Lungu urges conflict ridden African countries to unite
By Jeff Kapembwa
Lusaka – The continued instability in many parts of Africa remains a serious obstacle to the development on the continent, specially the attainment of Agenda 2063, hence the greater need for unity among the countries affected by civil strife, Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu has said.
Lungu stressed that continued instability in most countries remained a threat to maintain stability and unless a unity of purpose was appreciated and applied, efforts to attain sustainable development would be far from being achieved.
He was speaking in Lusaka last week when he hosted his Togolese counterpart Faure Gnassingbé, who was in Zambia for a two-day state visit.
The Zambian leader said it was imperative for affected countries to undertake personal introspection and address peace and security challenges for the continent to attain the objectives espoused in Agenda 2063.
With the realisation on the need to seek to attain the key tenets as espoused under the 2063 Agenda Goals, there was need for Togo and Zambia to collaborate on key issues that included peace and security, reform of the United Nations system, and the fight against terrorism, Lungu stated.
The Agenda 2063, a brainchild of the African Union, is a roadmap expected to guide Africans and their half a century old organisation towards a realisation of an old but enduring Pan-African vision of unity.
The document, structured into seven chapters, seeks to attain among other objectives, a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development, an integrated continent, politically united based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism, and a continent that espouses democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of Law.
Other goals include attaining a peaceful and secure Africa, making Africa with a strong cultural identity, values and ethics, ensuring an Africa of people-driven development relying on the potential of its women and youth as well as ensuring that Africa remains as a strong, resilient and influential global player and partner.
The idea was agreed upon by the African Union Golden Jubilee of May 2013 on which the AU rededicated itself to the Pan African vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena, according to data.
And during the bilateral meeting of the two leaders, President Lungu asked his Togolese counterpart for the establishment of a framework of co-operation that could encompass and facilitate multi-sectoral collaboration between the two countries since they have similar resources among others, agriculture, mining and energy production for value addition that could benefit the people of the two countries.
Given the similarities in the two countries’ economies and industries, there is great potential for collaboration between Zambia and Togo and the two-day visit by the Togolese leader provided an opportunity for both countries to share best practices and information in affected sectors.
“We in Zambia have copper but we import its finished products, and Togo has phosphate but you import fertilizer.
We thus both desire to break away from that,” noted Lungu as part of the crusade to build their citizens.
Lungu also proposed the creation of a Joint Permanent Commission of co-operation (JPC) between the two countries which will be cardinal in further cementing the bilateral relations.
President Gnassingbe said he was keen to learn from Zambia’s land administration system and how his country could exploit steel to build its economy.