POLITICAL researcher Dr Cephas Mukuka says poverty, unemployment and underdeveloped have taken centre stage in most African nations. Dr Mukuka said in 2004, in Burkina Faso, the African Union met for their usual deliberations.
“Along the way the meeting decided to adopt a declaration. The purpose of the declaration was to deal with poverty, unemployment and inclusive development. This great meeting met in the capital city of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou,” he said.
“A lot of member nations appended their signatures on the said declaration. Poverty, unemployment and underdeveloped have taken centre stage in most African nations. Africa remains underdeveloped as unemployment and poverty levels have reached alarming records.”
He said most Africans still live below $1 a day, save for a few nations among them Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Mauritius, cape Verde, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, who are thriving to get to the top. Dr Mukuka said in terms of job creation, it was the same nations which seem to be leading the way to the top.
“Due to bad governance, Zimbabwe suffered economic sanctions during the Robert Mugabe reign. This saw a lot of damage in terms of job creation and economic growth. Zambia on the other hand had not done well in the said area of job creation,” he noted.
“The mining sector has been running battles with the Zambian government. Mine owners have reduced the work force in most cases to enhance profitability. Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco have suffered set backs after the Arab uprisings in the recent past.”
Dr Mukuka said investor confidence had been eroded following the political uprisings these nations suffered.
“They are victims of mob political justice. The DRC, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Burundi have had political strives, and instabilities affecting them negatively. They are less attractive for proper foreign investments,” he said.
“Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana have recorded steady growths in inclusive development and poverty reduction….”
Dr Mukuka said former Nigerian president Gen Olusegun Obasanjo has played a pivotal role to supplement the government’s efforts not only in Nigeria but across Africa through the agricultural organisation he leads. He said Nigeria had tried to abide by the declaration going by the big and huge numbers they have to look after. He said most Nigerians have actually employed themselves via the informal sector. Dr Mukuka said the Kenyan case scenario was similar to the Nigerian case. He said most Kenyans have not totally depended upon government to give them jobs but rather the government to create an enabling environment to favour the informal sector.
“The informal sector they have called Juwa Kali, meaning the ‘scotching sun’. The sector has vowed to work under difficult circumstances just to produce and compliment government efforts, hence the saying,” he said.
“Tanzania and Mauritius are equally on a good path towards job creation and inclusive development. Poverty levels are not as bad as in these other nations.
Tanzania is doing pretty good in the area of agriculture going by the Mwalimu Nyerere philosophy of UJAAMA,” he said.
On the Zambian front, Dr Mukuka said the mines were slowly laying off the work force. He said the most visible jobs created were those generated by the shopping malls and those in road construction going by the Chilufya Sata Michael vision of linking the nation through proper road networks.
“Zambia may face a draw back if the white farmers from Zimbabwe decide to get back. This may be in line with the offer given to all affected white farmers whose land was repossessed by Mugabe,” he said.
Dr Mukuka said the new regime had extended an olive branch to commercial farmers who have settled mostly in Central Zambia and a few in other parts of Zambia.
“A number of other African nations like Malawi, Mozambique, Angola, and Ghana are trying hard to get there. Other nations it’s an issue of having bad and corrupt leaders bent to loot their nations and impoverish the citizens at large,” said Dr Mukuka.