By Office of the Vice President of Ghana
The single most important factor in the development and progress of a nation is its human capital, and it is crucial to reconnect Africans on the continent and those in the diaspora to accelerate the emancipation of the African continent, the Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has underscored.
The Vice President, who was speaking at the 150th anniversary of the birth of Dr W.E.B Du Bois in Accra on Monday February 19, 2018, emphasised that the destiny of Africans anywhere in the world is irrevocably tied to the destiny of the African continent.
Born on February 23, 1868, in Great Barrington, a small town in Massachusetts town USA, Dr Du Bois Du Bois was a leader in the pan-African movement that sought solidarity between all people of African descent. He was a major influence on Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, especially after they met at the 1945 Pan-African Congress in Manchester, England.
W.E.B Du Bois travelled to Ghana in 1961 at the invitation of Dr Kwame to help write the Encyclopedia Africana. Renouncing his U.S. citizenship, Du Bois became a citizen of Ghana and lived here until his death in 1963, at the age of 95.
Alluding to W.E.B. Du Bois’s drive to reconnect the African diaspora to the continent, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia emphasised that almost 400 years after the advent of slavery, Africa was still strong and, with a growing population billed to be the largest in the world by 2050,a focus on developing the human capital of persons of African descent would help the continent assume its rightful place in the world.
“It is important for Africans to recognise that we are all Africans, whether you are in the diaspora or in the continent” Dr Bawumia stated.
“It doesn’t matter if you are a billionaire walking on the streets of America as a black man; they will see you no different from anybody walking on the streets of Africa,and so the emancipation of people of African descent lies in the emancipation of Africa.
“That lesson for me is very very important, and that is why we have to grow and move beyond aid and develop our continent.”
According to the Vice President, Dr Du Bois’ decision to relocate to Ghana, sowed a seed that reflected his commitment to the development of the African.
“The message for me in his coming back home – he was here, died here, he is buried here – that singular act is the sowing of a seed, and we are all the products of that seed. He sowed a seed to let us understand why it is important to unite the African diaspora with the continent.
“The research is very clear, that the single most important factor is not natural resources, the gold and all that. The single most important factor for the development and the progress of nations is your human capital. That is the single most important factor.
“Next year 2019 will be 400 yearsof the first documented arrival of slaves from Africa to America, so if human capital is the key to the development and progress of nations and you have 400 years of a loss of human capital,it is bound to have a major impact for us descendants. Therefore it is very very important to reconnect that human capital that is out there,our brothers and sisters out there in the diaspora.
“We want quality human capital, that is why our education systems have to be ramped up, and we have to link up with the human capital that we already have in the diaspora. We have to link up and take advantage of that to propel this continent scientifically.”