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20.05.2004 General News

Ghana calls for sustained political will from African Leaders for

By GNA

development

Accra, May 20, GNA- Ghana on Thursday called for sustained political will from African Leaders, civil society, the business community, labour organisations and the people to enhance the living conditions and welfare of the African.

"It is our hope that with sustained political will on the part of Africa's Leaders, civil society, the business community, labour organisations and the people at large, we can enhance the living conditions and welfare of our peoples in the years to come", a statement issued in Accra said.

The statement was signed by Mrs Joanna Fosu, Acting Director of Information, Culture and Linguistics Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Government in connection with Africa Day which falls on Tuesday, May 25.

This year's celebration marks the 41st anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Union (OAU) the continental organisation, which was transformed into the African Union (AU) in July 2002. The 36th Ordinary Session of the Heads of State and Government of the AU held in Lome, Togo in July 2002, declared May 25 each year as "Africa Day" a work-free day in all Member States.

The statement said on the day, Africans remember the Founding Fathers of the Organisation, their tremendous struggle and sacrifices, which brought freedom to many countries and proclaimed the dignity of the African.

The day also marked the beginning of the quest for the unity and solidarity on the Continent as well as the economic emancipation of the people.

"There is no doubt that the OAU laid a solid foundation for Africa's participation in the international system during the 39 years of its existence. The OAU provided a forum for Africans to discuss and take decisions on their common problems thus giving Africa a voice on the international scene", it said.

The statement said, however, at the dawn of the 21st Century, Africa portrayed the image of a continent that had taken minimal advantage of the economic globalisation, which had been gathering momentum in recent years and which was evidenced by tremendous wealth creation.

It said Africa's marginalisation in the global economy was compounded by authoritarian and tyrannical rule, internecine conflicts, hunger and deprivation, which had so far so long afflicted the Continent. The statement said despite these problems, Africa was determined to move forward by creating the necessary conditions for the elimination of these drawbacks to its development.

It said the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), which was launched as a programme of the African Union, was primarily intended to champion the eradication of poverty in Africa, establish peace and security and promote sustainable growth and development on the Continent.

In the same manner, the statement said the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) under which Ghana would be the first to be scrutinized promised to afford African Leaders a rare opportunity to hold each other accountable for the good economic, political and corporate governance of the Continent.

The statement said the statutory organs of the AU including the Pan African Parliament and the Peace and Security Council were also designed to improve the quality of democracy and rule of law, thus enhancing the effective participation of Africa in global political and economic affairs.

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