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General News Fri, 11 Jun 2004

Press Conference @G8: Kufuor's Q&A

Question: President Kufour, as Chairman of ECOWAS, you are surrounded by a lot of trouble spots. G8 is talking about the promotion of good governance and security. What are you doing about that as well? Thank you.

PRESIDENT KUFOUR: Yes, I believe my answer dovetails into the answer given by President Obasanjo. You are talking of good governance, demanded by G8. I would say Africa is also demanding good governance of itself.
The constituted act of the African Union makes good governance a -- for all members. And you see that the days of warlords and coup-makers are passing, even in troubled West Africa. What we have there, to me, is just the lingering relics of those times when constitutional democracy was thrown overboard.
So I am hopeful that when you look at West Africa, now Liberia has a transitional government, which is succeeding and has maintained the course. Then next year, I believe by next year, there should be a democratic election for the people to decide by the ballot box their government, according to a constitution that is also democratic.
Cote d'Ivoire also has a government that has accepted to work in the light of the Marcoussis accord that was agreed in Paris. Yes, I will admit currently there are problems. But in our councils, in ECOWAS, and I believe in the councils of the African Union, pressure is being developed to ensure that the government as well as the other parties within the country work strictly to fulfill the transition that is implied in the accord. And that we expect that by the end of next year, Cote d'Ivoire will be given the opportunity of a democratic election, by which, again, the people will decide who should govern.
And when we achieve these targets in these neighboring countries, I would say West Africa will have perhaps come 'round to live by good governance -- because without that, they could not be serious members of NEPAT and of the African Union. So we are working at it. We are at the beginnings of the new order. It's a matter of patience and persistence.

QUESTION: My question goes to the President for Ghana. Mr. President, we are all aware of the importance that African economies have for the AU. Recently, Ghana offered to be reviewed as the first country in Africa. We heard that people from the panel of imminent persons from South Africa came to Ghana with the need to review the country. May we know the outcome of the review?

PRESIDENT KUFOUR: I can understand your high expectations with the review. But it's a long process and it's just begun. So it's just a matter of patience.
The whole idea of review is to enable the membership of the NEPAT -- those of us who have subscribed to submit to review -- to evolve a mechanism to stay the course of our promised good governance. It is not something like an inquisition that will be used to parade us about as failed or passed states. But I would urge you, just be patient. In due course, you may know of the evolution of the process. But it's only the beginning. Thank you.

Question: President Kufour, as Chairman of ECOWAS, you are surrounded by a lot of trouble spots. G8 is talking about the promotion of good governance and security. What are you doing about that as well? Thank you.

PRESIDENT KUFOUR: Yes, I believe my answer dovetails into the answer given by President Obasanjo. You are talking of good governance, demanded by G8. I would say Africa is also demanding good governance of itself.
The constituted act of the African Union makes good governance a -- for all members. And you see that the days of warlords and coup-makers are passing, even in troubled West Africa. What we have there, to me, is just the lingering relics of those times when constitutional democracy was thrown overboard.
So I am hopeful that when you look at West Africa, now Liberia has a transitional government, which is succeeding and has maintained the course. Then next year, I believe by next year, there should be a democratic election for the people to decide by the ballot box their government, according to a constitution that is also democratic.
Cote d'Ivoire also has a government that has accepted to work in the light of the Marcoussis accord that was agreed in Paris. Yes, I will admit currently there are problems. But in our councils, in ECOWAS, and I believe in the councils of the African Union, pressure is being developed to ensure that the government as well as the other parties within the country work strictly to fulfill the transition that is implied in the accord. And that we expect that by the end of next year, Cote d'Ivoire will be given the opportunity of a democratic election, by which, again, the people will decide who should govern.
And when we achieve these targets in these neighboring countries, I would say West Africa will have perhaps come 'round to live by good governance -- because without that, they could not be serious members of NEPAT and of the African Union. So we are working at it. We are at the beginnings of the new order. It's a matter of patience and persistence.

QUESTION: My question goes to the President for Ghana. Mr. President, we are all aware of the importance that African economies have for the AU. Recently, Ghana offered to be reviewed as the first country in Africa. We heard that people from the panel of imminent persons from South Africa came to Ghana with the need to review the country. May we know the outcome of the review?

PRESIDENT KUFOUR: I can understand your high expectations with the review. But it's a long process and it's just begun. So it's just a matter of patience.
The whole idea of review is to enable the membership of the NEPAT -- those of us who have subscribed to submit to review -- to evolve a mechanism to stay the course of our promised good governance. It is not something like an inquisition that will be used to parade us about as failed or passed states. But I would urge you, just be patient. In due course, you may know of the evolution of the process. But it's only the beginning. Thank you.

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