Wednesday, March 7, 2007.
Lead economic emancipation of Africa
· Obasanjo challenges Ghana
Story: E. KOJO KWARTENG
THE President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Olusegun Obasanjo, has challenged Ghana to lead the economic emancipation of Africa.
He said the country’s lead role, which brought political independence to Africa, resulted in a renewed sense of pride and self determination, which made Ghana the Black Star of Africa.
President Obasanjo, who was the Guest of Honour at the Golden Jubilee parade at the Independence Square in Accra yesterday, congratulated Ghana on being the first African country to subject itself to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) of the African Union (AU).
He paid glowing tribute to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s First President, who ushered the nation into independence on March 6, 1957.
Quoting Mattew 6: 33 of the Holy Bible, “Seek ye the Kingdom of God first and the rest shall be added onto you”, the Nigerian Leader, who is a former Chairman of the AU, regretted that the political independence of the 1950s and 1960s in Africa did not provide the needed growth and stability.
He said socialism was substituted with capitalism without a capital base and civilian regimes were replaced by military regimes.
President Obasanjo pointed out, however, that the AU had made strenuous efforts aimed at strengthening political institutions and promoting regional integration.
He commended Ghana for holding itself as a democratic and unified country, adding that there was no need to be pessimistic and that was needed was for development to happen.
President at the ceremony were the South African President, Thabo Mbeki, the President of Malim Mr. Amadou Toumani Toure, Dr. Ali Mohammed Shein, the Vice-President of Tanzania, Mr. Benard Mukaza, the Prime Minister of Rwanda, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia, President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo and President Joao Bernardo Vieiri of Guinea Bissau.
Others were Mr. Pedro Pires of Cape Verde, Mr. Amando Emilo Guebuza, the President of Mozambique, Mr. Festus Mogae of Botswana, President Dr. Bingu Wa Matharika of Malawi and the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
The US delegation was led by Secretary for Housing, Alphonso Jackson, while Dr. Ali Abdulsalaam Treiki, the Libyian delegation.
The Duke of Kent, who represented Queen Elizabeth II, and the Immediate Past Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan, were also present.
EBOW HANSON, EMMANUEL QUAYE
& PATRICK FYNN
Daily Graphic - Wednesday, March 7, 2007 Page: 24