By Mercy Makuwira MANA

President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has called upon African leaders to make a deliberate move to include youths and women in the developmental space.

He was speaking in Accra, Ghana on Monday during a panel discussion titled Delivering the Vision: The benefits of strong continental financial institutions.

Chakwera was answering a question on how and where innovation could be used to influence national investment rules.

He said, as a start to the development of the region, there is need for governments to encourage inter trading especially amongst youths and women who are usually on the forefront.

“Trading amongst ourselves, which needs to be encouraged, is usually done by young people and women. As such those of us in authority need to give them the latitude to be able to do that freely,” he said.

He emphasised on the need for governments to invest a lot in development of skills for women and youths and promote brain swaps between countries where youths with skills that are not available or are in short supply in one country should freely exchange to work in countries without those skills.

“We have seen young people that are so innovative in our universities and have patented their innovations and creations. You will see these young people idle at home yet governments are complaining that their countries are not developing.

“These are the things we need to invest on in order to create more wealth. The more prosperity we create, the more liberty we will have for ourselves,” Chakwera said.

The President, therefore, called for countries that have capacity on the continent not to leave the least developed countries behind but deliberately bring them closer in order to ensure that the continent is developing at the same pace.

Ghana President, Nana Akufo-Addo called on African governments and the African Union (AU) to support African institutions saying developing such institutions will see the continent developing at a fast rate.

“Unless we have strong financial institutions we are not going to develop. Relying on foreign capital placed Africa at the bottom of the ladder,” he said.

He, therefore, called for countries who are yet to become members or participate in African institutions like AfreximBank to do so.

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