African Nobel laureates plead for continental peace

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- African Nobel Prize winners pledged to rally other laureates from the continent and the Diaspora to work at instituting peace in Africa at a gala evening held Wednesday night ahead of the first conference of intellectuals from Africa and the Diaspora that opened Thursday in Dakar, the Senegalese capital.
Former South African President F.
de Klerk and Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka commended the efforts of the African Union (AU) toward peace on the continent, saying there could be no development without peace.
The Nobel laureates urged the AU to support the preparation of the "Decade of Peace" in Africa next year, adding that the mobilisation of intellectuals was an essential condition for continental development.
In an address relayed from South Africa, former South African President Nelson Mandela said building the continent required the contribution of all, and lamented his inability to physically attend the meeting due to his health.
He said peace and security should be the destiny of Africa because they were central to the continent's development.
De Klerk hailed Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade for initiating the conference, saying it is a "marvellous occasion" to discuss the African Renaissance.
He expressed conviction that Africans have the adequate capacity to develop the continent and pledged to tour the world, attending conferences toward setting up an action scheme to pull Africa out of its poverty.
Some 700 participants from Africa and the Diaspora are attending the conference, organisers said.
Organised under the aegis of the African Union, the gathering ends Saturday with the adoption of recommendations and the setting up of a secretariat for African integration and renaissance.

07 october 2004 13:12:00

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