President Muhammadu Buhari has identified lack of implementation of policies as the major problem affecting African continent’s growth.
Africa’s problem, he said, was not in debating or lack of planning “but in doing”.
Buhari noted that in Executive offices and Legislative Chambers one would easily encounter brilliantly drafted documents and initiatives.
But he lamented that those brilliantly drafted documents and initiatives are never implemented.
The President, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, spoke while opening the 48th Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Africa Region at the Imo Trade and Investment Centre, Owerri.
He said: “What we need to consistently do now is to put action behind our visions and missions as time is no longer on our side as the countdown to 2063 has long started.
“The theme of this 48th CPA Conference, African Agenda 2063: Vision Master Plan, presents yet another crucial reflection point for those who today have the privilege of being Africa political elite. The Agenda 2063 spelt out a vision of an Africa that is prosperous, integrated, peaceful, secured and a continent that recognises the full potential of its human capital and as a respected player on the global stage.”
Buhari added: “The Africa we want is an Africa that works for its people, one that ensures that Africans can enjoy decent standard of living and security, freedom and one where men and women have equal assets and treatment, with respect to all economic, political and social good.
“Distinguished legislators, the power and the responsibility for rewriting the story of Africa lies in our hands; the people of our various countries have elected us to chart a course to the Africa that they want and desire. Our democracy serves no purpose if it does not advance the well-being of our people because we were elected to think, plan and act for the interest of the majority.
“We will be charlatans of the greatest order if our leadership does not provide for the present and secure the future of those that elected us.”
The President hailed Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha “for the leadership he has shown, for the work he is doing in Imo State and for his excellent hospitality always”.
“In the true spirit of African brotherhood and spirit, Imo State has in the past two weeks hosted not less than three African-centred international gatherings, including the visit of two African heads of State,” the President said.
Okorocha said: “One day, Africa will sing a new song and we believe one day, we shall occupy our rightful place in the comity of nations. Therefore, your meeting this time is apt and timely. It is a struggle to find the way forward for the African nations.”
He added: “We are passing through a very difficult moment, which many great nations of the world have passed through and we are not an exemption but we will one day in this our lifetime take our rightful place. My concern is about the youths of Africa. It might be shocking to all of you to know that African youths are so frustrated. We have not lived up to expectation of what we can do for the African Child. That will also anchor on my feelings that education must be given its rightful place if the youths of Africa must find and take up their positions.
He appealed to the lawmakers when they go home to legislate on the issues that will impact positively on the youths of Africa, good governance and to equip people for a better future.
President of CPA and Speaker Imo State House of Assembly Acho Ihim said a well-established strategy is crucial to the growth and performance of any organisation “because it is a plan that integrates its major goals, policies and actions into a cohesive whole”.