Africa’s political, business, and civil society leaders have reaffirmed their support for a new governance agenda that prioritizes civil liberties, equitable growth, peace, and stability.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2023 Ibrahim Governance Weekend in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Friday evening, the leaders stressed that fidelity to the rule of law, constitutionalism, and political pluralism will be key to the realization of Africa’s transformation agenda.
Kenyan President William Ruto said good governance should be at the heart of Africa’s quest for renewal amid multiple challenges like poverty, climate crisis, civil strife, and economic slowdown.
“Our commitment as leaders to a new governance agenda for the continent should not falter given the urgency to tackle socioeconomic and ecological challenges facing the citizens,” Ruto said.
Convened by Mo Ibrahim Foundation, a not-for-profit pan-African lobby founded by Sudanese-British entrepreneur and philanthropist, the 2023 Ibrahim Governance Weekend is expected to endorse a raft of interventions to promote the rule of law, transparency, and accountability in the continent.
Among high-level participants attending the three-day forum includes retired presidents, heads of multilateral agencies and continental blocs, donors, investors, governance champions, and scholars.
Former President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou was honored as the 2021 Ibrahim Laureate, having demonstrated outstanding leadership skills which transformed the livelihoods of his compatriots.
Amina J. Mohammed, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, said improved governance, peace, and security in Africa will be key to reshaping the multilateral system amid rising geopolitical tensions.
According to Mohammed, Africa’s rising narrative will only be sustained once political leaders adhere to democratic tenets unique to the continent’s circumstances while placing citizens at the center of development plans.
In addition, Mohammed called for an Africa-led solution to myriad challenges facing the continent, including sporadic conflicts, terrorism, forced migration, climate change, youth unemployment, and food insecurity.
Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat said building resilient institutions and greater openness will be crucial to realizing a new agenda for peace and enduring stability in the continent.
A people-centric governance agenda for Africa is imperative to help the continent recover from shocks linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, soaring global inflation, civil strife, and climate-induced food crisis, said Faki.