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Politics Thu, 24 May 2012

AU Day calls for sober reflection - UNIC

Mrs Cynthia Prah, National Information Officer, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), on Thursday said the celebration of the African Union (AU) Day called for a sober reflection on the past achievements on the Continent.

She said a bright future could only be guaranteed, when the successes and failures of the past were well acknowledged.

Mrs Prah made the call when UNIC in collaboration with Universal Peace Federation (UPF)-Ghana, marked AU Day celebration with pupils of St. Paul's Lutheran School in Accra.

It was on the theme, "The Role of the Youth in Building a Peaceful Africa."

She urged the pupils to be proud of their culture and themselves as Africans, and not be easily convinced that they had to throw off their cultural identity for others.

"Your culture identifies you. Be proud of it and respect it. This would make others respect and accept you for who you are," she said.

Reverend Bismark Bamfo, Executive Director of American Clergy Leadership Conference, said there was the need "for us to recognise that we are all one people".

He said, "Unity is important. Once you realise that someone, you identify with that person and that is how to forge unity."

Rev Bamfo said it was critical to ensure the progress of Africa, by training young people into caring and concerned leaders, who had the welfare of the people they led at heart, and were not in power for their own selfish interests.

He advised the pupils saying, "you have lots of potential. Learn hard and be focused for a great future."

Dr (Mrs) Helen Osei, Secretary General of UPF-Ghana, told the pupils that they had to bear in mind that they stood for the future of the continent.

She reminded them that as future leaders, they could guarantee a bright future for the continent if they adopted the right attitude from the beginning, "which is now".

Dr Osei said, "in life, so far as success is concerned, attitude is everything. Dedication and commitment are things you cannot do without if you want to succeed at anything, and this should be without blemish."

She said a united and strong continent could only be guaranteed, when the future was secured with dedicated and committed youth, who would stop at nothing to ensure that Africa was not lacking in progress and unity.

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, in a message read on his behalf by Mrs Prah, said although a lot of progressive strides had been made on the continent, there were still a number of gaps to be filled.

He said key among them were issues such as unequal distribution of wealth.

The UN Secretary General pledged to work with African leaders to address major problems confronting the continent to ensure that the continent did not lag behind in progress.

The 49th AU Day celebration falls on Friday, May 25. **

Source: GNA