BERLIN, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana has urged his fellow African leaders to assume responsibility for the transformation of their economies and to depart from the mindset of aid, dependency and charity.

If we Africans are to transform our stagnant, jobless economies, built on the export of raw materials and unrefined goods, to value-added economies that provide jobs, to build strong middle-class societies and lift the mass of our people out of dire poverty, then we must take our destinies into our own hands and assume responsibility for this, he said when addressing the Group of 20 (G20) Partnership for Africa Summit which opened here Monday.

Assuming responsibility, he added, meant African leaders must facilitate the building of a new, sustainable, African civilization, where there is accountable governance, respect for the rule of law, individual liberties and human rights, and where the principles of democratic accountability are guaranteed.

This new, sustainable, African civilization, he added, required that African leaders mobilise the immeasurable, vast resources of Africa to resolve Africa’s problems of poverty and development, and free ourselves from a mindset of aid, dependency, charity and handouts.

Secondly, he urged Africans to initiate and implement policies which will encourage and empower the private sector to grow their respective economies within frameworks of macroeconomic stability.

When the private sector flourishes and when our enterprises become competitive, not just on the continent, but also in the global marketplace, then can we create the thousands and thousands of jobs our teeming masses of unemployed youth crave, the president said.

Thirdly, we can no longer remain producers and exporters of raw materials. We must add value to our commodities, and create wealth for our peoples. Our dependence on raw materials has, in fact, increased in the past century. It is this dependence that feeds our dependence on foreign aid.

President Akufo-Addo was unequivocal that Africa had the resources and means, material and human, with women and youth in the forefront, to transform the structures of its economies and be part of the international division of labour at the high end of the value.

This process of economic and industrial transformation, he stressed, had to go along with ensuring that the most basic elements of social justice are met, making quality basic education and healthcare accessible to all, to promote a culture of incentives and opportunities.

President Akufo-Addo thanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel for putting the preoccupations of Africa’s development at the heart of Germany’s presidency of the G20, which has resulted in the convening of the conference of the G-20 Africa Partnership on the theme Investing in a Common Future.