In matters of international relations, specifically bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements or communiques, treaties and the like, it is not the responsibility of the partner or adversarial country or nation state to “look out for your interest”. It is the responsibility of both parties to maintain an absolute and total diligence and attention to detail on Cost-Benefit Analysis, Sustainability and what I call “Sustainability Advantage” instead of a given enterprise, project and or scheme’s comparative advantage. Comparative advantage should be considered but not at the expense of “Sustainability Advantage”. The rationale and mantra should be, “What Long term benefit/gain has a man or woman who cannot Sustain in the agreement. In order to mitigate the pitfalls that bedeviled and continues to bedevil a significant number of African countries in their quest for development and especially, industrialization, a national development and industrialization blueprint needs to be created, developed or generated. A National “Home Work” of “Needs and Priority” Assessment of the kind that has been missing in most past development and industrialization schemes is required. The needs and priority assessment should not follow the “Road most Travelled”. It should clear a path that fits and demonstrates the country’s unique economy, education level, for example, technical skills, geographical features, and Demographics. Sustainability and of course, beneficiation and potential value added needs assessment should be included and at center stage. Local and community input is a pre-requisite though it should not be an end to itself. Expert and professional input is equally critical. Israel can be a useful partner, but like everything, Africa needs to do its due diligence and homework first and approach each country from a well informed and transparent position that is beneficial to the national welfare of the given African country.
Sidi N. Bojang