Vice President of AfDB Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa, said at a symposium in Kigali that the factors not only lead to diversion of resources, but also the energies of institutions and their staff.
Kayizzi-Mugerwa said some of the African governments failed to translate their development agenda into action because the public sector tends to become captive and serve individuals and not the population.
He said there was the need to honour the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, especially for leaving a great legacy for Africa and other developing countries.
“His conceptualisation of a developmental state to describe the institutional and socioeconomic frameworks that would sustain development without stifling political participation is outstanding,” he said.
Kayizzi-Mugerwa said any poor and resource-challenged country could embark on sustainable growth and development if led by dutiful and committed leaders.
“African countries have indeed made progress in political and economic terms, with considerable variance in-between.
“Achieving the lofty ambitions of the ‘democratic developmental state’ will take time, but many African countries see them as worth pursuing,” he said.
Kayizzi-Mugerwa said with the adoption of the 2063 template by the African Union, which emphasises the same views on the developmental state, the continent was serious about pursuing sustainable development.
“There has been no shortage of development ideas or templates in Africa since independence in the early 1960s.
“Africa’s development path is, however, full of failed policy initiatives, thus making implementation always the issue,” he said.
He said African countries must seek to address ‘implementation deficit’ at all levels of government before they made progress in their developmental efforts.
To him, the biggest risk was that many African governments are unable to implement their own policies, owing, often, to domestic opposition from powerful groups.