• Professional Investment and Consultancy Services in Nigeria


By: H.E. President Olusegun Obasanjo

In recent years, African nations have devoted particular attention to the very pertinent issues of political stability, human security, poverty, development and freedom. Also given attention is the right of people to freely choose their own socio-economic and political systems that constitute the bedrock of peace and development. At the dawn of the millennium, global attention focused intensely on globalization as a framework for the formulation of appropriate strategies for a desirable future for the whole world that is increasingly facing the problem of inequalities in an increasingly inter-dependent world.

Africa seems to have boxed itself into an uncomfortable state by acts of commission and omission on the part of the continent’s leaders. Poor management of the continent’s vast human and material resources over the years has been identified as one of its greatest banes. One factor that has often worked against development is what is described as “the leadership factor,” which this book has treated fairly exhaustively. Regrettably, Africa has been exploited, and continues to be exploited by our so-called development partners. A rather sad phenomenon is that Africans, particularly the political leaders and elites, share in the blame of under-development of the continent on account of poor governance culture, lack of clear vision, misplaced priorities, and the mismanagement of Africa’s huge resources – (both human and material) — that are our greatest endowments.

AFRICA: THE CHANGE AGENTS & DYNAMICS OF POWER, authored by Femi Adelegan, states pointedly that it has dawned on Africa’s leaders that no foreign power could be more committed and dedicated to the development of Africa than Africans. It is for this reason that Africa’s leaders, having realized the importance of the task at hand, are now fairly united in the objective of advancing the interests of their nations, particularly with regard to the need to grow their economies. Commendably, Africa’s leaders have opened a new vista in the area of building massive infrastructure, which is a major pre-requisite for sustainable economic growth and development. One of the most encouraging developments being witnessed is increased focus on socio-economic development by the leadership, which is becoming more aware of the need to pull the continent out of a pitiable depth and morass. Various intervention schemes put in place by African nations, individually and collectively through the African Union, AU, as well as mechanisms adopted to promote good governance since the inception of the AU have also aided development. Additionally, attempts to diversify the economy through various reforms, and increase global awareness about the huge opportunities in Africa are boosting hopes of startling impressive performances, hence the slogan ‘Africa rising’.

However, pervasive corruption, sometimes aided by foreign elements doing business with us, is another obstacle to the realization of the key objectives of African nations. Terrorism and conflicts have become pronounced and have assumed dangerous dimensions. Under-development has also been the outcome of largely incoherent implementation of policies, and institutional reforms, for the enforcement of rules and regulations introduced for the economic and political transformation of our continent. But all hope is not lost. Of notable importance is the increasing political awareness of Africans that are becoming very much interested in accountability, transparency and good governance. Indeed, Africans are now determined, more than ever before, to take their fate in their own hands, in order to advance socio-economic and political development, which is the most potent way of making progress in the continent.

I commend Femi Adelegan for his efforts at contributing his quota to societal development, and for putting his time to profitable use for the benefit of Africans in particular through this publication. I believe that the author’s past exposures, as a participant-observer in five different administrations in Osun State of Nigeria, have all proven to be invaluable experiences, which Femi has continued to share with the world through his publications on issues pertaining to the intricate art of governance.

I am, indeed, delighted to recommend this book to all who wish to know more about Africa’s problems and suggested solutions, as well as the huge opportunities available on the continent.

Former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria
December, 2014

Africa is widely regarded as the next frontier of the global economy with emerging success stories, in spite of the huge challenges currently confronting the continent. Today, the continent stands at a major crossroads, with Africa parading a paradox of opulence, growth and pervasive poverty. Generally, it is believed that Africa’s future may very well depend on the ability of leaders, elites and the general populace to evolve workable systems that would guarantee sustainable and viable cultures of governance and democracy. This is the summary of this book titled: “AFRICA: The Game Changers and Dynamics of Power” authored by Femi Adelegan, a Nigerian bureaucrat, writer, author, and publicist, who has in this compilation taken a critical look at the constraints and challenges on one hand, and durable solutions of moving African nations higher, on the global scale of socio-economic and political advancements on the other

An overview of Femi Adelegan’s book indicates that Africa really has no real reason to be poor, had there been conscientious efforts, dedication and commitment on the part of Africans to build the continent as progressive societies and to implement several initiatives capable of turning the situation around and confronting serious challenges attributable to a poor governance culture. The author has demonstrated, in this book, his acquisition of a rich blend of knowledge and maturity, having served in various positions in different governments in Nigeria. The ease with which Femi has tackled various issues raised in this compilation has also been aided by his very broad horizon and exposure during his public service outing spanning over three decades.

