Thursday, November 25, 2010

Minister Calls for Renewed Spirit of Pan-Africanism

Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) The Minister for Trade Regional Integration and Employment has said that in our efforts to confront the problems of African integration, there is a need for a
renewed spirit of pan-Africanism.
Honorable Abdou Colley was speaking on the occasion of celebrations marking Africa Liberation Day on 25th May 2010 at the Buffer Zone in Tallinding. He calls for a new orientation towards strong political leadership and good governance in Africa, saying the ideals of pan-Africanism cannot be achieved
without serious commitment to conflict resolution, peace building, public accountability and consolidation of democracy and rule of law through out the continent.

“The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was established at a time when many African countries were still under the yoke of colonialism and its formation gave significant impetus to the continent’s collective struggle for independence,” he said.

He said OAU was preoccupied in its early years trying to resolve conflicts and instability experience by many of the newly independent states, which threatened the gains that independence, was meant to bring to the people.

According to him, our leaders efforts to give depth and meaning to political independence while striving for socio-economic development resulted to the transformation of the OAU into the African Union (AU) in 2002.

He stressed that achieving African regional integration and economic development calls for sacrifice, a change in mindset and a common sense of purpose backed by strong commitment at all levels.

“It is therefore incumbent on us to formulate and implement policies that put the welfare of our people at the center and work towards harmonizing those policies,” he said.

Mr. Ebrima Badjie, the Chairman of Youth Organisation for African Unity (OAU) said his organisation, registered on 2nd November 1999, is a political but non-partisan, wrestling with the questions of power and development.

According to him, they believe that with the power of youths, they will achieve the aims and objectives of the African union. He pointed out that OAU is engaged in educating the masses on all regional integration protocols; environmental awareness campaigns; peace advocacy and conflict resolution; gender
consciousness campaigns; and participation of the physically disabled persons in development.

He said the OAU since inception has organized a millennium peace march, a thousand youth march for a thousand years of peace in Africa on 31st December 1999. We participate yearly in our country’s independence celebration and some organize symposiums to educate the people on the importance of independence in Africa.

He also noted that two of their members also had the chance to participate in the launching of African Union in Durban, South Africa in 2002. “I urge youths to desist from illegal migration, youths have many opportunities and conducive environment to succeed in The Gambia,” he argued.

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