Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Wednesday called for collaboration among political leaders in Africa to reform political process for development and economic transformation of the continent.
Ambode, represented by his deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, made the call at the 2nd African Political Summit organised by the Association of Political Consultants in Africa (APCA) in Lagos.
The theme of the summit is: “Democracy and Political Consultancy.’’
“The nature of politics in Africa has for long been a source of grave concern to those who are genuinely interested in taking Africa to its rightful position in the mainstream global system.
“It is in our best interest and in the interest of our democracy to reform our political process and enhance the engagement of the electorate in the democratic process for credibility and transparency.
“The resultant effect will be effective leadership for transformative growth and development,’’ Ambode said.
Also, Mr Benjamin Eisenberg, a Political Consultant based in U.S, said that professionalising politics was the only way for democracy to succeed in Africa.
Eisenberg said that the recent elections in Ghana and Gambia showed that democracy was growing and political processes in Africa were becoming encouraging and there was need to intensify the reformation.
“This conference will avail us the opportunity to discuss better ways of training campaign managers to organise voters and help the people to get a better understanding of politics.
“Professionalising politics in Africa will enhance moving to issue-based campaign instead of ethnic or tribal politics,’’ he said.
In a goodwill message, Mr Kipngeno Dunchi, a representative from Kenya, said that there was the need for African countries to reform their political practices for the growth of democracy.
“We shall be exchanging ideas on how we can really democratise Africa and ensure that our political system has a stronger ballot which will decide the leadership.
“When we make politics a profession in Africa, we will likely see more people with genuine interest engaging in politics and political affairs will be properly managed,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Mr Kehinde Bamgbetan, the Chairman of APCA, said that the way politics was practised in Africa, with poor campaign processes, poor financing, poor mobilisation, violence, fear and anxiety called for concern.
Bamgbetan said that politics in Nigeria and Africa was negatively affecting the growth of democracy.
“APCA seeks to redefine the way politics is played in Africa.
“We need to emulate advanced countries where politics is characterised with healthy rivalry and scientific approach.
“We can achieve such in Nigeria and Africa by following scientific pattern of politics to enhance political practice with healthy competition and reduce corruption in politics for the good of the people,’’ he said. (NAN)