From the opening chapter, the author discusses the influence of “Power”, within the context of politics, physical and even spiritual, and goes further to describe power as a “potent force” that drives the society. In Chapters Two and Three, he discusses the instruments of power and how to balance power in an increasingly interdependent world; which, in his view, “constructing structures and policies that could serve as effective checks and balances, while also promoting factors that could minimize to the barest minimum, problems associated with inequalities, injustice and abuse of power.” Chapters Four and Five treat the vexed issues of the exploitation of Africa, Pan-Africanism and different ideologies embraced by the continent’s first generation of post-independence political leaders, as well as their effects on the political development of the continent.

For Africa, the road to freedom and unity has been rather long and tortuous as it has been negatively impacted by slavery and slave trade, and several destructive, senseless and avoidable wars and conflicts, compounded by scourges of poverty and disease. These regrettable developments resonate in the next two chapters that treat exhaustively the sub-themes: “The Problems of Africa and Military Intervention” and “Armed Conflicts in Africa”. He alludes to my statement at a United Nations Forum that “If you address the root causes of conflict, and if you accept that conflict and wars retard development – in no continent is this more true than in Africa, because one of the main reasons Africa is behind the rest of the world is precisely because it has the largest number of conflicts. People are not going to invest in countries of conflict, and without investment, both domestic and foreign, as they are not going to have production; they are not going to have employment, and it’s a vicious circle.”

Femi Adelegan also identifies one key factor that would very much determine the future of Africa, which is the trend of violent crimes and armed conflicts on the continent; and are exacerbated by the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the region. Chapters eight, nine, ten and eleven deal basically with the issue of development, globalization and the leadership question. It is obvious that Africa’s leadership must be prepared to adjust and adapt in order to effect the necessary structural adjustments in the global economic and political arena, muster all the resources available, and strategize for the evolution of a more prosperous polity. Femi Adelegan invites attention to President Barack Obama’s public speech during his year 2009 visit to Ghana, in which he asserted that “Africa’s future is up to Africans’, and that “Development depends on good governance; and that is the ingredient that has been missing for too long in Africa. “And that is the responsibility that can be met in Africa only by Africans.”

The author notes, and correctly too, that to develop on a sustainable basis and maximally, Africans must be mobilized in the pursuit of good governance, and the proper utilization of the continent’s several human and natural resources, particularly agriculture. He notes that the continent has, in the last one decade experienced exponential economic growth that gives hope for its transformation, turning the focus of the world to the potentials of the 54 nations that comprise Africa. As a continent with a collective GDP of about US$2 trillion, Africa holds about 14 percent of the world’s population, and more than 60 percent of uncultivated arable land. Regrettably, less than 10 percent of arable land in Africa is being utilized for farming, thus leaving huge cultivable arable lands on the vast continent uncultivated. Additionally, the imperative of good governance and the evolution of a viable political culture in Africa are treated perceptively in this publication. The author highlights such important requirements as the need to re-awaken political leaders on the importance of good governance to societal development, encourage efforts towards the re-evaluation and proper utilization of the economic fortunes of Africa and the Black race, and also stimulate actions towards the reduction of the digital divide that impacts the black race through the proper implementation of the globalization agenda. It is to be noted, however, as I have pointed out in one of my papers, that the perpetrators of vices such as poor governance, corruption, impunity, and lack of transparency would not easily give up the privileges accruing to their practices.

From this point of view, Femi Adelegan suggests that what needs to be done, therefore, is for civil societies and the people as a whole to demand good governance; and work towards peaceful changes and the termination of politics of exclusion that often leads to acute crises and conflicts. The author also highlights the negative effects of the seeming reluctance of some Western nations to free Africa completely from their grips through continued subtle manipulation of the political and economic development of Africa, even after granting these countries independence. Accordingly, the author, while identifying several advanced nations as accomplices in the illegal siphoning of Africa’s resources, treats extensively the problem of pervasive corruption, which is identified as a major cause of the stunted growth recorded on the African continent.

In the closing Chapter titled: “The Game Changers,” the author goes ahead to examine the potentials and future of Africa. Here, the author identifies leadership as the key to progress and asserts that Africa’s future is inextricably linked and woven into the vision and mission of its political leaders, who are entrusted with the responsibility of lifting the continent out of its current predicament. He also points out that developing Africa is the responsibility of both the leaders and the governed. The author argues that most of the continent’s problems could be traced to elites and quality and pattern of leadership that, in most cases has been uninspiring and short on provision of best global governance practices, as the government and the governed jointly owe it a great responsibility to pull the continent along the path of durable growth and sustainable development.

The major game changers, according to him are “Good governance, observance of the rule of law, justice, true democratic culture and commitment to the pursuit of excellence”. Furthermore, he adds, Africa must ensure smooth democratic transitions, the absence of which forms part of the greatest problems confronting the growth of civil democratic governance on the continent. According to the author, “The lust for political power and the refusal of some elected political office holders and heads of state to vacate office after the expiration of their tenures have resulted into serious crises that have rocked the stability of African nations. Furthermore, Femi argues that “Some of the obstacles to development in the developing world could be traced to the inability of the nations to introduce legal and institutional reforms capable of advancing socio-economic and political development”.

In the book, the author treats issues that could heighten cooperation between developing and developed nations, and also make them embrace the needed changes that must be constructed into the process of governance and international relations; and particularly, recommends improvements in the political and bureaucratic systems of African nations. Additionally, this book draws the attention of African leaders, elites and the general citizenry, to the need to be more involved in the process of participatory democracy and governance in order to record greater development. Happily, African leaders are currently focusing greater attention on salient factors that could push the economy of Africa forward.

Without any doubt, Femi Adelegan has enriched this book with rich nuggets of practical and theoretical experiences; utilizing the wide experiences acquired from his long walk in the corridors of power in Nigeria for over two decades and as a publicist, bureaucrat, writer and politician.

It is, therefore, a great honour to be requested to write the Preface to this publication, and I wish to recommend this book as essential reading for students and practitioners of politics, international relations, and history; as well as politicians and global power players in this era of globalization.

Prof. Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, CFR
Former United Nations Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs and
Nigeria’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
December, 2014

I consider it an honour and privilege to write the Prologue to this publication titled: ‘AFRICA: THE CHANGE AGENTS AND DYNAMICS OF POWER’ written by Femi Adelegan, a seasoned bureaucrat, and information manager, whose technocratic instincts and vast exposure over the years have no doubt, contributed to the rich blend of knowledge and maturity reflected in this publication.

As revealed in this book, Africa’s new resolve to progress remains strong as evidenced by the great zeal and enthusiasm that are being demonstrated by the continent’s leaders, in a calculated attempt to evolve from the ruins of the past. It is highly remarkable that Africa is currently on the path of irreversible economic transformation, as the global community focusses intensely on Africa, that is on the threshold of remarkable prosperity that encompasses development, peace and unity. The last decade in Africa has featured the pursuit of better economic governance by the continent’s leaders, whose efforts have paid off handsomely. According to a reputable economist, McKinsey: “Africa, at its current pace of growth will overtake the Middle-East as the second fastest growing market within the next decade. “Africa’s growth offers nations provide great opportunities for the world to contribute to its development. “Africa’s current and future growth will allow nations and companies to contribute to its development in a more significant manner.”

This invaluable book locates the essence of the commitment and realities of the regenerative efforts of the African Union that is at the vanguard of energizing Africa for the attainment of common set-goals and objectives of member-nations. Furthermore, this compilation suggests the necessary changes that should be firmly embedded into the process of governance. Commendably the author treats issues that could make developing nations move even faster to get re-orientated for improvements in the political and bureaucratic systems, while also highlighting the need for the global community to be more committed to globalization.

