By Usman Aliyu
Okada (Edo), June 18, 2021 Prof. Arthur Mutambara, former Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, on Friday reiterated the need for African integration and unity to achieve economic growth and emancipation.
Mutambara made the call during the Public Lecture on “The Case for Africanism in the 21st Century: Understanding the Imperatives”, organised by the Igbinedion University, Okada in Edo.
The erstwhile deputy prime minister said Africa would need to be economically integrated and politically united to prosper among the comity of continents.
He regretted that the continent could not foster the spirit of Pan-Africanism in its dealings with the developed western world, blaming the inability on ego of national sovereignty among the leaders.
This, according to him, will not do the continent any good, but a further set back as it required coalition among African countries to achieve African dream.
He queried why it could take Nigeria and South Africa, which are the two leading economy on the continent time to sign into the African Continent Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“You must first be a face of Africa before Nigeria just as I must first be a face of Africa before Zimbabwe. We need to be economically integrated and politically united as a continent.
“Like in the words of Kwame Nkrumah, the independent of Ghana is meaningless until it is linked to the unity of Africa, meaning that collective success is important than individuals’,” he said.
The African leader asserted Africa would attract better economic dealings from the western world with its population of 1.3 billion people and $2.5 trillion Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is at par with China, which is the world largest economy.
The guest lecturer, however, called on Africa to key into the technology driven Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR), explaining that it is imperative for the continent’s survival in the 21st century.
“For us to survive in the 4th Industrial Revolution, we must do things differently as students, lecturers and professionals, among others.
“We must embrace critical and structural thinking; we need to move from the traditional learning where we earn certificate to acquire skilled competency by showing what you can do.
“We must never see technology as a thing of the developed world because it can help to solve African problems such as water, power and poverty,” Mutambara said.
Earlier in his address, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, said that the lecture was a platform for knowledge exchange in contemporary issues.
Ezemonye commended the Deputy Chancellor of the university, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, for facilitating the coming of the guest lecturer.
The vice-chancellor asserted that nobody could love Africa more than the continent would love itself, hence the need for all Africans to come together to develop the continent.