The Tana Forum, one of Africa's foremost think tanks on peace, security and development, will devote this year's edition to one of the most crucial topics confronting us today, namely the governance of our continent's natural resources.
Along with various stakeholders, including political leaders and experts from various fields of study and work, we will attempt to find answers to the many critical issues that we must tackle to transform our economies, and to preserve and judicially exploit our natural resources to enable the people of Africa to live in a peaceful and sustainable environment.
The strategic and comparative advantages that Africa holds in natural resources, including hydrocarbons, minerals of all kinds, and arable lands, must be managed to ensure that Africans have full ownership. The success of the Forum will depend on the capacity of African leaders to reflect on strategies that will find an answer to one of the most vexing paradoxes of our time: how can the people of a land so rich live in squalor? This question has been facing us for decades and will continue to haunt us for generations to come if we fail to find the right answers. This urgency makes this year's Forum a most important one, especially at a time when our universe is threatened by resource scarcities that will eventually lead to a global hunt for everything that Africa possesses, both on and under its land.
The Tana Forum fills a knowledgesharing gap among African leaders in politics, academia, the private sector and civil society. Tana 2017 will create an environment where we can share our ideas, find similarities across different activities and set up long-term strategies for the wellbeing of our people.
Today, around the world, Africa is the last frontier of development; a land of hope, opportunities and possibilities where humanity can find new solutions without repeating the mistakes of the past. The knowledge base exists, what is missing are the linkages that can only come through dialogue. If Africans fail to share their experience and neglect to carry out research on the issues confronting them, peace, security and ultimately, human development will continue to evade us. We can and must strive to turn our natural wealth into palpable benefits for the people of Africa. This can only be possible if we meet in a setting such as the Tana Forum where our brightest minds will assemble and devise theories that will serve as guiding lights for our collective...