It is most gratifying that Femi Adelegan has been able to identify the types of institutional arrangements that are essential for socio-political and economic development of Africa; and reinforces the consensus about the immediate and long-term goals of the continent. The author articulates Africa’s democratic experiments and major political upheavals, and also suggests practical ways of eliminating problems of chronic poverty, poor political strategies, and the imbalance in the global economy, from a broad comparative and development direction.

I find it particularly interesting that the author’s patriotism shines in this publication; as revealed by his submission that: “It seems that the plausible way of advancing, in an increasingly competitive world is for Africa’s leaders to stand committed to building a society that upholds and defends the principles and practice of democracy, respect for fundamental human rights and the rule of law, and embrace virtues that promote unity in diversity. More importantly, this book points out that “there is the need to grow the economy of the continent by adopting a philosophy that favors strong public and private sector partnerships, in order to achieve sustainable economic growth and development that is private sector-driven; with the 54 governments of African nations providing the enabling environment.”

One of the good news of year 2014, is that the International Monetary Fund, (IMF) has predicted that four of the world’s six fastest growing economies in 2014, will be in sub-Saharan Africa, and that for the first time in living memory, inflation will dip below the Gross Domestic Product growth rate. It is for this very salient reason that African leaders now appear more committed than ever to the overall growth of the continent by adopting policies and measures that could push Africa into its destiny. This compilation would also whole enlighten the world about the immense opportunities available in Africa that is richly endowed with vast human and material resources. It also corrects some misconceptions about Africa as nursed by the Western world.

I commend this book to the global community for reading, for a better understanding of Africa’s problems, potentials and endowments. I feel convinced that those who share the aspirations of African nations, in particular, everyone who cherishes our joint commitment to building a peaceful, prosperous and more progressive polity, would find this book very revealing, refreshing and rewarding.

Emeritus Professor Michael Abiola Omolewa, OON
President of the 32nd Session of the General Conference of UNESCO; Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to UNESCO, and former Deputy-Chairman of the Commonwealth of Learning in Canada.
December, 2014

All glory and adoration go to God for the enablement to put this publication together. Next, let me appreciate my parents, late Chief S. T. Adelegan, (Deputy Speaker, defunct Western Region of Nigeria Legislature – 1960-1965) and mother, Chief (Mrs) E.O. Adelegan, an educationist, (also deceased) for labouring to bring us (their children) up and for proving to be very remarkable sympathisers of humanity during their journeys through life. My dad’s rich library aided my gathering of materials for this compilation. May their souls continue to rest in the bosom of God. I must also pay the compliments due to all who have been involved in moulding me over the years. My involvement in governments at the highest levels, and the vantage positions from which I have been privileged to operate, have combined to influence my thoughts on the very intricacy of governance generally, and civil democratic governance in particular.

Without any doubt, I am qualified to be classified as a participant-observer in the intricate art of governance, given the strategic positions that I have been privileged to occupy in the last three decades, and from which I have been able to contribute to the processes of change and development in Nigeria, and even beyond. From my outing as a media practitioner engaged in agenda-setting and shaping other people’s opinions and views, to my appointment as Chief Press Secretary to four governors of Osun State, Nigeria, from January 1994 to January 2000; on to my duty tour as the Chief Private Secretary/Special Adviser on Policies, Programmes and Plans Implementation to the governor of Osun State, Nigeria, from June 2003 to November, 2010, I have been able to acquire a rich blend of knowledge and maturity, that should ordinarily assist my quest to demystify governance, what governments do, and the occupants of political offices. I have been able to keenly watch governance procedures and major actors in governments, locally and abroad, from several prisms, and from the sidelines. Additionally, I have been involved in decision-making as an active participant in the process of political and economic development in Nigeria. For this, I owe my succesive bosses – Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Navy Captain Anthony Udofia, (retd), Chief Theophilus Bamigboye, Colonel Anthony Obi (retd) and also Chief Adebisi Akande (whom I served very briefly before retiring from government service in 2000) – a huge debt of gratitude for believing in me, in my inherent capabilities, as well as trust of my skills and endowments. I am not in a position to pay sufficient compliments to several Servants of God, who have over the years demonstrated keen interest in me, for their constant intercessions. I pray that the Creator may reward them bountifully.

