Rupiah Banda Hails Africa’s Economic Growth

Former President of Zambia Rupiah Banda says that the best path forward for Africa is to focus on economic growth while protecting the most vulnerable.

Speaking at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania as part of Boston University’s African Presidential Center lecture series, Former President Banda said that the political leadership of African nations have a responsibility to rise above partisan politics to pursue pragmatic policies and solve problems for the people.

According to a press statement, the former head of state said that on a continent that continues to suffer from some of the highest rates of inequality, hunger and poverty, democracy should be viewed as a mechanism of human dignity, in which every citizen is included and incorporated into the nation.

“What this means is that we must focus on delivering a vast expansion of our economies that can include more and more jobs, while at the same time protecting the most vulnerable,” said President Banda.

Banda said that although democracy may not always produce the desired results and sometimes may fall short of expectations, it is still the most effective way to represent the interests of the people.

“What people want are solutions, services and accountability. They have no use for ideology, no attraction to anger and attacks, and no patience for incompetence,” said Banda.  “And this is precisely the difference between governance and government: the embracing of democracy as a tool to facilitate cooperation rather than only perpetuate competition.”

President Banda recently spoke at the Crans Montana Forum in Geneva as well as the University of Ghana.  He is expected to return to Lusaka today.

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