on the issues.
“Africa labour leaders must stand up now , the crisis in the continent is not in African interest, trade unionists must mediate for peace in Africa, this is because those who are mediating now are not Africans so they are not doing that in African interest .
“There is crisis in Somalia, Congo , and other African Countries and even presently in Liberia , but those who are mediating in those countries are not African. So I urge you labour leaders in African continent to start doing that”.
Speaking earlier, the outgoing General Secretary of ITUC -Africa Comrade Kwasi Adu- Amankwah said it is time for Africa to wake up to be counted among humanity.
According to him, “It is time for Africa to wake up from the long slumber; it is time for the mother continent of humanity to get up and be counted; it is time for Africa to be alert to its current sorry state and the danger it faces in the forward march of humanity. This is a clarion call for re-awakening in Africa!
“Africa remains a paradox. The continent is generously endowed but its peoples are desperately poor. The economic, social and political situation on the continent now is challenging to say the least. The democratic wave of the 1990s and early 2000s has almost evaporated.
“The democratic dividends have by-passed the masses. The elites have captured the scant economic and social progress democracy brought. Hope in the nation-states in Africa is fading at an alarming rate. The democratic reversal appears to have begun with the soldiers grabbing power from the professional politicians who have superintended decades of national decadence.
“The large cohort of young people, the best educated ever in Africa’s history is idling about unable to find jobs that match their skills and qualifications. Most of them are migrating or seeking to do so. Another exodus from Africa beckons.
“It will leave the continent poorer as the brightest and strong turn their back on it. Climate change is making life harder for the population in large parts of Africa. Enfeebled states are not responding adequately to the challenge. Foreign interests continue to pillage Africa’s resources.
“Lurking in the shadows of this gloomy assessment is the growing awareness by an increasing number of Africans about the African condition, and the danger Africans are facing and will face in the next couple of decades as global resources dwindle and the climate emergency intensifies.
“There is also a growing awareness of the boundless possibilities for reversing course and placing Africa on a new path. The scales are falling off our eyes. We are now confident that what we have called democracy in the three decades was not as democratic as we had made to believe. We now know that the economic theories and policies recommended from Washington were only meant to plunder our resources and further impoverish our peoples.
“A re-awakening is on the horizon. The unions on the continent must seize the moment. We must contribute forcefully to the emergent re-awakening as we did more than half a century ago to end old-style colonialism. We must now confront neo-colonialism – the modern version of imperialism.
“Africa is in bad shape. Colonialism has taken on a more insidious turn – neocolonialism. The present of Africa and Africans is more than precarious. COVID-19 has amplified existing vulnerabilities of the continent. In 2022, African economies expanded by 3.9 percent while its population grew by 2.6 percent leaving a net growth of 1.3 percent.
“Growth hasl decline to 3.6 percent in 2023, according to the IMF. Much of the growth will come from the extraction of natural resources, which is largely controlled by multinational corporations from America, Europe, Australia and China. Supported by a liberalised payment system much of the growth dividends is repatriated out of the continent. To this, we add the over US$88 billion dollars that leaves the continent annually through illicit financial follows. Africa is left home and dry”.