Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun obasanjo says African leaders need to invest on education, as the continent is sitting on key of gun powder if the leaders do not address educational challenges.
Speaking at the 2019 Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Obasanjo also stressed the need for corporation among African leaders, saying there cannot be any progress for individuals and societies without good and qualitative education.
Former President Obasanjo said: “There is no country in Africa today that should not be able to compulsorily put all her children in school for 10 years. And once you have that, then of course, most of our children would be able to manage rest of their lives and then of course, once you deal with popular education, you have to deal with science, technology, skills acquisition and what we now call STEM. And then you cannot move away from rest of the world education wise. So, you have to have basic popular education.
“We need popular education for education for all. There are still parts of Africa where popular education is still not embraced and let me take my own country for example. For instance, we have six geo-political zones; three in the South and three in the North. The three Southern geo-political zones have general education literacy of above 90 per cent. In the North-East, it is only 53 per cent. Can you imagine the gap? And North-East is where you have boko haram. So, when you look at education in the North-East and the menace of boko haram, you can see that education directly and indirectly has something to do with boko haram,” he added.
The former President explained that Africa need to collaborate in other to move the continent forward, noting that he believed that for the world to change for better, people must realize that they have to work together.
“We still have a lot of work to do as a group base on democracy and democratic principles. And what they stand for, they still have a lot to do together to lead the world.
“I believe that in today’s world; for world to change for better, people must realize that they have to work together, collective leadership. Somebody may have to be the one engineering but it has to be a team work. And I will still believe that for that team work to move forward and work collectively,.We still have a lot of work to do as a group base on democracy and democratic principles. And what they stand for.
“Whatever you are doing in your own corner, be a leader but don’t lead alone; lead with others. That is the only way that your leadership can be meaningful and have collective impact.
“The day of single hero is gone; today you have to be heroes together but somebody has to lead. And that is what should be happening in Africa. Our leaders must agree to work together, if we work together, we will go far. If we work alone, we will go fast but we cannot go far.“
Obasanjo also advised African countries to invest in agriculture and home grown economy.