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General News Tue, 20 May 2003

Ghana reaffirms support for ideals of African Union

Ghana has reaffirmed her support for and commitment to the ideals of the African Union saying she would continue to cooperate with other members to realise them.

A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry in Accra on Tuesday ahead of Africa Day, which falls on Sunday, May 25 noted that the achievements of the organisation over the past 40 years had been overshadowed by several developments on the continent.

These include authoritarian and tyrannical rule, internecine conflicts, poverty, hunger and deprivation, which have so long afflicted Africa.

"Africa is determined to move forward by creating the conditions necessary for the elimination of these drawbacks to our development and thereby improve the quality of democratic governance and respect for human rights and the rule of law on the continent."

The African Union, which is a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), is designed to build upon its achievements and also learn from the failures of the last 40 years.

"The African Union seeks to bring the peoples of Africa closer together. History has taught us that whenever Africans have stood and acted together, our voices have been heard and our views taken into account."

The statement said institutions of the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) were bold initiatives, which would bring tangible benefits to and improvements in the lives of the people.

It said through the African Peer Review Mechanism, Africa's leaders were determined to hold each other accountable for the good economic, political and corporate governance of the continent.

The statement said a Peace and Security Council had been established as a collective security and early warning arrangement to facilitate timely and efficient response to conflict and crisis situations in Africa.

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

On Africa Day, the continent remembers the founding fathers of the OAU, their struggle and sacrifices, which brought freedom to many countries and proclaimed the dignity of the African.

The Day marks the beginning of the quest for the unity and solidarity of the continent and for the economic emancipation of the people.

Source: gna