This year’s two-day Kusi Ideas Festival held in Accra, Ghana, which ended yesterday, has provided a vital forum to discuss problems facing Africa and solutions to propel the continent’s development.
Various sessions underscored the need for cooperation among African countries to foster growth and improve the lives of their people. Having three African heads of state participate in the discussions on Day One underlines the importance of this forum.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame acknowledged that though progress has been made in post-pandemic recovery, there is still a lot to do. He wants to see African countries get involved in high-level cooperation to foster growth. There was a proposal for climate-smart agriculture, as the pandemic threatens food security.
For Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, a major source of concern was vaccine politics. It is unfortunate that the Western nations are monopolising vaccines that Africa badly needs. Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo advocated African cooperation in tackling issues affecting the youth.
The Accra forum was the third edition of this “marketplace of ideas”, which is a brainchild of the Nation Media Group. This year’s theme, “How Africa transforms after the virus”, highlighted the need for innovation and technology to create new ideas and place the continent in a respectable position in the 21st century.
African nations must heed the appeal to boost vaccination campaigns against Covid-19. They have so far made commendable vaccination efforts, but these have been hampered by lack of access to doses. As some speakers noted, the continent must build on its own ideas without overreliance on developed economies.
Kusi and similar regular high-level forums are important to help crystallise ideas for change.