Ethiopia: African leaders vow to end foreign dominance

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) – African leaders rose from two days of talks on pressing developmental matters, peace, security and administrative matters affecting the continent at their 29th session of the Heads of State Assembly with a call for the UN reform and the reform of global peacekeeping operations.

The leaders also vowed to put a resounding end to “lecturing by foreign partners and resolved that the continent would deal with the challenges of youth unemployment, engaging with their foreign partners, but without taking instructions on what needs to take place concerning matters of governance.

“We are no longer going to accept lessons,” President Alpha Conde, the AU Chairperson and President of Guinea, said during the closing ceremony on Tuesday of the continental organization. “Africa will become a major partner but will no longer take lectures and lessons.”

President Conde said the Summit resolved that African countries would speak with one voice on all international affairs.

“We do not need lectures anymore. We will heed critical advice and lecturing. We are committed to ensuring it is an Africa which respects its women, takes care of its youth and ensures good governance, development and justice. We will spare no efforts to integrate Africa,” the Guinean President said.

"The leaders met to discuss how to harness the youth dividend, create jobs for an estimated 11 million youth across the continent who are eligible for jobs each year, but who only have chances for 3 million jobs annually," according to the Prince of the Kingdom of Morocco, who represented King Mohammed VI at the landmark Summit.

Africa’s first female elected President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, formally bid farewell to her African comrades in an emotional sendoff ceremony.

The Summit marked the high-point with Johnson-Sirleaf, declaring the return of peace and stability to her country, formerly a war-torn African country which battled her last major hurdle with an Ebola outbreak which ended in 2015, with the intervention of other African countries.

President Johnson-Sirleaf said she would be pleased to hand over power in three months’ time, the first such peaceful power handover in 40 years and in an environment of peace and stability.

“I express my appreciation. We are going to have a transition after 11 years. Our economy is largely restored. Our society open and free. Our nation full of promise. Our debts sustainable,” the Liberian President said.

She praised the AU for growing in stature, being capable of handling continental challenges and hailed the efforts to reform the organization to take into consideration its ability to respond to issues.

The Liberian President said her country also welcomed the efforts to expedite the reform of the AU.

The Summit dedicated itself to discussions on the future of trade. The leaders meeting in 2012, agreed to a raft of measures to bolster trade amongst the 53 countries, now 55, and set a target of 2017 for negotiating and launching the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) to break the land borders.

Nigerien President Issafou Mahamadou said the CFTA talks were progressing and would be an effective response to the tearing down of colonial boundaries and barriers to trade.
-0- PANA AO/VAO 4July2017

04 july 2017 12:55:15

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