How can we find a peaceful and mutually satisfactory resolution of our conflicts? How shall we accommodate difference? Successful conflict resolvers are not born - they are trained. In this technological age, people often find it difficult to communicate face to face and there exists the very real possibility for miscommunication and conflict. There are options out there! let's get global perspective to this topic!
INCLUSIVE GOVERNANCE, DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION, AND POWER; ROAD MAP TO STRONG GROWTH IN NIGERIA, NAY AFRICA.
By: Theo Ogbonna, founder, President/CEO
Ladies and gentlemen, you are all warmly welcome to this fifth edition of the Democracy and Political Participation Conference. My perspective and focus for this conference is the stimulation and sustenance of good governance supported by strong economic growth.
For Nigeria, according to the 2013/2014 growth rate statistics released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the services sector grew to around 50 percent of total GDP from 25 percent. Manufacturing, which used to account for 2 percent, now stands at 7 percent, the mining and construction sector accounts for around 20 percent, and agriculture declined to 20 percent from more than 30 percent.
Nigeria has leapfrogged South Africa to become the continent’s largest economy following the recent rebasing of her GDP. That is a heart-warming development. In spite of that, the South African economy still looks like the stronger of the two and is more appealing as an investment destination. In any case, moving up ten notches to become the world’s 26th largest economy, Nigeria has joined the burgeoning club of middle-income countries.
The new figures illustrate the diversification of the Nigerian economy which successive governments have pursued over the years; though her industrial and agricultural base still remains weak. The economy is still heavily dependent on receipts from the sale of fossil fuels and thus greatly susceptible to external shocks-like the one we are currently experiencing. The falling price of crude oil exports has once more exposed our overreliance on a single source of revenue.
In addition, the growth of Nigeria’s GDP, while impressive, has not rubbed off on the living standards of the majority of her people - which still remain abysmally low.
Nigeria, with a population of 170 million people, is an investment destination mainly due to the sheer size of its market. Infrastructure deficit has conspired with bad governance to ensure that it lags behind other African countries in terms of attraction of direct foreign investment.
The greatest barrier to increasing economic development in Nigeria and indeed the rest of Africa is corruption - ostensibly a challenge of governance. Corruption steals the initiative to excel from the people. It dampens the spirit of industry, discourages hard work and boosts inefficiency.
It is high time Nigeria strengthened her laws and legislation to stem the tide of corruption and also to stimulate and sustain politico-economic growth. To achieve this, Nigeria must:
· Institute a truly independent judiciary;
· Institute a truly independent electoral body;
· Review the electoral finance act and transparently enforce the
existing electoral laws;
· Partner with and provide training and support for community and youth
development initiatives aimed at capacity-building, peace-building and poverty
· Provide a free press and free access to information;
· Reinforce the bold policy measures that have seen inequality decline in
the past, while registering positive economic growth each year;
· Spend more on social protection and provide greater access to basic education;
(Education remains the cornerstone of democracy which itself drives
· Plug wastages from bogus contracts awarded to rogue companies which
have scant regard for international best practices, and avoid another regime of
debt overhang, improving the efficiency of the tax system;
· Deepen regional integration with other African countries to accelerate
development across the continent, set minimum wage standards, and
share scientific research and technology.
These are clear governance issues that must be addressed fast. Transparent, inclusive governance and real democratic culture, supported by rule of law, are necessary for sustainable economic growth.
Efforts to empower citizens, and build trust and legitimacy should be accompanied by local, state and federal mechanisms to ensure transparency, accountability and responsiveness. These could be complemented by the institution of a culture of checks and balances with the active involvement of civil society organizations.
"Rethinking and strengthening socio-economic development strategies in Nigeria, nay Africa, and the contemporary world" is challenging, but at the same time – it’s critical.
YTI Democracy & Political Participation Conference-5th Edition is over and thanks to the United States Consulate Lagos for partnering with us .
Thank you to Community Agenda for Peace, our NGO partner, the entire team and all Guest Speakers, His Excellency, Ambassador Hawkins, Prof. Pat Utomi, Her Excellency, Ambassador Emeritus B. Markus. Thank you.
What next ? Let's sustain the momentum in our different communities to keep advocating for participation , vote not fight, fair monitoring and good governance in the most populous nation in Africa.
YTI presents the 5th Democracy and Political Participation Conference in partnership with the United States of America Consulate, Lagos State.
Theme: Transparency and Accountability: Achieving Participatory and Sustainable Good Governance.
Partner NGO: Community Agenda for Peace.December 4/14, in Lagos, Nigeria.
We would like to start, yet another conversation on the real challenges and issues facing Nigeria towards achieving participatory and sustainable good governance. let's hear from you, what solutions you have!
Vera, Victor and Kenneth are representing YTI at The 65th UN DPI/NGO Conference is titled '2015 and Beyond: Our Action Agenda,' is being organized by the UN Department of Public Information and the NGO/DPI Executive Committee, and will focus on the theme of 'The role of civil society in the post 2015 development agenda'. The event seeks to provide an opportunity for civil society networks and activists to mobilize messaging, advocacy strategies, partnerships and accountability frameworks in the lead up to the start of the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda. The outcome of the conference will be a declaration that will be shared with the UN system, the UN Member States, the global civil society and other stakeholders. Folks let's hear from you!
We are looking for Professional Volunteers from around the world who may represent Youth For Transparency International, formerly, African Youth For Transparency at high level meetings in Vienna and Geneva.
You would basically become one of our additional ambassador designates to the United Nations.
We are in Special Consultative Status and need to be participating, active and engaged at the countries mentioned above.
If nominated, you would have to seek for meetings of interest of your choice that is part of our mission, vision and or in line with the agenda of the United Nations objectives on such events. Raise resources for accommodation and travel. And would submit a detailed report with pictures back to YTI for upload.
If you believe, you could be part of a global team, changing the world, please submit your resume with references.