Former President John Mahama has identified the colonial barriers of Africa as the bane of its slow development process in achieving the needed objectives of AU – the spirit of Pan Africanism.
According to the former President, the struggle toward continental unity as envisaged by the pioneers of the African Union has “been long and daunting” and urged the continent to pull down the barriers and relics of neo-colonialism.
In a message to mark AU Day, yesterday, Mr. Mahama said despite the long walk to achieve the aims and objectives of AU, the spirit of Pan Africanism remains strong and alive.
A portion of his message reads, “Happy AU Day! The journey towards true freedom has been long and the task daunting, at some points, but the true spirit of Pan-Africanism has remained unquenchable.”
He called on leaders of the continent to continue working at achieving African Unity by breaking down barriers, stereotypes and neo-colonialism.
“Let’s keep working at it, let’s tear down the barriers, let’s tear down stereotypes, let’s tear down the relics of Neo-colonialism and let’s work hard to shape our common future as our forebears envisaged,” he stated.
The AU Day is observed every May 25, and this year’s marks the 54th anniversary of the formation of the African Union, formerly known as the Organisation of African Union, with a focus on youth investment.
The 2017 commemoration was observed on the theme: “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investments in Youth.”
Mr. Mahama said there was an urgent need for Africa to tear down the barriers imposed by the Colonials in order to move forward.
A similar statement from the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, said the day presents a unique opportunity to discuss and reflect, while celebrating important milestones on youth development across the continent.
“The central importance of the demographic dividend to Africa’s transformative development has been repeatedly acknowledged by African leaders at the highest level and in key ministerial platforms.
“Over the last 10 years, it has become evident that a demographic dividend lens offers a strategic basis for focusing and prioritizing investments in people in general and the youth in particular, in order to achieve sustainable development, inclusive economic growth, and to build “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, which is driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena,” the statement said.
The statement added: “If the theme of the year is to be successfully realized, it is imperative that platforms of national authorship and ownership be speedily established to enable a cross session of ordinary Africans to connect with what is at present an abstract concept restricted to the ivory tower of the political elite, bureaucrats and academics.”
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com / Felix Engsalige Nyaaba