By Reuben Olita
Two former Heads of State today engaged young elected leaders in a dialogue on Day four of the 9th Africities Summit at Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium, Mamboleo in Kisumu.
Former Mozambique President, H.E Joachim Chissano and his Seychelles counterpart, H.E Danny Faure responded eloquently and were cheered by participants who filled the plenary hall to listen to the former leaders.
On behalf of the young elected leaders,the Secretary- General of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG), Jean-Pierre Elong Mbasi posed questions to above mentioned panelists.
The young leaders noted that the Covid-19 exposed weaknesses in terms of health solutions and sought to know what remedies need to be put in place to avoid the continent to be put at cross roads in the event of outbreak of other pandemics.
H.E Faure said during the outbreak of the pandemic he intervened by putting the right structures in place including having enough human resource.
“As the then President until October 2020, I called Kenyan President, HE, Uhuru Kenyatta to help us with nurses which he accepted. That is the quick action I undertook to put the system in place.
He regretted that Africa is still grappling with manufacture of Covid-19 vaccine, over two years since the outbreak of the pandemic, urging governments to support cities and local authorities with requisite resources to enable them put systems in place.
He also emphasised the need by local governments to engage governments on matters climate change that will benefit them through adaptation structures and necessary strategies put in place.
H.E Chissano said it’s vital for local governments and states to have dialogue between themselves and use associations to solve the problems they have.
He said the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD’s) four primary objectives are to eradicate poverty, promote sustainable growth and development, integrate Africa in the world economy and accelerate the empowerment of women, thus the need by UCLG to embrace the initiative.
” There is need by governments to develop mentality that they are capable and to reduce dependence on developed countries especially their former colonial masters,” he said, adding thatc countries need to develop their capacities and devise on the way to negotiate.
The session was also attended by the Devolution Cabinet Scretary, Eugene Wamalwa, Gabon Prime Minister, Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda.
Former Mozambique President, H.E Joachim Chissano awards recipients during Africities in Kisumu.