Chancellor Urges African Leaders to Solve Unemployment by Supporting Domestic Enterprises

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The Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Ezra Suruma has challenged African Governments to evaluate the effect of entrusting their respective economies to foreigners as a way of solving unemployment among their populations. Speaking during the second session of the 69th Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday, 16th January 2019, Prof. Ezra Suruma said that African governments have withdrawn from investing and supporting domestic enterprises hence permitting foreigners to dominate the economy and operate on private basis.

“Selling government enterprises to foreign owners in the name of privatization cannot solve the problem of unemployment. The problem is now bigger than ever before partly of course because of high rates of population growth. I do not believe that there is any serious government in the world that expects foreigners to solve its employment problem. At best they can contribute but they cannot substitute for domestic investment and domestic enterprise,” he said.

According to Prof. Suruma, Africa in the past faced global ideological contradictions concerning the choice between liberal capitalism and a planned economy. He noted that the world has since the 1980s changed and the second and fastest growing economy in the world today is a planned economy. In his humble opinion, the idea that government withdrawal from investing in and supporting domestic enterprises solves the employment problem is a cruel joke.

“Even the capitalists themselves have abandoned this extremist ideology in favor of more complex activist government policies. In the circumstances in which we found ourselves in the 1980s and 1990s we opted to accept conditionality from global lenders that virtually required us to eliminate government enterprises in favor of foreign enterprise,” he explained.

January 26, 2019

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