Africa can overcome problems if we acted collectively-Kufuor
President John Agyekum Kufuor has said Africa could overcome its development challenges if the continent's political leaders acted collectively, purposefully and in good faith.
He said he was confident that with perseverance and sustained clear vision, the leaders would not only continue to improve on the continent's current modest momentum in progress but begin to achieve accelerated growth and development sooner than could be imagined.
President Kufuor said this in a farewell address on the final day of the 11th summit of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.
It was the last time he would be attending such a gathering as leader of his country.
The two-day meeting was held under the theme "Millennium Development Goals on Water and Sanitation."
President Kufuor appealed to his colleague leaders to be constantly guided by the continent's sad and dehumanizing history by striving to create better future for all the peoples regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or wealth.
"In this, we must always keep in perspective the huge potential of our continent both in material and human resources with the firm belief that with the application of pragmatic economic policies and resolute political will, we will attain our cherished goal of a peaceful, united and prosperous continent."
He said they must be committed to cooperate relentlessly to launch Africa into the mainstream of global advancement.
President Kufuor said it was to Africa's credit that the last six years had witnessed over 50 democratic elections although not all of them passed the litmus test of "free and fair."
As a body, the AU should ensure that polls in member states are conducted in a free and fair environment to help sustain the improving image and progress of the continent.
"It will also hallmark the respect of governments for the rights and the dignity of their peoples."
President Kufuor expressed appreciation to his colleagues for the opportunity to chair the union in 2007 and pledged Ghana's resolve and commitment towards the realisation of the goal of the Union Government of Africa.
Ghana has a long and rich attachment to freedom, unity, dignity and development of the African continent.
Its first President Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah did not only light the torch of African liberation but also pursued relentlessly the goal of African unity.
AU Chairman President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the President Laurent Gbagbo of Cote d' Ivoire took turns to thank President Kufuor for the vision he provided and his dedicated service to the union.
From Kwaku Osei Bonsu, GNA Special Correspondent, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt