By Eromosele Abiodun
Majority of Africa’s poor have not been positively impacted by the over-flogged economic growth in the continent, the African Development Bank (AFDB), has said.
AfDB, in a statement on its website, said Africans have not benefited from improvement of the so-called “inclusive growth” in Africa, which is supposed to translate their economic situations into greater well-being.
According to the AfDB, “the issue is not seen as economic, but has also become a legal issue of basic rights. Throughout all ages, philosophers believe that Inclusive growth is an issue of human rights. Its origins can be traced to John Locke’s theory of natural rights. He defined these rights as the rights to life, liberty and property.”
Sharing perspectives on the issue, the AfDB’s Legal Counsel and Adviser to the General Counsel, Godfred Awa Eddy Penn, recalled the Bank Group’s prime mandate, which is to foster economic and social development on the African continent.
“This is why I believe that a focus on inclusive growth on the African continent during our upcoming Annual Meetings is both timely and opportune. This is a milestone in the institution’s life, ”he stressed.
He explained that the continent was replete with natural resources that could foster the growth of individuals and society at large if they had been exploited and their proceeds used to engender equitable growth.
On the subject of governance and corruption, he said the Bank should pursue its role in institutional capacity building, helping African countries to deepen their understanding of the role of law in promoting good governance and poverty reduction in the context of national budgets, budget cycle, fiscal reporting and transparency.
He however confessed that, “there is no accurate barometer for measuring governance either as good or bad”.
He emphasized: “There is enough empirical evidence to suggest that governments that act in total disregard of the good of their populations and dissipate their resources through various means, including corruption, cannot be considered under any reasonable standard to be practicing good governance.”