In one of the challenging positions in which I functioned from 2003-2010, my responsibility was to monitor Osun State government’s aggressive investment promotion drives under the direct supervision of the state governor, and liaise with foreign governments for the purpose of developing the State through the attraction of Foreign Direct Investments, in addition to engaging the Nigerian Diaspora for partnerships and collaboration. These responsibilities have opened my eyes to diverse issues, particularly with regard to development of resources; both human and material. Similarly, my political appointment as the Principal Secretary to the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (Nigeria’s ruling political party and the biggest in Africa) further shaped my views on various pertinent issues, including planning, monitoring and strategizing for the administration of political parties, particularly, operating the principle of internal party democracy and monitoring governments under the control of the party for the development of the polity. I have equally observed deft political manouvres, intrigues and shortcomings of State administration. Most of the problems and issues treated in this publication deal with governance procedures in Africa, responses of the civil society, and the private and public sectors to socio-political and economic stimuli. They also deal with contributions to efforts at moving the developing world along the path of progress, and identification of factors constituting what could be regarded as the “game changers” for African nations that are plagued by political instability and under-development. If Botswana, an African country with a stable and successful democracy since independence in 1964, could perform the feat of posting the world’s most sustained and strongest economic growth over the last four decades, there is no reason why other African nations should not record such scintillating performances.

This book suggests the necessary changes that should be firmly embedded into the process of governance in Africa. One of my findings is that Africa really has no reason to be poor, had there been conscientious efforts, dedication and commitment on the part of leaders and the civil populace to build the continent. And I must assert most unequivocally that nation-building, which is one of the hardest of tasks is a joint responsibility of the ruling class and the citizenry. Unfortunately, Africa has a docile civil society that is not conscious of the rights and power of the masses. Several initiatives that are capable of turning the situation around have been introduced, but the continent continues to face serious challenges that are attributable to poor governance culture. However, it is noteworthy that the situation is changing as African leaders now acknowledge very profoundly, the shortcomings of their societies, the preconditions for development, and the need to take positive actions to develop their societies. I appreciate Ayandiji Aina, a professor of Political Economy at Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Nigeria, for accepting to go through the manuscripts and for offering invaluable suggestions. I am also greatly indebted to some organizations that threw their doors open to me for research. I must appreciate Amabassador Dennis Antoine, the Grenadian envoy to the United Nations and Mr. Stanley Straughter, Chairman of the United States based Constituency for Africa Forum, for their invaluable assistance.

One constant revelation that recurred in the course of compiling this book is that it is obvious that Africa’s leadership must be prepared to adjust and improvise in order to effect the necessary structural adjustments in the global economic and political arena, muster all the resources available, and strategize for the evolution of a more prosperous polity. In his public speech during his visit to Ghana, President Barack Obama of the United States alluded to the rich resources and potential of Africa and declared that “Africa’s future is up to Africans.” Obama pointed out that development depends on good governance; noting that “That is the ingredient that has been missing for too long. And that is the responsibility that can be met in Africa only by Africans.” That is a very correct declaration and Africans must be mobilized to be conscious of this naked fact. Africa is tremendously rich in several natural resources, including agriculture; but less than 10 per cent of arable land in Africa is being utilized for farming, thus leaving huge cultivable arable lands on the vast continent uncultivated. Regrettably, the tremendously blessed continent, as at 2013, was the poorest region in the world.

For Africa, the road to freedom and unity has been rather long and tortuous. There have been destructive wars and conflicts compounded by scourges of poverty and disease. With recent developments, hope is rising, as the economy of Africa continues to record anticipated breakthroughs. One of the good news of year 2014 is that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) prediction that four of the world’s six fastest growing economies in 2014, will be in sub-Saharan Africa, and that for the first time in living memory, inflation will dip below the Gross Domestic Product growth rate. Added to the foregoing is the fact that economic indices show conclusively that Africa is the fastest-growing continent at 5.6% a year, and GDP is expected to rise by an average of over 6% a year between 2013 and 2023. All these point to the fact that Africa has a bright future, provided its people are prepared to make this happen. And this compilation treats diverse issues that could be undertaken by African nations for sustainable growth.

