01.08.2006 South Africa

Cameroon's Deputy Speaker Urges Africans To Remain United

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Mrs Rose Makia, deputy speaker of Cameroon's Parliament on Monday observed that the African Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) was a unifying factor for Africans and that it must be maintained to build up a better future for the continent.

"Africa is one and will always remain one", she said and observed that for instance, the culture of her country, and that of Ghana, regarding how they receive visitors, were "very similar".

Mrs Makia was speaking at a durbar held in honour of members of the CPA at Cape Coast, when they paid a visit to the Central Region as part of their one-week visit to the country during which they will attend the 37th CPA conference scheduled to begin in Accra on Thursday.

The Conference is on the theme: "Way forward in poverty reduction and control of HIV/AIDS in Africa".

The CPA members were given a taste of the Central region's rich cultural heritage, when the chiefs and queens from the Oguaa traditional area, adorned in their rich regalia, with some of them riding in palanquins, processed through the streets of the town to the durbar grounds at the forecourt of the castle.

The durbar was interspersed with cultural dances such as "adowa" and "apatampa" amidst the drumming of "fontonfrom".

Mrs Makia commended Ghana's senior national soccer team, the Black Stars, for their splendid performance during the just ended world cup and said "you made Africa proud".

The Central Regional Minister, Nana Ato Arthur expressed the hope that the conference would enable member states to share experiences on their democratic processes to promote good governance.

He said since the introduction of the 1992 constitution, Ghana's democratic process has been on course, although there "have been some challenges that were being addressed".

Nana Arthur noted that the theme for the conference was appropriate because poverty and HIV/AIDS were issues of great concern on the continent and was hopeful that participants would help evolve measures in finding solutions to help minimize them.

He urged the members to encourage investors from their countries to invest in the region, which he said, had great potentials in tourism, agro-processing and agriculture.

The Omanhene of Oguaa traditional area, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, told them that they were bonded by a "common destiny and history", and it was therefore imperative that they meet occasionally to chart a better future for their people.

The parliamentarians had earlier, paid a courtesy call on Nana Arthur and visited some tourist attractions, including the Elmina Castle.

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