By Alex Ohene
Former President John Dramani Mahama has advised African leaders not to overstay their welcome, especially after their constitutional tenures end.
He said given the current development needs of Africa, leaders who can act with a sense of urgency are supposed to be at the helm of affairs.
Ghana’s former president made these remarks at the 2017 Africa Development Conference held at the Harvard University, USA on Saturday, April 1.
The two-day event, which began on Friday, is under the auspices of the Harvard African Student Organisations.
Former President Mahama talked about the toll climate change is having on the continent but indicated, more importantly, that the leaders must be up and doing.
“We need leadership that can forge ahead with a greater sense of urgency because Africa is a continent in a hurry.”
He advocated a principle for leadership on the continent.
“You come, you serve, you go. That is what democracy is and should be the principle for Ghana and Africa’s leaders.”
He said leaders who lose elections must hand over.
“It should be the norm in Africa.”
He pointed out that the youth appear to be more fired up to take over from the current crop of leaders.
“I have no doubt that we have the kind of human material to take over from my generation,”explaining: “Our young people want to see visible improvements. All of us must be committed to making sure our continent progresses.”
He added: “We need to have confidence that the next generations can come in and do even better than we have done”.
He advocated intra-Africa trade as the starting point for turning economies of the continent around.
“I have been a strong advocate for the removal of customs barriers across the continent. We must work at it.”