African leaders have mortgaged the youth’s future through reckless borrowing – Agyeman-Duah




Professor Baffuor Agyeman-Duah, a Governance Expert, has criticized African leaders for failing to build a promising future for the continent’s youth, accusing them of “mortgaging the future” through reckless borrowing.


In an interview on TV3’s *Key Points* on Saturday, June 29, Prof. Agyeman-Duah discussed the recent upheaval in Kenya, using it as a lens to examine broader issues across Africa. “We have mortgaged the future of the youth through reckless borrowing,” he said, highlighting how mismanagement of resources jeopardizes future generations.


He viewed the violent protests in Kenya as a significant lesson for other African nations. “The situation in Kenya is not unique to Kenya. It reflects a widespread issue across many African countries, including our own,” Prof. Agyeman-Duah asserted. He argued that the protests reveal a need to reassess the type of democracy practiced in some African nations.


Prof. Agyeman-Duah explained that the disparity between the lifestyles of a few elite leaders and the hardships faced by the majority fuels discontent among the youth. “The youth observe the contrast between the lavish lifestyles of a small group of leaders and the deprivation experienced by the vast majority. This disconnection inevitably leads to dissatisfaction and unrest,” he said.


He elaborated on how poor leadership and reckless borrowing create economic challenges that further alienate the youth. “The elite or older generation has mortgaged the future of young people through reckless leadership and borrowing,” he emphasized.


The Kenyan protests, sparked by the Financial Bill 2024, led President William Ruto to retract his decision to sign the bill into law. The bill, which faced public opposition due to proposed taxes, resulted in significant unrest. In response to the protests, President Ruto announced on television, “It has become evident that members of the public still insist on the need for us to make more concessions…having reflected on the Financial Bill 2024 and listening to the people of Kenya, I concede and therefore will not sign the Finance Bill 2024 and it shall be withdrawn.”


President Ruto had previously justified the Financial Bill 2024 as necessary for funding priority areas such as agriculture, education, and health. He stated, “The additional tax measures we proposed were to raise 346 billion shillings. After public participation, that came down to 200 billion shillings. I proposed this bill based on our situation and priorities.”


In addition, the National Assembly of Kenya authorized the deployment of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to support police efforts amid the ongoing protests. This decision, made during a special session, sparked controversy over its legal basis and execution. Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo criticized the process on social media, saying, “National Assembly Has Just Made Kenya A Military State; Authorizing Deployment Of KDF Without Indicating Where, Why Or For What Period, & Did So Retrospectively Contrary to Article 241(3)(c). God Bless Us.”


Prof. Agyeman-Duah’s reflections call for a critical evaluation of governance practices in Africa and advocate for a more responsible and transparent approach to leadership.

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