By Alva M. Wolokolie
Former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, says governments in Africa must do all it could to supply the needs of its people and not govern to marginalize the citizens that elected them to power.
Addressing the 53rd National Legislature yesterday in the Richard Tolbert joint chambers at the Capitol Building as part of his visit to Liberia, former President Mbeki told the lawmakers that in order to maintain the stability of the state, those who are chosen to govern must ensure that the basic needs of the people are provided so as to uphold peace and tranquility that everyone is enjoying.
Former President Mbeki did not refer to a particular government but warned that the issue of marginalization in African governments should not be encouraged by any leader and expressed the optimism that governments would continue to seek the welfare of its people who entrusted them with authority.
President Mbeki who is Chairman of the High Level Panel on Illicit Flows of the United Nations Commission for Africa said the continent is losing billions of dollars every year to illicit capital outflows in development. He said the losses that are taking place in Africa in terms of development through illegal means are alarming.
“We are losing a lot of this capital that we need as a result of everything we throw out of the continent through illegal means and there is an estimate that the continent loses annually at least fifty billion dollars every year through illicit capital outflow,” the South African former President said.
Mbeki told the lawmakers that US$25 billions can be compared to what comes into the continent as a result of development assistance. According to him, Africa loses double on what comes in as development assistance as a result of weak systems put in place by African governments which he said has prompted Finance Ministers to start to take action to curb the situation.
Mbeki on Monday, April 29, 2013 met with Panel Members at the Royal Grand Hotel before meeting President Sirleaf at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill.
The discussion held at the Foreign Ministry centered on the High Level Panel Financial Flow with President Sirleaf and members of the Economic Management Team which included Finance Minister Amara Konneh, Justice Minister Christiana Tah, Agriculture Minister Florence Chenoweth, Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Axel Addy, Central Bank Governor Mills Jones, National Investment Chairman Natty B. Davis and the Minister of State without Portfolio Ambassador Conmany Wesseh.
He said the organization was established as a result of a decision of the African Finance Ministers who realized that the continent faces such development challenges and therefore requires all the necessary strategies to attend to them.
Chairman Mbeki will also have a luncheon with the Heads of State of the Mano River Union (MRU) Summit and later meet with the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, the Liberia Business Association and the Liberia Bankers Association at the Royal Grand Hotel.
Mr. Mbeki is expected to end his visit today, Wednesday, May 2, 2013 with a final session with the Economic Management Team.