Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo has challenged Africans to re-think some of the time-worn economic ideas and myths that have held its people and policy makers bound to only a few options.
The Vice President stated this yesterday in Abidjan at the investiture of the new African Development Bank President, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.
In a statement by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Prof Osinbajo called on Africans to develop “uncommon creativity, innovation and change” in charting the pathway for future growth and development of countries in the continent. Justifying the call for this paradigm shift, the Vice President stated that western economies particularly the United States of America toed this path to emerge from its recent economic meltdown in 2008.
According to him “in 2008 western economies faced with what Ben Bernanke (then Chairman of the US Reserve Bank) described as the “deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression” abandoned conventional free-market thinking and embraced State bankrolled stimulus plans to forestall the imminent collapse of their economies.”
He noted to the hearing of several African and non African economists, policy makers, and development partners that the action the US took then “proved once and for all that the monster called the economy cannot be allowed to prowl the streets with its free-wheeling, free market struts without the leash of a trainer.”
Prof. Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the event said African countries need a new strategy in the face of daunting challenges asking “do African economies not require a different paradigm?.” He quarried: “How can trickle down paradigms work when half our populations are extremely poor? Do we not need some attention to social investment? Then he declared that “Conditional Cash Transfers to the poorest segments, universal primary healthcare schemes, school feeding programs, can energise local economies and create important multipliers in the economy.”
-Tony Ailemen, Abuja