In a press briefing he gave in connection to the 6th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, Obasanjo said that there is a gap in capacity regarding governance of natural resources that hinder maximum utilization.
The continent has 12 percent of global oil reserves, 40 percent of global gold deposits, and about two thirds of the world’s most suitable land for farming and forests.
Unfortunately, the continent has not been able to fully maximize the developmental benefits that should have accrued from exploiting the resources.
This is because of lack of knowledge, skill and institutional capacity, Obasanjo said.
The gap is also undermining the benefits that the continent could get from the development its natural resources by weakening its negotiating capacity, he added.
To reverse this, countries need to work hard to enhance the management of natural resources, Obasanjo said.
Countries should give emphasis to produce skilled labor and build institutional and policy frameworks.
Acknowledging the gap and the need for intervention, this year’s Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa will be held in Bahir Dar on April 22 and 23 focusing on the theme of “Natural Resource Governance in Africa”.
The Forum will solicit mainstream and alternative perspectives on how issues to the management of natural resources might be tackled in a holistic and sustainable manner
It will also explore ways to boost the capacity of African countries for renegotiation of the terms and conditions of their engagement with international capital.
The Forum will explore the spectrum of new governance infrastructure, mechanisms and regimes required to ensure the effective management of Africa’s natural resource sector.
Posted by Amare Asrat