I equally pay the deserved tribute to one of Africa’s most prominent and versatile diplomats, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, CFR, for his encouraging disposition to my request for him to write the Preface to this book, even at a very busy period when he was combining United Nations and African Union assignments with that of his country – Nigeria, whose call he obeyed to participate in the 2014 National Conference, put in place to chart a proper course for the political development of Africa’s most populous nation. It is indeed a rare honour and privilege for Prof. Gambari, who has served meritoriously in strategic the position of the Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs at the United Nations, from where he was later appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon as the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and Joint African Union-United Nations Special Representative for Darfur, to endorse this publication. It is worthy of mention that this eminent African diplomat was in charge of the largest peacekeeping mission in UN’s history; involving 30,000 people, including 16,000 troops, and 6,000 police. Apart from these global engagements, Prof. Gambari, also previously had meritorious outings as Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Director-General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs. He also holds the record of the longest serving Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations.

I am pleased to highlight the fact that this book suggests the necessary changes that should be firmly embedded into the process of governance in Africa. One of my findings is that Africa really has no reason to be poor, had there been conscientious efforts, dedication and commitment to build the continent. And I must assert most unequivocally that nation-building, which is one of the hardest of tasks, and is a joint responsibility of the ruling class and the citizenry. Unfortunately, Africa has a docile civil society that is not conscious of the rights and power of the masses. Several initiatives capable of turning the situation around have been introduced; but the continent continues to face serious challenges that are attributable to poor governance culture. However, it is heartening to observe that the situation is changing, as African leaders now acknowledge very profoundly, the shortcomings of their societies, the preconditions for development, and the need to take positive actions for development. Equally appreciated for his encouragement is Emeritus Prof. Michael Omolewa, an affable Nigerian who served as the President of the 32nd session of the General Conference of UNESCO and also Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO.

The search for the magic wand for the development of Indonesia was led by General Suharto, while Lee Kuan Yew has gone into history as the modernizer of Singapore. Who are the patriots that would do it for Africa? The answer is that Africa has them in abundance and they would only succeed in effecting the necessary changes by a very strong determination and support of Africans. It is recommendatory that Africans tighten their belts to contribute monumentally to the process of change and re-orientation of their societies, through moulding the opinions and cultures of their peoples, to join hands to build a better and more productive polity. Africans could copy the resilience and determination of that Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto, (1496-1542) who led the first European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States; emerging the first person documented to have crossed the Mississippi River. Soto, upon reflection stated that “The present has finally prevailed; the past will not return; the future is here; we have the solid blocks to build a firm foundation therefrom, to secure a stable future.”

I am grateful to my good friends, Olalere Fagbola and Lanre Adebayo for going through the manuscripts. I appreciate Bunmi Kehinde, a highly resourceful and determined gentleman with a bright future, for assisting with research during the compilation of this book. I am equally thankful to Oluwafemi Fagbola, who agreed to go through the compilation. Again, and as usual, I am particularly grateful to my dear wife, Oluwafunmilayo and our lovely children for their inestimable love and support. I also thank everybody who has laboured with me in prayers for me to experience the mercy of God, without which this project would not have been achievable. Some of my junior professional colleagues whom I fondly call “my boys” as a result of our very close working relationship and their brilliance are deeply appreciated. They include Kayode Oladeji, Oyesiku Adelu, Bamidele Salam and Femi Adefila, who have been trained to recognise excellence.

As I worked on this project and toiled day and night, I constantly remembered God for His unquantifiable kindness bestowed upon me, and for also taking care of some distractions encountered in the course of compiling this publication. One of these was the curtailment of the leadership tussle at the PDP national headquarters, which has interestingly created the time for me to achieve my book publishing objectives. Constantly, I remembered the saying that “The path to greatness is usually rough and entails much sacrifice.” Similarly, I remembered Nelson Mandela’s assertion that “It always seems impossible until it is done.” And so, another book is ‘born’, to the glory of God.

Happy reading.

Femi Adelegan
December, 2014.