By John Kayode
For Africa renaissance as the basis of a new global leadership paradigm to be meaningful, the continent must liberate itself from mental slavery, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, immediate past Governor of Ondo state, has said.
Mimiko made this call while delivering his opening remarks at the 6th and 7th convocation lecture of Elizade University Ilara-Mokin in Ondo state on Thursday.
The former governor opined that “there must be a ‘resurgimento’ as it were, of mental dignity and confidence”. He reiterated that African state must drive development via an aggressive and improved productive capacity, saying this is development anchored on human skills, including an aggressive industrial policy aligned with appropriate financial framework.
“But how can you sincerely develop improved productive capacity in which human skill is central if your universities are closed for upwards of eight months”? He asked.
He further stated that the continent must demonstrably address the issues of gender inequity and uncontrolled procreation with all fervency and a lot of commitment.
According to him, “Africa must tackle gender inequity and uncontrolled procreative proclivity. It must re-imagine itself in international institutions within the present global order, which is already structured to limit our competitiveness”.
The former governor eulogized the founder and visitor of Elizade University, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, for his passion to develop his community of Ilara-Mokin, Nigeria and, contribution to the body of knowledge as evident in the university’s standard.
“I am, and have always been proud to be associated with this University, which by His grace was founded during my time as the governor of this State. Sir, that little acorn you planted about 10 years ago has become an oak tree, an ‘iroko’ tree of reckoning! – a university, with all its courses fully accredited, that bears the mark of excellence that defines the Ade-Ojo essence”. Mimiko said.
In her lecture on ‘Africa Renaissance: Key for New Global Leadership Paradigm’, the Vice President of Liberia, Dr Jewel Howard-Taylor said we must continue to be gatekeepers to our nations in Africa
Howard-Taylor submitted that “we must recognize that we are the greatest that God has created. I know my lineage and history”. She challenged African parents to be intentional and consistent in changing the mindset of the young people by teaching them morals and values embedded in African traditions.
The Liberian Vice President charged African political leaders to embark on projects and programmes that will benefit the entire community as opposed to doing things for individuals.
She instituted a one million prize for the best female student in honour of the Alara of Ilara-Mokin, Oba Abiodun Aderemi Adefehinti, which will be sponsored by the Vice President’s foundation.