Dr Donald Kaberuka, former president of the African Development Bank and ex-minister of finance and economic planning in Rwanda, joined Ann Bernstein, CDE executive director, in a conversation titled, Africa’s prospects in turbulent times.
Dr Kaberuka argued that no country in the world has ever transformed its economy without access to energy. Vietnam’s GDP has expanded from $14 billion in 1992 to nearly $500 billion because the cost of electricity was about 6c/KWh, he said.
In Dr Kaberuka’s view, governments should be judged on three things: “Do they effectively deliver health, education and other public goods to their people, are they accountable to those people and do they govern in the interests of all?”
He disputed “the idea that Africa is some kind of football pitch where Americans, Chinese or Europeans come to compete for their own interests”. Dr Kaberuka therefore called on Africans “to better define our interests”.