African countries must stop going by IMF, W’Bank’s advice – Falana

Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has cautioned African nations against dancing to neo-colonial dictates of foreign bodies such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Falana, who spoke at the West Africa Media Excellence Conference Awards award ceremony which was held in Accra, Ghana on Saturday, said the conference held in the country had some historical significance.

“No country in Africa could have hosted (this) conference except Ghana because, on this soil, President Kwame Nkrumah wrote one of his seminar books – ‘Neocolonialism – The Last Stage of Imperialism’ where he charged African governments to control the resources of our continent.

“The situation is worse today whereby our governments only listen to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank,” Falana said.

He stressed, “As I do say in Nigeria and I want to say on this occasion, I have not come across any country in the world that has developed on the basis of the prescriptions of the IMF and the World Bank. On the contrary, those institutions underdeveloped countries, including Ghana. And I’m going to challenge journalists today to please go out of the cocoon of politics. You’ve written very well on politics. Let us begin to interrogate the economic programmes of our governments —the implementation of neoliberal policies that have continued to situate poverty in the region.”

Speaking on the trend of coups in Africa, the lawyer urged the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States to address the situation.

Falana said, “In the 90s, people led the struggle on the continent to demilitarise and banish military rule from the political system, but today, four (African) governments have been taken over.”

“It is not only when you have the military rolling out the tanks that we talk about the unconstitutional change of government; When an elected president whose tenure is four or five years decides midway to manipulate the constitution in order to elongate his tenure, for me, that is an unconstitutional change of government. ECOWAS and the AU must address this dangerous phenomenon,” he added.

(Punch)

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