The Gomoa West District Oversight Committee of the African Peer Review Mechanism (DOC, APRM) has called on African governments to focus on the socio-economic development strategy of the African Union (AU) to take the continent out of poverty.
According to the committee, the desired outcomes of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) which have been achieved must spur African leaders on to make a conscientious effort to ensure that the remaining protocols are met in time for accelerated regional integration.
African Union Day
At a press conference at Apam in the Central Region to mark African Union Day, which fell yesterday, Dr Mark Nii Lamptey, the Chairman of the DOC, APRM, pointed out that all set convergence criteria must be arrived at for the removal of all forms of barriers to enhance economic buoyancy.
Accordingly, he said the African Peer Review Mechanism would continue to focus on countries that signed up to the APRM process to demonstrate their commitment to NEPAD by meeting set benchmarks in the areas of political, corporate and socio-economic governance.
He said the nurturing of democracy and good governance in public and private administration and among civil society groups was the basis for peace and development.
“African leaders must create an open and receptive platform for their people to participate in dialogue on all important matters that bear on their lives and livelihoods,” Dr Lamptey stated.
This, Dr Lamptey said, should be considered as part of the process of building citizenship, stating, “Women’s economic empowerment, youth employment and children’s education must be prioritised by governments on the continent.”
According to the chairman of the DOC, APRM, it is very vital to put in place a firm governance framework to regulate the flow of resources in a transparent manner for the benefit of the people.
He said the health, education and socio-economic development of the people must be the priority of governments, if good democratic governance should make any meaning to the people on the continent.
He further said self-seeking and power-hungry politicians and mischievous financiers must desist from using flimsy excuses to perpetrate political instability on the continent for their parochial interest.
African leaders, Dr Lamptey said, must come together to combat terrorism and employ early conflict resolution and mediation strategies to avoid dissenting views from escalating into full-blown conflicts, since a stitch in time saves nine.
In his view, African leaders must solve the challenges in their countries by themselves and involve other peers when necessary and not sit idle to depend on the West, saying, “They are able and can do much for themselves as far as they are determined to do so.”
He also called for a quick resolution of the civil unrest in Mali, South Sudan, Sudan Somalia and the Central African Republic, among other such countries.
Ethnic cleansing and religious crusades, according to Dr Lamptey, must cease to be part of the 21st century.
They must give way to education and the sharing of knowledge within the principles of co-operation, he stated.
He also condemned the abduction of the over 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria by Boko Haram, and called on the Islamist group to release them and respect the girls’ rights to religion and education.
The Nigerian government must step up its protection of its people from the daily slaughter from barbaric religious sects, Dr Lamptey added, and pointed out that the international community had a duty to come to the aid of the government of Nigeria.