AU Chair call on Africa to resist neo-colonialism
Windhoek- The Chairperson of Africa Union (AU) and the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe has called on Africans to unite in fight against neo-colonialist tendencies that he said are bent on negating the socio-economic and political achievements that most countries are enjoying today.
In his Africa Day message delivered on his behalf by the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to Namibia Anastas Kaboba Kasongo Wa Kimba in Windhoek, President Mugabe said although most countries are independent politically, there was still some intimidation and blackmailing designed to prevent African states from directing their political, social and economic programmes towards the exploitation of their natural wealth for the benefit of their people.
Although the Africa Union has made great strides both politically and economically in safeguarding the future of Africa, President Mugabe noted that most of Africa’s riches were controlled by Westerners while the continent is still has limited capital, a thin industrial base and a less developed domestic market.
“While we are confronted with those challenges, Western economies are flourishing, riding on the back of African resources. As Africans we must leverage those abundant and diverse resources for our benefit. Time has come to move away from the continued exploitation of raw materials,” he said.
He said Africa needed to devise collective strategies and measures to overcome conflict, insecurity, terrorism, mistrust among the people, human trafficking, youth unemployment, climate change and disease in order to meet the objectives of Africa Union’s Agenda 2063.
He added that fighting neo-colonialism needed bold determination and courage to guard against betraying the ideals of the African continent.
The Zimbabwean leader said it is through Agenda 2063 that African countries should aspire for a prosperous continent that is based on inclusive growth and sustainable development, as well as being politically united on the ideals of Pan Africanism and African renaissance, with good governance and democracy.
“Africa is richly endowed with vast mineral and agricultural resources which, if harnessed in accordance with its vision, will improve the livelihoods of African people through the eradication of hunger, poverty and disease,” he said, adding that the continent should work as a bloc as some of its challenges transcend national boundaries.
He said through the African Peace and Security architecture, the AU continues to work tirelessly in collaboration with other partners to foster peace and security across the continent.
President Mugabe called on African countries to come up with innovative policies to end donor dependency, as most of the programmes in Africa are funded by donors.
Speaking at the same occasion to commemorate the 52nd Africa Day Anniversary at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Winhdoek, Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwa also used the opportunity to call on the Kingdom of Morocco to discontinue its occupation of Western Sahara.
In January this year, Nandi-Ndaitwa said African leaders adopted the Agenda 2063 which is the development blueprint for Africa and outlines their commitment to eradicate poverty on the continent.
The AU Assembly in January also adopted the first Ten Year Plan which implements and makes practical Agenda 2063.
“As Namibia we must play our part to contribute to the realization of Africa Agenda 2063. I am convinced that as we put into practice the programmes of the Fourth National Development Plan and Ten Year Plan, we will begin to reduce poverty on our continent.
“It is important, therefore, to inform ourselves about Agenda 2063 and the Ten Year Plan. While on this issue, let me inform you that Cabinet has instructed the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation to publish these important documents for nationwide distribution and we are in the process of doing so,” she said.
“As we celebrate Africa Day, we call on all Africans to ensure that national differences should be solved through dialogue and consultation. Africa is a rising continent and has full potential, we can only take our people out of poverty when peace is realised on the continent”.
Nandi- Ndaitwa called on African young people, Namibians in particular, to initiate discussions on issues of concern to Africa in order to make a positive contribution to the development agenda.