The Chairman of the African Union (AU), President J. A. Kufuor, has asked the international media to acknowledge the positive developments taking place in Africa and desist from painting the continent with one brush as a place of doom and gloom.
Speaking at the opening session of the 24th Summit of Heads of State of Africa and France in Cannes, France, yesterday, President Kufuor said positive developments, such as respect for human rights, good governance and good economic management, taking place on the continent should be highlighted and acknowledged by the international media.
He told the gathering, being hosted by French President Jacques Chirac, that the international media usually painted Africa as a place of doom and gloom because of conflicts in some parts of the continent.
President Kufuor said such reports did not take into account the size, complexity and variety of the African continent.
“Reports of corruption, crime, civil wars and even murder in Africa should not be presented in the media as if they were inherently African and exclusive to our continent, since they occur everywhere,” he stated.
The President said objective reportage was crucial in facilitating the rally of all humanity to deal with the issues confronting the continent.
“Africa is a land of warmth, beauty and hospitality, to which many visitors and tourists to the continent can attest,” he stated, adding, “Africa's success story should also be told more loudly.”
President Kufuor further asked the international community to continue to show solidarity with the people of Africa by assisting in the resolution of the violent conflicts on the continent.
He said there could not be any meaningful development without peace, for which reason African leaders were paying equal attention to the resolution of outstanding conflicts on the continent and the post-conflict reconstruction and development of African countries which had emerged from war.
He noted that through the joint effort of the international community, the troubles in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Angola, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo had been resolved but indicated that the work could not be complete until the conflicts in Darfur, The Sudan, and Somalia and the crises in Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea had been resolved.
He acknowledged the contributions of France towards the development of Africa over the years.
Meanwhile, the President's assumption of the chairmanship of the AU continue to attract messages of congratulation and support for his effort to solve some of the problems facing the continent.
The leaders of France, Britain, Italy and Germany, in separate statements, acknowledged the capacity of President Kufuor to devise strategies and initiatives to push Africa's development agenda forward and deal with the challenges of conflict, disease, poverty, hunger and bad governance.
In his message, President Chirac endorsed the election of President Kufuor as a legitimate homage by his peers for his personal qualities of wisdom and foresight, as well as the active role Ghana had been playing in world peace and African integration.
The French Leader said the election of President Kufuor was a seal of approval for Ghana's internationally acknowledged efforts in the area of democratic governance and respect for law and order.
The British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, expressed the hope that under President Kufuor's chairmanship, the AU would continue in its strive to handle situations such as the continuing crisis in the Sudan and Somalia.
The President of Italy, Mr Giogio Napolitano, was confident that under the guidance of President Kufuor, the process of African integration and co-operation among the nations for economic and social development would be continued.
For his part, the German President, Horst Kohler, noted that President Kufuor's election had come at a difficult time when the AU and its member states were facing great political and economic challenges.
He viewed President Kufuor's election as encouraging and expressed the hope that Ghana would lend support to the efforts being made to ensure good governance, the rule of law and democracy across the entire continent.
Story by News Desk Report