Analysis & Opinions

Africa Doesn't Fully Take Advantage of its Resources Because of its Leaders

| Oct. 30, 2018

Published by: SenePlus

Written by: Diallo Seydina Bilal 

(Translated by: Chu Wang)

On her visit to the Harvard Kennedy School, Aminata Touré spoke with Faculty Chair of the Future of Diplomacy Project, Nicholas Burns. Their conversation was published on Harvard's website - in which the former Prime Minister stated that Africa is not getting enough from its resources due to its leaders.

Aminata Touré was invited to the Harvard Kennedy School on October 18th. On this occasion, she led two study groups on the "Opportunities and Challenges in Africa". She also co-hosted with Ambassador Nicholas Burns a seminar entitled "Present and Future Africa", with the Future of Diplomacy Project. Mimi Touré took advantage of this "diplomatic conversation" to welcome the growing presence of Africans at Harvard. This makes sense, she says, because today our [African] continent is unavoidable on the international scene and presents real investment opportunities. When asked about the fight against corruption in Africa and particularly in Senegal, the former Prime Minister argued that this phenomenon is found everywhere.

According to her, the difference in fighting corruption lies in the institutions as well as the mechanisms put in place to combat it. Aminata Toure explained, "When President Sall came to power, he was the first to lead the way in making asset declaration an obligation. As a result, members of his government and presidents of other institutions followed. Afterwards, when there was a presidential majority in parliament, we voted a Code of Transparency to manage public resources. The Head of State also created the National Office Against Fraud and Corruption (OFNAC), which demanded high profile personalities to declare their assets and made it possible for people to file complaints. We are still in the process of fighting corruption, which is an endless struggle".

In Aminata Touré's opinion, Africa is a very rich continent but does not fully take advantage of its resources due to mismanagement by leadership. "It is unacceptable to leave things the way they are. We must move forward in the direction of efficient and transparent management," she urged while encouraging Africa to learn from its past - be it in cooperation with its partners or in resource management. To this end, she cites the example of Senegal which, in its expected oil and gas exploitation for 2022, has already set up the Cos-Petrogaz initiative to better utilize its hydrocarbon resources. This initiative has also created a [sovereign wealth] fund for future generations.

At the end of the interview, Aminata Touré stressed that she entered politics very early and did not rule out the idea of running for office in the future. In a thank you letter from October 23, Nicholas Burns, a Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations, said that he greatly appreciated the former Minister of Justice's generous time and her contributions to the continuous learning of the community. "Our students benefited from your insightful perspective on the challenges and opportunities that exist in Africa. By emphasizing the importance of youth and women in shaping Africa's future, you have provided multidimensional viewpoints that allow our students to understand more deeply the complexities of the issues from your first-hand experience," wrote Burns. He indicated that the "Future of Diplomacy Project" team joins him in thanking Mimi Touré for being part of his program.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Africa Doesn't Fully Take Advantage of its Resources Because of its Leaders.” , October 30, 2018.


Nicholas Burns