Obasanjo was speaking to guests at a French Embassy event in Pretoria, South Africa, on Wednesday during the launch of the French version of his book “Making Africa Work”, which he co-authored with renowned South African writer Greg Mills, according to News24.
“Trump has come so that America can be humbled, and we can also learn that lesson,” Abasanjo said.
“The time has come that we should be the agent of our own fortune, and we are not as weak as we think we are.”
The 80-year-old ex-President was responding to a question about how Africa could use a possible realignment in world politics to emerge as a key player in addressing its own challenges.
He also called on Africans to hold their leaders to account by calling them out whenever they make a mistake.
Obasanjo now joins the expanding list of African leaders who have publicly criticized the election of President Trump in November 2016.
Africa for Africans
Obasanjo took issue with the African political class for mismanaging the continent’s vast resources and over relying on foreign aid.
He was referring to a recent study by the former South African President Thabo Mbeki, which allegedly revealed that there is $50 billion of illicit financial outflows from Africa.
For that reason, the former Nigerian head of state challenged African leaders to create a favorable environment for direct foreign investments, adding that the continent has enough resources for development.
He further reiterated the need for Africans to develop the continent for themselves, especially with regard to regional infrastructure.
“Nobody can do it for us, and it is all of us, and if we do it, we will get it right,” Obasanjo added.
He also highlighted the need for African countries to make business travel across the continent easier, insisting that Africans do not need visas to travel within the continent.
“It should be possible for any African to travel to any other African country for one week. That will make things a lot easier for us for business to transact, a simple thing like that,” said Obasanjo.
Obasanjo, who served as the Chairman of the African Union (AU) for two years, was the President of Nigeria from May 1999 to May 2007.