March 19, 2015, Former President Benjamin W. Mkapa has said the central task of Government is to eliminate poverty. President Mkapa gave that statement during a day two of the Mwalimu Nyerere Resource Centre dialogue at the Commission for Science and Technology headquarters in Dar es Salaam.
He said in order for the Government to remove poverty, it must devise policies, organize people and deploy resources of the Country to fight poverty and open economic opportunities for people.
“Africa is suffering from income poverty, food poverty, knowledge poverty, health poverty, and poverty inequality, the poverty of ownership of productive assets, the poverty of economic and political participation and the poverty in international solidarity.”He said
He further stated that a State intervention is inevitable for developing countries if equity is to be ensured.
“But intervention is not development. It is necessary in order to build economic structures and forms of economic ownership of resources to promote growth and industrialization because majority of citizens are peasant and farmers and livestock keepers, therefore key to development is Ownership of Land” He explained.
President Mkapa said the biggest asset and factor for the development of the poor is their land, in their quest for food production and income generation.
He however emphasized that Land can be used to help people if people have security of tenure, be it perpetual freehold ownership or land use leasing and tilling.
“Such legal recognition may be endowed to the individual or the community. Without such surety, people will not cross the subsistence threshold.”He said.
He however added that there should be a legal regime for the sharing of revenues with the poor in the neighborhood from the national exploitation of forests, minerals and other land products.
He said the state must define a National vision and periodic Development plan for its realization.
“The process of arriving at this vision must be inclusive and the plan must envisage the macro management of the economy by the state. The balance of implementation between public and private sector will vary from country to country, but there will be no question of the dominant role of the state in implementation “He said
Earlier, Director of the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning, Prof. Olekushi Adebayo from Nigeria said the market will drive development in Africa
He said African has a big market potential and the World is excited about it because of the Market and Resources.
He however cautioned that the African Continent should not become a dumping ground for other peoples’ goods
“For too long our continent has been engaged in partnerships that are unfavorable to us. It’s true that things are changing but we need to understand and learn to partner in such a manner that we do not lose out in our deals. I strongly believe that no one is going to come to Africa to develop us. We have to do it for ourselves.”
Meanwhile COSTECH Director General, Dr. Hassan Mshinda said the African Continent should be innovative to explore its resources in order to compete in the Market.
“You might have abundant Resources but if you fail to be innovative, applying, Science and Technology, it is very difficult to develop economically.”He noted