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General News
Lets approach next 50 years with clarity of vision-Kufuor 3/7/2007
Accra, March 6, GNA - Ghana''s important historic landmark of 50 years of nationhood was marked with a spectacular parade by the security services and school children at the Independence Square in Accra on Monday.

The event, which was watched by a record crowd, united by a common sense of national pride, had an added pan-Africanist touch, with the presence of the Heads of State and Government from a number of African countries, including Nigeria, Gabon, Benin, Togo and Equitorial Guinea. The others were Burkina Faso, Liberia, Mali, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Bostwana, Malawi and Cote d''Ivoire.

Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, represented the Queen of England, while Secretary Alphonso Jackson led the United States (US) delegation.

Also on hand to grace the event, were the immediate past Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Busumuru Kofi Annan and the wife Nane, Mr Alpha Konare, President of the African Union (AU) Commission, the leadership of the minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Convention People''s Party (CPP) as well as delegations from International Organisations and countries across the world. President John Agyekum Kufuor in his address rallied the nation to set its sight higher and to approach the next 50 years with clarity of vision and sustained national steps.

"Our destiny is with the most advanced in the human community and we must pursue it."

He said it was important for Ghanaians as they celebrated the Golden Jubilee of political independence, to be reminded that freedom was a living flame that needed to be constantly fuelled and not a monument to be saluted and revered occasionally.

"Ghana''s freedom, indeed Africa''s freedom must be an eternal flame to be continually fuelled by all Governments and peoples, because it defines our humanity."

President Kufuor used the celebration to call on the youth in the Continent to use their energies, dynamism, creativity and dreams for development to serve Africa.

"The future of this Continent is yours, it is your heritage and you must stay and be part of building the well-governed, economically vibrant nations we all aspire to."

He noted that Africa and many of its nations were making progress and said what they achieved together back home would be far more fulfilling and satisfying than anything they could do elsewhere in the world.

He paid homage to the many young people who bring honour and joy to Africa''s image in their daily endeavours, excelling in the fields of information technology, finance, sports, fashion and dance. President Kufuor, who chairs the AU pledged Ghana''s commitment to work with the rest of the Continent to develop Africa and its peoples to gain respectable and dignified place in the mainstream of the emerging global village.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was the Guest of honour said it was critical for Africans to properly understand and appreciate the mistakes of the past so that they did not condemn their collective posterity to repeating the vicious cycle that only perpetuated underdevelopment, poverty and instability.

He noted that the biggest bane of the Continent had been enduring instability engendered by a stark leadership conflict. "We substituted military rule for colonially-handed down democracy and socialism for capitalism without a productive base. At the height of the Cold-War, we became pawns and we toyed with ideologies that we half-understood.

At the end, we lost out but the fall-out-conflict, violence, poverty, under-development remains with us."

President Obasanjo said what was refreshing was the fact that the rejuvenated AU through the instrumentality of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), has established a structured platform for ensuring democratic good governance across the Continent.

He congratulated Ghana for being the first country to be peer reviewed with useful lessons to the rest of Africa and said this was key to any meaningful permanent reversal of the Continent''s undignified negative antecedents.Source:

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