African leaders have had to make a tough decision on managing natural resources to avoid the continent and environmental degradation.
The issue was among the resolutions reached yesterday during the sixth summit of the African Leadership Forum organized by the Institute of Leadership and convened retired presidents and senior leaders from within and outside Tanzania.
The forum discussed in detail the African resources especially on land, forests, water, animals and others in order to ensure effective management of economic change in Africa.
Reiterating the resolutions yesterday, Professor Andrew Temu, said they had agreed that they must unite forces together with African leaders in order to make efforts to protect those resources.
"Let's stay together and see how to better manage water and other resources and use existing laws to fight corruption, with a positive outlook to make sure that the authorities manage our resources," said Professor Temu.
He also said that although environmental problems and climate change are occurring globally, yet the same countries need to address them as they affect the economy and countries cannot move forward without addressing it.
“We must recognize that we Africans own these resources and only then will we be able to devise effective strategies instead of letting them go outside.
"One million animals are on the verge of extinction, come together to protect our resources to reduce disasters and use renewable energy instead of wood and charcoal," he said.
Other resolutions are to promote understanding in managing resources by ensuring that citizens and leaders understand the problem deeply so that they can govern for the benefit of the present and future generations.
Another resolution is the improvement of the education curriculum so that the principles of good governance and resource management become part of the education provided at the school to build a generation that will have good governance of those resources.
Closing the meeting Retired President Benjamin Mkapa urged education should continue to be provided and provide accurate information on resource management to avoid African countries and environmental degradation.
"I believe we can collectively protect our resources on the continent by providing education and providing accurate information, starting with the lowest and these can be helped by the upper class and can do better," said Mkapa.
Retired President Jakaya Kikwete said that there should be a balance between the use and development of sustainable resources.
Other retired presidents who attended the forum were Thabo Mbeki (South Africa), Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria), Henry Rajaonarimampianina (Madagascar).
The leaders together said the African continent had enough resources but the challenge it faced was how to address the problems posed by environmental degradation.
So they suggested that government's efforts to manage resources focus on short and long term goals, investing in research and looking at how best to encourage the use of renewable energy to avoid deforestation.