Over forty civil society organizations yesterday met in Accra to consider a draft Africa Union (A U) agenda that would involve the people in Africa’s development for the next fifty years. The forum was participated by youth groups, political parties, traditional and religious leaders. It forms part of ongoing stake holder consultations by the people of Africa.
It was organized by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with the support of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and regional integration (MFARI). The consultative program (held in all parts of Africa) is meant to involve the people of Africa in development agenda known as Agenda 2063.
Mr. Kwesi Quartey Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration who chaired the function commended the founding fathers of the AU, formerly Organization of African Unity and said that in-spite of some achievements chalked by the AU the continental body needs to do more.
He praised Dr Kwame Nkrumah and other African leaders for their pioneering roles in setting up the OAU in 1963. He said Ghana under Nkrumah went further to assist some nations like Guinea financially when they were rendered poor by their colonial masters France. He said Ghana also inspired other nations of Africa to fight for independence.
Alhaji Haruna Attah High Commissioner designate who spoke o behalf of N C CE said Africa union must be a union of the people not a club of heads of states. He urged the ordinary people to take part in the decision making process.
Alhaji Haruna Attah expressed dissatisfaction over the existence of unfriendly borders where travelers within Africa are subjected to unfriendly behavior by border guards.
He called for the involvement of the civil society including women groups to work for the development of the continent adding that the people must engage parliament to enrich debate in development agenda in Africa.
He called on the media to play their part in promoting peace through good and truthful reportage and advised the media to desist from causing conflicts through bad reportage as happened in Ruanda where war and destruction occurred through a hate statement made in a radio program.
Professor Lehlohonolo Associate Director of Center for Regional Integration in Africa- CRIA who facilitated the program took the participants through the agenda 2063. At the end of the program the participants pledged to take part in the year long 50th year anniversary of AU by debating a range of issues from regional integration to peace and security , the African identity, economic transformation, Africa’s search for prosperity and self-reliance; to questions of governance , social inclusion, gender equality and Africa’s place in the world.
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