President Mahama: “Africa needs a collective voice”
President John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday stated that the only way Africa could develop and overcome its challenges is to provide a collective and common voice in pursuing development agenda.
This, he suggested could be achieved through partnerships and integration that would provide a common platform for them to showcase their comparative advantage and specialization and to leverage intra-continental trade.
President Mahama stated this when he delivered a lecture on the topic: ”Africa, new opportunities, new political perspectives” at the French Institute of International Relations as part of his three-day official visit to France.
The lecture, which was attended by students, business community and Africans living in Paris, also gave the patrons the opportunity to ask the Ghanaian President questions relating to integration and development opportunities of the continent.
President Mahama said although the advent of independence to the African countries had given the African states maximum hope, issues such as brain drain, diseases, conflicts, hunger, poverty and deprivation had plunged the continent into the doldrums of despair and hopelessness.
He, however, gave the assurance that Africa was taking shape and announcing its arrival on the international political scene that only needed cooperation and integration to be achieved in the nearest future.
President Mahama regretted that countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Burundi, Rwanda and Somalia had to be plunged into wars and political crises, when the African leaders had demonstrated their willingness to democratize and to respect the rule of law and good governance through regular political general elections.
On Ghana, President Mahama said, the West African country was fortunate to have learnt from both the failed and successful states in the exploration and exploitation oil and gas.
He said Nigeria was generous enough to have given Ghana a lot of negative results they had reaped from poor management of their oil and gas and expressed satisfaction that Norway and Trinidad and Tobago on the other hand had also provided adequate success stories, which he said was helping Ghana to tread cautiously in the industry.
He expressed the hope that Africa would move up to the expectation of its people, as more countries were engrossed in democracy and good governance, which could provide freedoms and liberties to the people to express and contribute their quota towards the development of their people.
President Mahama said the institution of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in various African countries was an indication that Africans were ready to take their own destinies into their hands to forge ahead for the necessary and needed building blocks for the continent.
The President called on France and other developed countries to offer the partnerships that would help the African continent achieve their development needs in the coming years.
Source: George-Ramsey Benamba, GNA Special Correspondent in Paris, France