COMESA outgoing Secretary General calls for demolition of artificial boundaries

Lusaka, Zambia (PANA) – Outgoing Secretary General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has called on leaders of the economic bloc to cooperate more so as to destroy the artificial boundaries that were bequeathed to Africa by colonialism.

Sindiso Ngwenya said: “The paradox is that today the 54 States in Africa have thicker borders than when Africa was partitioned at the Berlin conference."

“As our leaders you owe it to the future generations to ensure that people, goods and services can move freely within COMESA and indeed in the African continent,” Ngwenya said at the 20th COMESA summit in Lusaka in his farewell address as he reflected on the 34 years he has served the organisation.

“As I reflect on the journey of 34 years that I have travelled I am more than convinced, your Excellencies, that for COMESA in particular and Africa in general we need more cooperation to destroy the artificial boundaries that were bequeathed to Africa by colonialism… I have no doubt given your collective wisdom and ingenuity that you will indeed deliver on the dream of the united states of Africa that was championed by Kwame Nkrumah.”

Ngwenya also paid tribute to each member state and COMESA’s cooperating partners for the support given to him as Secretary General and chief executive of COMESA.

“As I step aside before I step down in the coming days when I hand over the reins of this great organization I will be eternally indebted to the opportunity and privilege that was accorded by member states to serve in the highest office of this organization,” the outgoing Secretary General said.

Ngwenya also paid tribute to Ethiopia and Eritrea for putting an end to the state war which, he said, had defied external mediation.

“His Excellency, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is to be applauded for his magnanimity for accepting the ruling. In equal breath, His Excellency, Mr. Isaias Afwerki, President of the State of Eritrea, is to be applauded for reciprocating the goodwill of his Excellency Dr. Abiy Ahmed. These seismic developments are a harbinger of peace in the horn of Africa and the COMESA region and indeed the entire continent,” Ngwenya said, adding that the African Union decision of silencing the guns by 2020 is within reach.

He also commended South Sudan where there has been agreement that Dr. Riek Machar, resumes his position as vice president of South Sudan. He said this would not have been possible without the magnanimity of Salva Kiir, President of South Sudan.  
-0- PANA MM/MA 18July2018

18 july 2018 11:07:25

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