Don’t give corrupt African leaders escape routes -Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama says although Africa had suffered many historical injustices such as slavery, colonialism and unjust economic order, however, it was no longer an excuse for the Continent to continue to blame these events for their present predicaments.

According to him, continuously blaming these events for Africa’s shortfalls would only provide corrupt African leaders an escape route or absolve them off mismanaging the resources of the Continent.

He said: “We have had sufficient time and opportunities over the last few decades to change our story and our narrative while crafting and implementing visions that will transform the lives of the over a billion people who dwell on our continent.”

Mr. Mahama was speaking on “Africa’s strategic priorities and global role,” at the Chatham House, London in the United Kingdom (UK) on Saturday, January 28, 2023.

He added that even though memories of colonial exploitation and domination with abundant cheap labour to be used for raw material production and export to build the magnificent metropolises cannot be wiped out, it is high time that Africans rise to the occasion to chart a course that brings about development.

Currently, he postulated that the Africans can pinpoint to Agenda 2063, which goals need unity drive to bring the vision of “the Africa we want” into reality.

“Yes, globalisation has inherent disadvantages for Africa. But Africa can and must rise to the occasion by building and working towards continental unity as we strengthen partnerships with the rest of the world. To achieve Africa’s Agenda 2063 goals, we must let the world buy into Africa’s priorities and global role,” he stated.

Why Africa is underdeveloped?

Ex-President Mahama told his enthusiastic audience that Africa continue to wail because its leaders most times do not make good use of opportunities but simply squandered them.

This was where Ghana was introduced in as a focal point for his discussion, saying: “Ghana also comes to mind here. In a little under six weeks from today, Ghana will mark 66 years of nationhood. Far from being an occasion to celebrate independence and the successes and achievements of nationhood, we will mark this day under the yoke of the worst economic situation in decades.”

The 2020 Presidential candidate of opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) said Ghana is in dire economic state of bankruptcy and as a result, all it economic indicators – financial sector, inflation and currency – are failing.

Although these challenges had been classified as excesses of Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukrainian war, he said they are artificial, as they are by-products of mismanagement and corruption.

A fact, Mr Mahama made reference to the World Bank through its Ghana Country Director has that Ghana’s economy was in distress before the pandemic occurred.

Hitherto, he adds: “A recently published audit report by the Auditor General of Ghana into receipts and expenditures on COVID-19 exposes staggering instances of corruption running into billions of Ghana cedis.”

He opined that Ghana’s current state is a clear reflection of how some African leaders deplete the continent’s scarce resources through mismanagement and corruption, hence the Africa’s under development.

Despite lashing out at the various governments, he called on investors look into the near future of Africa with optimism, as there are instant solutions that must be found to the crippling economic crisis.

He advocated for a reinstitution and extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) to afford countries like Ghana some limited fiscal respite, saying “I would similarly call for the expansion of the Common Framework for Debt Treatment beyond the DSSI to help African countries access debt restructuring tools and mechanisms.”

Mr Mahama also appealed for Africa’s version of the Marshal Plan and expressed appreciation towards the Global Gateway Programme of the EU that seeks to mobilize 300 billion Euros over the next seven years for infrastructure in Africa and the rest of the developing world.


The former president also kicked against instances were African leaders are compelled to choice between Russia and Ukraine or northern countries whenever they have crisis, whereas similar gestures are not to extended Africa when it has crisis, by lying emphasis on the Ethiopia-Tigray war.

He, however, condemned without any uncertainty invasion of one country by another in /e]e[e[f.any form.

Climate Finance

He said there is too much lip service to solving the issues of climate change, adding that since the Paris Agreement nothing much has happened but “the sad situation is that of Africa. Africa has been the least contributor to global warming and yet we face the most adverse effects of global warming.”

According to him, the metropolitan country must work toward stopping polluting and must create a fund that can be used mitigate the adverse effects climate and help vulnerable countries to adapt.

“There is a war in Ukraine, suddenly billions of dollars show-up. With dealing with a signal biggest threat to humanity on this planet, suddenly, it is foot dragging, stinginess and how you are going to use the money, this and that.

“All kind of questions that are coming up. I hear if Russia is invading, EU, everybody would suddenly be mobilising billions. It is not fair. Climate change, not Russia, is more a biggest threat to human existence and we must be more ready to apply resources to it.”


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