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General News
Africa Will Succeed - Kofi Annan 1/26/2007
Friday, 26 January 2007
Busumuru Kofi Annan, immediate past United Nations Secretary-General says there was much to do to arrest development challenges facing the continent, however he was full of hope that Africa would succeed. He was delivering the Golden Jubilee Inaugural Lecture in Accra on Thursday evening under the theme, ‘Championing Africa’s Renaissance; In pursuit of self-reliance and sustainable economic liberation in Africa’ as part of Ghana’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.





He said despite the developmental challenges the continent faced, it had made some inroads in the areas of governance and the protection of human rights. “What we need now is to keep building on the progress we have achieved so far. To do so we must build a comprehensive strategy for the future. One which gives equal weight and attention to the three pillars; security, development and human rights.




“They all reinforce each other, they all depend on each other. These three pillars must prove the basis of our African renaissance so that all Africans may enjoy the prosperity that seemed so palpable 50 years ago. That year 1957, when I graduated from Mfantsipim, full of hope for the future, and for my country. This year, (2007) I have graduated again, this time from the leadership of the United Nations and once again I find myself full of hope for Ghana and for Africa.”




Mr. Annan urged African leaders to uphold human rights and the rule of law as part of the continent’s agenda for the growth process and do all in their power to ensure peace. “Wars have stopped in Angola, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Southern Sudan. And here let me also urge the political leaders of Cote D’Ivoire to put their nation first, settle their differences and bring peace to their country. That is what the people demand and that is what they deserve.” Mr. Annan expressed satisfaction that most of the wars on the continent had ended however, he said the continent must be under no illusion to think that all was well.




“In far too many reaches of the continent, people are still exposed to brutal conflicts fraught with small but deadly weapons. Everyday in Darfur, more men, women and children are being driven from their homes by murder, rape and burning of their villages and in Somalia we see that that country is once again engulfed in war. “Beyond Sudan and Somalia, less visible but no less deadly conflicts cry out for African resolve and international attention. Peace may be spreading on the continent, but a continent at peace, that is what people want. That remains an idea in search of realisation.”




According to him, about half of the world’s conflicts and a third of the United Nations force are here in Africa. He noted that foreign investors are scared away from the continent when they see it as being at war. Touching on the millennium development goals, Mr. Annan said most African countries were on target, adding that most African nations were now better run, and with inflation at its historic low averaging eight percent a year for many countries the continent would certainly break from the circle of poverty.




Mr. Annan said Africa remained the only continent that was unable to feed her let alone talk about food security. He applauded Ghana for remaining at the forefront of Africa’s renaissance after fifty years of independence.

 
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