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Africa Must Review Its political Culture Says former Tanzania President

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The former president of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mr Benjamin William Mkapa has charged Africa leaders to review the political culture of attending conferences and seminars.

Mr Mkapa said inter Africa cooperation is of the greater essence than international conferences where the political will to address the challenges of the African continent is non-existent.

Speaking at the fourth University for Development Studies (UDS) Africa Leadership Studies Lecture, Mr Mkapa entreated African leaders to continue fighting for a permanent representation on the UN security council, a quest that has been denied for two decades. Mr Mkapba spoke on the theme: African Union as Ultimate Development.

The Africa Leadership Lectures which was conceived by UDS in 2011 and introduced in April 2013 with the aim of offering African leaders the opportunity and the resources to transform the continent by pursuing prudent scientific and development policies as well as nurturing indigenous talents.

So far five former Africa presidents have been honored with doctoral degrees by UDS during their term at the lectures. They include, former president of Nigeria Chief Olusegu Obasanjo in 2013, Mr Festus G. Mogae, Mr Joaquim Alberto Chissano in 2015, Mr Hifkepunye Lucas Pohamba and Mr Mkapa.

On the first day of his lecture on the topic: Resistance Against Colonization and Empire Building as African Development, Mr Mkapba said Africans must shake off the history of colonial masters and highlight their response to slavery

While commending some Africans countries for conducting peaceful elections, Mr Mkapa emphasized the need for African leaders to show interest in developing the nations with their own resources instead of counting on overseas development aid.

He said the election of President Donald Trump increased uncertainty in global trade which could culminate in protectionism, adding to Africa's already huge debt burden. He added that a debt crisis was imminent.

Mr Mkapa who ruled Tanzania years before stepping down called on fellow Africans to consolidate national unity. In another lecture titled: "Self-determination and Independence as Africa Development," on day two of the lecture, he described the First World War as internally a European war, explaining that the Second World War was a bit of a world war because the colonial powers reported their casualties in hundreds and reported African casualties in the millions.

He recounted how the Europeans sold slaves at various prices depending upon the size of the slave and how productive he/she was to them. Mr Mkapa again reminded audience that Europe practices resources diplomacy in Africa with the sole aim of acquiring the continent's resources to their benefit.

On the third day of the lecture series, Mr Mkapa focused on African Union as the Ultimate Development. He said Africans leaders should remember agenda 2063 which says no burden should be put on future generation of Africa.

The former Tanzanian president was honored with a doctor of letters like his predecessors who delivered similar lectures.

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