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Matekane echoes Obama’s words


Mohloai Mpesi

There is a need to strengthen the oversight institutions in Africa, Prime Minister Samuel Ntsokoane Matekane has said.

Matekane said the focus should be on strong and independent anti-corruption systems, strong human rights protection institutions and systems, and public accountability, among others.

“On democracy and good governance, the focus should not only be on electoral processes, but on building strong institutions to support the rule of law and democratic governance,” he said.

“More support should be directed towards young democracies to help them deliver on people’s expectations. Failure of democracy to do so is a recipe for political instability, as we have seen in a number of African countries,” he added.

Matekane was speaking at the United States-Africa Leaders Summit hosted by President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington DC.

It is the first such gathering hosted by Washington for eight years. The summit is seen as the US’s attempt to re-assert its influence in Africa to counter Chinese involvement.

It also comes after Donald Trump’s four-year tenure in office, during which he never visited Africa.

Matekane’s remarks echo back to what the then US president Barack Obama said in 2009.

In his speech at the Ghanaian parliament on July 11, 2009, Obama stated that “Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions”.

Obama was clearly alluding to the collapse of state institutions and the over-reaching powers of the men who lead them.

Matekane yesterday mentioned that African Countries have adopted Agenda 2063 as a blueprint and a deliberate mission “for the Africa we want”.

He said the goal of Agenda 63 is to outline a road map, towards achieving an inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development for Africa over a 50-year period.

In order to realize this dream, we must make sure that we have independent and democratic institutions, that respect fundamental human rights, including affording equal rights and opportunities to women and youth,” he said.

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