We should fulfil aspirations of our founding fathers

26 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
We should fulfil aspirations  of our founding fathers

The Sunday Mail

Moussa Faki Mahamat

AFRICANS across the continent and in the diaspora, May 25, 1963 to May 25, 2024, what a long way we have come!

Africa has freed itself from the yoke of colonialism and the appalling system of apartheid.

Its intellectual, scientific and cultural resources have been immensely developed, diversified and enriched.

Its economy has grown at rates envied by many parts of the world.

Its resilience during the global Covid-19 crisis impressed many.

Tribute to Africa CDC (Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention), which made a major contribution to our successful continental response.

Clearly, Africa’s demographic explosion, its social constraints that are resistant to the demands of the new world, the continuing deterioration of our climatic conditions, the various forms of foreign interference in our internal affairs, the permeability of certain categories of its elites to foreign discourse and the obvious shortcomings in terms of governance have not helped to transform the above-mentioned positive assets into factors of social justice, equality and inclusive prosperity.

Fellow Africans, Africa Day, which we are celebrating now, is certainly, as I often say, an opportune moment for reflection, certainly to assess how far we have come, but also to ponder over the road ahead.

I would like to take this opportunity to address not only governments and official institutions, but also the youth and the women of Africa.

Liberation and progress in development and integration are now a reality.

This has been the result of the vision and leadership of the founding fathers and current leaders, and also, above all, of your mobilisation by the hundreds of millions across the continent, your many sacrifices, your unshakeable endurance to ensure that the sun shines and warms Africa.

Peace and security, the solution to the crises that are ravaging some of our countries, terrorism, the degradation of the natural environment, youth and female unemployment, migration, the retreat of democratic values and unconstitutional changes of government, all these require a real increase in mobilisation, sacrifices and coherent struggles to put a definitive end to all of them.

The Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union), born of the pain of our struggles, now finds itself at a real crossroads.

We must reform resolutely and courageously to become what our founding fathers wanted us to be, which is, a powerful lever for unity, liberation, integration and the defence of African dignity in relation to ourselves and also in relation to others.

With the youth making up over 60 percent of Africa’s population, and amid tens of millions of hectares of arable land, water, fisheries, mining and energy resources,  our young people cannot and should          not be satisfied with development on the cheap.

The legitimate aspirations of inclusive and shared prosperity in a peaceful, integrated Africa, as set out in Agenda 2063, is the dream that I share, with all my heart, with all of you.

To all of you, I wish you a happy anniversary of the creation of the OAU.

Moussa Faki Mahamat is the chairperson of the African Union Commission. He made this address to commemorate the birth of the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union).

 

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