DOCUMENT: Rawlings' Speech at the APARC

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By allafrica

4/15/2005 -

Address delivered By His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings On Behalf Of The Former African Heads Of State Particapating In The Aparc African Presidential Roundtable 2005 Boston University Members of the Press, We have just concluded three days of deliberations of the African Presidential Roundtable 2005. This transcontinental discussion began in Johannesburg, South Africa, where we met at the University of the Witwatersrand at the historic Wits Club. The Vice Chancellor Loyiso Nongxa, Professor David Monyae and Professor John Stremlau and other Wits staff too numerous to name provided an excellent venue in which our deliberations began. We thank them for their efforts. I would like to thank the African Presidential Archives and Research Center at Boston University for organizing this gathering. I'd like to thank Ambassador Charles Stith for his initiative and leadership as well as Julia Kenna, Obenewa Amponsah, Kwame Willingham, Mary Stith and the rest of the APARC team for their hard work. The facilities at Boston University have been an equally ideal setting for our deliberations. I would like to thank and acknowledge my colleagues for their participation in these deliberations:
HIS EXCELLENCY NICÉPHORE D. SOGLO, REPUBLIC OF BENIN, served as President from 1991 to 1996. From the historic National Conference of February 1990 until he assumed the presidency, Soglo served as the Prime Minister, Chief of Government and Minister of Defense of the transitional Government of the Republic of Benin. From 1983 to1986, he served as the Executive Director of the Directors of the World Bank in Washington, D.C, representing 24 African States at the Board. In his capacity as Executive Director, he participated in the implementation of studies on the development issues of sub-Saharan Africa. Soglo served as Deputy Executive Director of the World Bank from 1979 to 1982.Following his presidency, he took a year's sabbatical and wrote Democratic Change and Economic Reforms in Africa: The Case of Benin. HIS EXCELLENCY SIR Q. KETUMILE J. MASIRE, REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA, served as President from 1980 to 1998. Masire co-founded the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in 1962 along with Seretse Khama and in 1965 was made Deputy Prime Minister. After independence in 1966, he became Vice President. Upon Khama's death in 1980, he became President, and continued a policy of nonalignment.A centrist, he helped Botswana become one of the most stable states in Africa. Masire was a journalist before entering politics, sitting in the Bangwaketse tribal council and then the legislative council before cofounding the BDP. Before becoming President, Masire trained as a teacher at Tiger Kloof, the Former British Bechuanaland and thereafter founded the Seepapitso Secondary School in Kanye. Masire retired in March 1998 and was succeeded by President Festus Mogae of the BDP. He is an enthusiastic farmer and maintains a keen interest in humanitarian issues. He is currently the Lloyd G. Balfour African President-in-Residence at the African Presidential Archives and Research Center (APARC). HIS EXCELLENCY MAJOR PIERRE BUYOYA, REPUBLIC OF BURUNDI, served two terms as president of Burundi, the first from 1987-1993 and the second from 1996-2003. In the interim between his presidential terms, he created and served as head of the Foundation for Unity, Peace, and Democracy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to studying the institutional judicial and security systems of Burundi and issues related to peace and reconciliation in Burundi. Buyoya also worked to further education and aid orphaned children in his country. Additionally,Mr. Buyoya served as a Member and advisor of the Council for Africa, which studies African development at the World Bank. Moreover, he was an OAU observer of the first democratic elections in South Africa. Mr. Buyoya is the author of Mission Possible (Paris: L'Harmattan, 1998). Buyoya has been appointed visiting senior fellow at the Watson Institute of Brown University until December 2005. HIS EXCELLENCY ANTÓNIO MASCARENHAS MONTEIRO, REPUBLIC OF CAPE VERDE, was born on February 16, 1944 in Santiago Island, Cape Verde. Monteiro received his law degree from Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and founded the Cape Verdean Bar Association. From 1980 to 1990, Monteiro served as president of the Supreme Court. Monteiro became the first democratically elected president of Cape Verde in 1991 and was re-elected for a second mandate in 1996, after receiving 80% of the vote. Since leaving the Presidency, Monteiro remains very active in his home Republic and in encouraging democracy and good governance on the continent. Monteiro participated as Chairman of the Contact Group of the OAU sent to Madagascar in March 2002 to mediate the conflict in the aftermath of the Presidential elections of December 