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General News
Pratt wants union govt for Africa 6/15/2007
Accra, June 13, GNA - Mr Kwesi Pratt Jnr., Director of Communication of the Convention People''s Party (CPP), on Tuesday urged African leaders to support the proposal for the creation of the United States of Africa at the forthcoming African Union (AU) Summit in Accra. He said there was no time to waste and that the integration should be now.

"We live in a world where we cannot determine the prices of our exports and determine the prices of our imports; the only way out now is for us to unite to be able to address our challenges as a continent," he said.

Mr Pratt was speaking at a public forum organized by the Statesman Newspaper and the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) on the topic: "Achieving United Nations of Africa by 2025".

He told the audience at the packed Teachers'' Hall in Accra that it was in like manner that some people tried to delay the attainment of independence for Ghana, adding that but for resolute leaders such as Dr Kwame Nkrumah who advocated "independence now", Ghana would probably not have attained independence at the time it did.

"The energy crises and the way people still walk long distances to queue for water and other basic necessities of life are all enough indications that we cannot continue to ignore the call for a United Africa now," he said.

"It is important for us to understand that if we are to move forward then we have to quash the old order to give place to the new," he added.

Mr Pratt urged the leaders to be wary of those who shouted loudly for unity but were the same people who would be hunting out for impediments that would prevent the coming into being of the United States of African immediately.

"We want our leaders from now onwards to go out for world summits with a united front and not as leaders of individual states of Africa," he said.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, CEO of Data Bank, noted that the per capita income for the entire African continent was nothing to write home about saying it was equal to that of a single state such as Belgium in the European Union.

He therefore advocated that if the Union of African States would help Africans to advance economically, then as a financial analyst, he found nothing wrong with it. However, if it would make states worse off then it was better for Africa to remain as it was. Mr Ofori-Atta said the vision should be to eliminate poverty, become a huge middle income class of people and get all the benefits that we desire to enjoy as a continent.

He said in the last six years inflation rates had been dropping across the continent which was quite encouraging and called on the leaders to have more pragmatic solutions to the problems that faced individual nations.

Mr. Ofori-Atta called for an increase in public-private partnership, especially with civil servants partnering with the private sector to move things faster in the areas of infrastructure development, road construction and education.

He said with massive investment in education, Africa could move faster at reducing the level of poverty than it was currently doing. Professor Ama Ata Aidoo, a Professor of Literary works, said until the position that the African woman occupied in nation building was duly recognized, all the efforts at uniting the continent would come to naught.

"If women would continue to be under-represented or disregard and treated as if they cannot think in matters that related to nation building, then the continent would go to sleep because women make up at least 51 per cent of the population on the continent," she said. She also called on the leaders to change from begging leaders of other continents all the time, saying Africans have to save themselves. 13 June 07Source:

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