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Mutharika Says Africa Lacks Knowledge And Skills For Generating Capital Assets. Is That True?

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

Africa | Occasional Debate | Malawi June 10, 2017

In his address to the Oxford Union, Oxford University, England, on June 9, 2017, the President of Malawi Professor Peter Mutharika said although Africa has natural resources, the continent lacks the knowledge and skills necessary for conversion of the resources into capital assets. By the latter, meaning presumably, manufactured capital goods like vehicles, construction machinery and material, agricultural machinery, food processing machinery, etc. Also, he indicated it is this lack of knowledge and skills that is making Africa give away $192 billion after receiving $134 billion, every year! As such, the professor suggested Africa needs to develop an education system that empowers majority of its people beyond the classroom, implying education that recipients can use practically to produce manufactured goods.

But then, is it true that such education system is lacking in Africa? Is it even true that Africa in 2017 lacks knowledge and skills for converting raw natural resources alias natural assets like lets say iron ore into steel and subsequent steel products? We don't think so.

Africa now has numerous world class universities and colleges that have been producing for decades, highly skilled professionals in almost all fields related to the manufacturing of capital assets from the scratch! In addition to locally educated professionals, there are numerous African professionals with degrees including doctorates from some of the best universities abroad, like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, etc. right there in Africa, ready to do what they are trained to do! Some of these outstanding professionals are even reported to be unemployed in some African countries!

Africa has, therefore, skilled professionals that are capable of converting raw natural resources into capital assets. Accordingly, the question is not about availability of knowledge and skills as Mutharika suggested to the Oxford Union, but rather why readily available knowledge and skills in Africa is not being used to generate capital goods from natural resources in the continent. We think we know why things are like that.

There is a chronic lack of political will by some governments in Africa to involve their own local experts in complex industrial and engineering projects including manufacturing and, infrastructure projects like construction of new highways, railways, airports, complex buildings, etc., that may be inherent in lack of trust of experts of their own kind! Consequently, even when some local experts are there and ready to be used with reasonable remunerations, some African governments will choose to use foreign experts instead! It is this silly and naive obsession by some Africa governments of foreign experts that is making the continent be looted $58 billion by consent, every year!

This is what we have made out of professor Mutharika's speech at the Oxford Union. What do you guys out there think? Do you agree with us? Let us have a public debate on this!!!! ________________ © 2015 - 2019 Africauptodate. All Rights Reserved

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