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23.04.2007 General News

Unite to harmonise African markets- Ndoum advises

By Shaibu ABUBAKAR

Minister for Public Sector Reform, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom has urged African countries to unite in order to create a common market for the products produced on the continent.

Ndoum says this is the only way the continent can develop and redeem itself of the endemic poverty that engulfs it. He was also of the view that no single African country can attain growth and prosperity alone, and them to unite for their collective benefit.

Speaking at a forum on theme “Kwame Nkrumah's Vision, Challenges & Prospects for African Development”, Dr. Ndoum said the forebears of African unity saw this early and with prosperity in sight, they yearned for the unity of the African continent.

“Our prospects for a better future are tied to that of other countries and as such, we must unite to have a new market for Africa and develop the continent.” he said.

He dispelled the notion that Dr Nkrumah moved for African unity because he wanted to be a continental Head of State, saying he rather recognized the need for strength in unity, which was the only way out of colonialism and neo-colonialism.

According to him, the pursuit of individual goals by successive governments is what has led Africa into the deplorable state in which it finds itself today.

Providing some stunning statistics, Dr. Ndoum said nearly 350 million people in Africa, representing over half of the African population, earn or live on less than one euro a day, and illiteracy affects nearly half of the population that normally should be productive.

Over 40% of Ghana's population live on less than a euro a day and infant mortality rates are still the highest in the world.
He said with such poverty staring Africa in the face, its massive poor population cannot be relied upon to produce the tax revenue that will provide the capital needed for the development of the continent.

Dr Nduom, who is also the CPP MP for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem said African countries, can no longer rely on exports of raw materials.

“There's no country that has been able to move itself from the ranks of poor to rich by exporting cocoa, timber and other raw materials.”

He concluded that the only way for Africa's development is to unite all its forces and capabilities while maintaining and respecting individual differences.

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