Tanzania and other African countries need to start walking on their own by reducing dependence on development partners, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Bernard Membe said yesterday.
The minister made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by Executive Secretary of the Planning Commission, Dr Philip Mpango, at the official opening of a roundtable discussion on “How can Africa get the most out of development Cooperation,”organised by the Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development, commonly known as “Uongozi Institute”.
The forum, which brought together development experts, government officials, representatives of development partners, diplomats and development stakeholders, dwelt on appropriate models and initiatives to support African owned objectives and strategies.
On behalf of the minister, Mpango said time was ripe for Tanzania and Africa as whole, to begin walking on their own, and get rid of dependency.
“However, they should do so in partnership...with both new and traditional development partners,” said Mpango.
Tanzania and many African countries have great potentials to spearhead own development and growth, he said, noting that these potentials needed visible drives in order to yield anticipated results.
“African development requires more support of western world....it also needs support from other emerging economies. Both traditional partners and emerging economies are important for speeding up Africa’s growth and development,” he said.
“On top of that, transformation of African economies requires visionary, accountable leadership...committed and determined people,” he added.
Finish Minister for International Development, Heidi Hautala underlined the need for broader and expanded consultations between rich and development world on the best model of cooperation — which will have positive impact on the economies of the poor countries.
She said it was disheartening to note that most of poor people in the world were living in developing world, urging developing and advanced world to devise appropriate strategies to redress the problem.
“Come up with effective frameworks that would stimulate economic growth and subsequently reduce the level of poverty in the poor world...rich and poor world must have constructive discussions on these issues,” said Hautala.
Tapani Vaahtoranta, Director of Operations at Uongozi Institute, said as African development orientation strains to transform opportunities into results, the continent must respond effectively and sustainably to its low and fragile growth. “A strategy is needed that will make use of resource endowments, skills, knowledge and institutions as a basis,” he said.
For years, development cooperation in African has been in the context of North-South relations. However, with the new era of rapid economic growth in emerging economies, the equilibrium of development cooperation is now tilting towards South-South cooperation.
Among other things, according to Uongozi Institute’s official: “This forum was organised to enable experts and development stakeholders from the continent and beyond exchange notes on how Africa approach these relationships (North-South and South-South) and their impact on the continent’s development agenda.”
He explained that recent dynamics of the global economy and the new scenarios of international relations, together with the growing trade, investment and diplomatic engagement of emerging economies in Africa, have greater contributions to significant changes in the relationships between Africa countries and all their external partners.