Rekindle values of AU – President Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo (seated left) interacting with President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (2nd right), President of Equatorial Guinea and a representative of the Commissioner, Peace and Security AU Commission at a meeting at Addis Ababa

African leaders wrapped up their summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, yesterday, with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo urging them to ensure that the decisions taken at the summit were implemented to give more meaning to the values of unity, solidarity and cohesion on the continent.

He described the 28th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) as a landmark, evident in the number of far-reaching decisions taken by the assembly.

Delivering the vote of thanks at the closing session of the summit, President Akufo-Addo said: “If these and other measures are carried out in their letter and spirit, they will, indeed, mean that this has been a landmark summit, one which would have succeeded in rekindling the values of ‘unity, solidarity and cohesion’ that have been the founding values of our continental organisation.

“It will mean that the decision we made in establishing this union 15 years ago in 2002 to build our union ‘brick by brick’, in His Excellency President Robert Mugabe’s eloquent phrase, is paying off, and that sooner rather than later we will arrive at the goal of realising our vision of an integrated, peaceful and prosperous Africa, speaking with one voice, that has been the dream of successive generations of pan-Africanists.”

He said the 2017 summit, which was on the theme: “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in the youth”, was essentially a pact made between the leaders on the continent “with both present and future generations to leave them a better legacy than we inherited from our forebears”.

The President said Africa’s present generation ought to “be at the measure of our history” and urged his colleague African leaders to do well to help implement the draft of policy measures agreed to at the summit to meet the aspirations and wishes of their peoples.

Measures adopted

“We have made the bold decision to admit one of new Africa’s founding states, the Kingdom of Morocco, into our fold and extend the reach of our organisation, finally, to all parts of our continent, with all its implications.

“We have adopted the comprehensive proposals for the reform of our institutions prepared by the respected leader of Rwanda, His Excellency President Paul Kagame, and his advisory council of experts. If vigorously implemented, these proposals will give a significant and enhanced impetus to the operations of our union,” he said.

The assembly also took the decision to finance its operations from its own resources, thereby weaning itself off foreign dependence and charity, a move President Akufo-Addo described as “necessary for our self-respect”.

The President also applauded the assembly for meeting the deadline by putting in place a programme for the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area to boost Africa’s chances for self-reliant economic development.

That, he stressed, would help realise the enormous potential of the continent and help bring prosperity and dignity to the long-suffering peoples of Africa.

He used the opportunity to commend the outgoing Chair of the AU Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, for the successful completion of her tenure of office and wished her well in her future endeavours.

He also thanked the AU for its assistance in helping to make Ghana’s 2016 general election credible and its outcome acceptable, thereby enhancing the country’s principles of democratic accountability which had reinforced the peace, stability and unity of Ghana.

President Akufo-Addo also thanked his colleague Heads of State “for the big vote of confidence you gave to my country Ghana, not just by the massive endorsement of Ghana’s candidate for Deputy Chair of our commission but also the selection of my compatriot, Prof. Dakoure, as one of the two awardees of this year’s Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Award.”

Source: GraphicOnline