2001. In October 2003, he was invited to be a member of the Club of Madrid (an organization comprising former Heads of States and Government) the aim of which is to strengthen democracy in the world. Recently, Monteiro was given two missions on behalf of the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF): to assess the situation in Haiti in the moment of the outbreak of the last crisis that ravaged the brotherly nation and to lead its delegation to Togo to contribute to the restoration of constitutional rule in this African country. HIS EXCELLENCY ARISTIDES MARIA PEREIRA, REPUBLIC OF CAPE VERDE, led Cape Verde as it made the transition from a colony to an independent nation. Pereira's first major government job was Chief of Telecommunications in Guinea-Bissau. In 1956, Pereira cofounded the Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde (PAIGC). From the late 1940s until Cape Verde's independence, Pereira was heavily involved in the anti-colonial movement, organizing strikes and rose through the hierarchy of his party. On July 6, 1975, he became Cape Verde's first president, a position he held for three mandates. He left the Office of the Presidency in 1991. In addition to the critical role he played in Cape Verde's independence, he also played a pivotal role in the founding of two other independent African nations: Guinea-Bissau, and Namibia. In 1991, he led the movement to introduce multi-party elections in Cape Verde.
HIS EXCELLENCY FLIGHT LIEUTENANT JERRY JOHN RAWLINGS, REPUBLIC OF GHANA, directed the destiny of Ghana for nearly twenty years. During that time, Ghana passed through momentous changes. In 1957, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan country to regain its independence. But, by the late 1970s, the economy was in catastrophic decline, corruption and inefficiency were rife and there was widespread disillusionment with the political system. In 1979, Jerry Rawlings, as he is universally known, made his first intervention in national politics when he became the Chairman of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council. After holding power for a brief period the Council stepped aside and elections were held. However, the situation under the new civilian government showed no improvement. In the face of growing public discontent the civilian administration was replaced by the Provisional National Defense Council. Rawlings was its Chairman. After eleven years the country returned to democratic rule and Jerry Rawlings was elected the first President of the Fourth Republic. Rawlings was reelected in December 1996. Throughout his presidency he retained his rank as Flight Lieutenant in the Ghanaian Armed Forces. HIS EXCELLENCY DANIEL TOROITICH ARAP MOI, REPUBLIC OF KENYA, was born on September 2, 1924 in the small village of Kurieng'wo in Kenya. Trained as a teacher, Moi lobbied for the creation of the Kenya National Union of Teachers, which was formed and registered in 1957. Just before independence in 1961, Moi was appointed Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education and later served in the Ministry Local Government in the coalition Government. In January 1967, Jomo Kenyatta appointed Toroitich arap Moi, then aged 41, as his Vice- President. Moi became President following the death of His Excellency Jomo Kenyatta on August 22, 1978. Moi served as Chairman of the Organization of African Union (OAU) for two consecutive terms. He has also been involved in mediation of various conflicts in Uganda, Congo, Somalia, Chad, Sudan, Mozambique, Eritrea/Ethiopia, Rwanda and Burundi, among others. On December 30, 2002, Moi handed over the reigns of power to Mwai Kibaki in a peaceful transition. Moi runs the Moi Africa Institute which addresses conflict resolution and management,AIDS, poverty and disease eradication in Africa. President Moi married Helena Bommet in 1950 and they were blessed with eight children: three daughters and five sons. HIS EXCELLENCY KARL AUGUSTE OFFMANN, REPUBLIC OF MAURITIUS, served as President of the Republic of Mauritius from February 2002 until October 2003. Born on November 25, 1940 in a humble but large family of seven children, he was brought up during his childhood and adolescence in under-privileged areas. With grit and determination, he resolutely forged his way by sheer dint of hard work, to land in the seat of the highest Office of the State. Offmann began his political career in 1976 and served as Minister of Economic Planning and Development (August 1983), Minister of Local Government and Co-operatives (1984-1986), Minister of Social Security-National Solidarity and Reform Institutions (January 1988-1991) and as Government Chief Whip (1998-1991). One of his first missions to Washington as Minister of Economic Planning and Development was to convince the World Bank and the IMF not to press for drastic reductions in the Civil Service Staff and not to do away with free education and free health services. His success in that mission had a decisive influence on the country's take-off and some ten