At the 49th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Africa Region) Conference 2018 held in Gaborone, Botswana, African delegates paid glowing tribute to, and eulogised Kofi Annan, the late former Secretary-General of the United Nations.
African Speakers, Parliamentary Leaders and top administrators had met at their Annual Conference on the theme: “The Role of African Parliaments in Fostering National and Regional Security”.
A whole range of issues featured at the conference which coincided with the death of Mr Annan.
Incidentally, a number of the topics debated upon exhaustively covered issues dear to the heart of Mr Annan.
These included HIV/AIDS, poverty, good governance, environment and human rights.
The Speaker of Parliament of Ghana, Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, read the lead tribute in memory of Mr Annan.
He depicted the deceased as a true son of Africa who traversed the borders of his home nation, and a symbol which all Africans became well and truly proud of.
He said coming from the bowels of the United Nations Organisation contrary to most Secretary-Generals who were appointed from outside the UN itself, Mr Annan fully understood the real dynamics of the workings of the U.N. system.
According to Prof Oquaye, Mr Annan helped to improve the administrative machinery which he led and applied with fresh excellence to the admiration of all.
“During his two terms in office, he demonstrated great capacity in appreciating, preventing and resolving global conflict.”
Prof Oquaye reflected on issues relating to Iraq which showed Mr Annan’s independence of thought, steadfastness and adherence to principle.
“While in retirement, he never actually retired and effectively became the eyes and legs of the succeeding Secretary-General. He skilfully navigated the international waters of peace in resolving the conflict in Kenya especially. Africa will forever be grateful for him for his cool, patience, dedication, knowledge, tolerance and tact which constituted a platform of enablement in dismantling the wheels of violence.”
Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament said Africa should take certain progressive steps to honour Mr Annan.
“First, we should pursue the quest for and promotion/consolidation of good governance, constitutionalism, credible elections, the rights of women, respect for the environment and the green revolution. Laws proposed on Affirmative Action must be passed now.”
Second, Prof Oquaye said Africa must evolve a new economic paradigm for the continent in relation to the Western powers. “We should process our agriculture products, add value to all our national resources, enhance trade and economic cooperation among our nations for our mutual benefit.
“Third, in today’s new knowledge-based economies, we should sharpen our ICT tools and educate and equip our youth to meet the challenges of the new world. This is the essence of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT based in Accra.
“If Africa should take these steps and improve the lot of our people this great African would not have died in vain.”
Other African Speakers, including Kenya, Uganda, Mauritius and Tanzania supported Ghana’s tribute and paid their tributes to Mr Annan.
The Conference expressed grave sadness and echoed that Africa has lost a great son. CPA leaders asked Ghana to advise them on the funeral arrangement for a special delegation to participate.
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu led the delegation of MPs while Mr. Emmanuel Anyimadu, Clerk of Parliament, led the Staff.
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