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26.05.2005 General News

Ghana holds reception to mark Africa Day

By GNA

Accra, May 26, GNA - Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has said for the African Union (AU) to have meaning in the lives of deprived Africans, it has to resolve to create the requisite environment for the achievement of the laudable ideals and objectives of the organization.

"We will be failing in our duties as African leaders if, within the next decade, access to basic needs such as food, security, electricity, water, roads, basic education and improved health care facilities are still beyond the reach of the ordinary African", he said. Nana Akufo-Addo was speaking at a reception last night mark the 42nd Africa Day at the forecourt of the State House in Accra. Instituted in 1963, by the then Organization of African Unity, now the African Union, the day commemorates the legitimate aspirations of the peoples of Africa, and affords member states the opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to the objectives and ideals of the AU and the need to marshal its collective efforts towards sustainable development. The Foreign Affairs Minister said it was encouraging that many African leaders are now showing their commitment to promoting peace, democracy, respect for human rights and good governance, which are essential for the continent's political, social and economic regeneration, stability and advancement.

Fortunately, Nana Akuffo-Addo said, the African Peer Review Mechanism, one of the NEPAD's initiatives endorsed by the AU, offers an opportunity to consolidate new systems of responsive and accountable governments in Africa.

He said adherence to its provisions would go a long way to improve policy-making and compliance with established standards, principles and codes.

Nana Akufo-Addo appealed to African countries to emulate Ghana's example and accede to the APRM in order to signal to the rest of the world the seriousness and determination of Africa to walk the extra mile in order to salvage the continent from its pervading deprivation. "We should all know that peace, stability and sustainable development are inextricably linked and that the myriad of conflicts ravaging the continent have contributed immensely to our stunted socio-economic development", he said.

The Foreign Minister reaffirmed Ghana's support for and commitment to the ideals and objectives of the AU. "We will continue to co-operate with other members of the AU toward realizing them so that the long suffering peoples of our continent of enormous potential can, like others in the global village, live lives of dignity, freedom and prosperity.''

Ministers of State, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Parliamentarians, civil society organizations, representatives of political parties and traditional leaders attended the reception at which some delicacies of some AU countries were served.

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