The African Union Chairman, President J.A Kufuor has said that the progress achieved by African countries in recent years are pointer to a brighter future and hope for the continent.
He, however, cautioned African countries against complacency and advised them to continue to work together as a team for a breakthrough.
Addressing heads of African missions at a breakfast meeting at the Buckingham Palace yesterday as part of his three day official visit to Britain, President Kufuor cautioned that “the progress we have made so far and the bright prospects before us should not induce in us a feeling of complacency”.
He observed that currently African countries operated in an unfriendly international political and economic development.
“Our economic performance is continually affected by institutional arrangements and policies which have a deleterious impact on African economies”, he stated, adding that “our economies are confronted with high tariffs, inequity in pricing, lack of access to markets and more seriously by the threat of global warming.”
He said the greatest enemies of the continent were instability, poverty and disease as well as debt burden, inequitable trading relations as well as rampant conflicts and HIV/AIDS scourge.
President Kufuor said African countries should not be complacent that the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS was shifting from Africa to somewhere else.
In spite of the challenges, the AU Chairman was hopeful Africa could, with concerted effort and greater deal of determination, resolve many of the seemingly intractable problems that stood in the way of the continent's growth and prosperity.
President Kufuor observed that the Doha Development Agenda, which provided an unprecedented opportunity to establish rules based on an equitable international trading system, represented the hope of improving their living standards and freeing them from absolute poverty.
“The hope for Africa is that there is a new leadership on the continent which had dedicated itself to re-directing the continent's destiny for peace and prosperity,” he said.
Story by Nehemia Owusu Achiaw
& Nana Sifa Twum, London