years later on the "Mauritian Miracle". Offmann then went on to serve as president of the Movement Socialiste Militant party (MSM) from 1996 until 2000. Offmann has played a significant role in ensuring access to education, health care, and other social services. Offmann also served as the Lloyd G. Balfour African President-in-Residence at the African Presidential Archives and Research Canter (APARC) in 2004. Offmann is married to Marie Rose Danielle Moutou and they have two sons. HIS EXCELLENCY JOAQUIM ALBERTO CHISSANO, REPUBLIC OF MOZAMBIQUE, was born on October 22, 1939 in the remote village of Malehice in Gaza province of Mozambique. As a strong student leader, he was appointed Private Secretary of President Eduardo Mondlane and his sssistant in performing the duties of Head of the Department of Education. As a result of this, he became a member of the Central Committee of the FRONT OF LIBERATION OF MOZAMBIQUE (FRELIMO). On September 20 1974, at the age of only 35, Joaquim Chissano took office as Prime Minister of the Transitional Government that led Mozambique to the proclamation of its National Independence on June 25, 1975 and was subsequently named Minister of Foreign Affairs.With the tragic death of President Samora Machel in 1986, Joaquim Chissano was elected President of the People's Republic of Mozambique. In 1994, he won the first multiparty elections in the history of the country, and was re-elected President of the Republic in 1999. In July of 2003, he was elected President of the African Union. Chissano completed his term and stepped down as President of Mozambique in December 2004. As Head of State, Chissano successfully led the deep socio-economic reforms in the country, mainly consubstantiating the 1990 Constitution, which lead Mozambique to develop as a multiparty state with a free and open market.
HIS EXCELLENCY ALI HASSAN MWINYI, UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA, was first elected President of Tanzania in November 1985 and was reelected to a second five-year term in 1990. Born in Zanzibar, he trained as a teacher on the island and in Britain, before returning to hold progressively important posts in teaching. Mwinyi then joined the Ministry of Education and soon entered the government of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. Mwinyi held a variety of ministerial and ambassadorial posts until 1985. In 1990, he also succeeded Mwalimu Nyerere as Chairman of the ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM). He initiated Tanzania's political transition to a multiparty state. Under the term limits of Tanzania's constitution, Mwinyi complete his presidency in 1995, following Tanzania's first multiparty elections. In 2000, Mwinyi was appointed by Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa to head up the national effort in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Even in retirement, Mwinyi continues to play a vital role in the civic life of Tanzania as one of the nation's most distinguished and beloved elder statesmen. HIS EXCELLENCY DR. KENNETH DAVID KAUNDA, REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA, led Zambia to independence and served as the first President of the Republic. Kaunda held the Office of the President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991. Formerly an educator, Dr. Kaunda began his political career as the founder and Secretary of the Lubwa Branch of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1950. In 1958, Dr. Kaunda formed the Zambian African National Congress of which he became President. In 1960, Dr. Kaunda became President of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), a post he held until 1962, and again from 1995 to 2000. In addition to his efforts in Zambia, Dr. Kaunda was in the forefront of the efforts to liberate all of Africa, serving as the President of the Pan African Freedom Movement for East, Central and Southern Africa (PAFMESCA) in 1962 and as Chairman of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) from 1970 to 1973. Dr. Kaunda also played key roles in the mitigation of territorial disputes between Kenya and Somalia and the liberation movements in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. President Kaunda was the first Lloyd G. Balfour African President-in-Residence at African Presidential Archives and Research Center (APARC) from September 2003 to November 2004. These former heads of state are the personification of the belief in democratization and free market reform that is sweeping across the continent. As leaders of their respective countries, they made enormous contributions to stabilizing our continent, they still demonstrate a continued resolve to further the progress they've begun. I would now like to introduce His Excellency Sir Ketumile Masire, former President of the Republic of Botswana and present Balfour African in Residence at Boston University. As the Balfour President in Residence, he is the convenor of this year's Roundtable.

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