Africa’s regional integration must accelerate socioeconomic development – Prez. Filipe Nyusi

Mozambique's President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi speaks at the Sustainable Development Summit at United Nations headquarters in New York, the United States, Sept. 26, 2015. (Xinhua/Li Muzi) (lrz)

President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi of Mozambique, has underscored the need for Africa’s regional integration to accelerate the continent’s socioeconomic development.

He said the economic integration, the regional integration of African remained a central topic and that it was at the top of Mozambique’s priorities and cooperation at the bilateral level and the regional levels such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and at the continental of the African Union (AU).

“It is within this context that we have to sign cooperation agreement between our Government and the Government of Ghana on the first day of our visit here in Ghana,” President Nyusi stated in his address to the Ghanaian Parliament in Accra.

President Nyusi is on a four-day official visit to Ghana at the invitation of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The Mozambican President said the clarion call by Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s founding President that Africa must unite remained relevant today; and that Africa’s independence would be nothing if Africans remained dependent on external aide.

He noted that the agreement signed between the two countries includes a strong component of cooperation in different sectors such as agriculture, trade, tourism, mineral resources, science, and technology.

He said Mozambique would like to benefit from the experiences of Ghana in establishing a favourable legal framework that would allow them develop a sustainable and transparent management of strategic resources like precious minerals such as gold, oil and gas; thereby, enabling them to maximize their local content and to empower their national private sector as well.

He said the discovery of oil and gas in Mozambique was sustainably managed such that it did not lead to the “Dutch disease” (the economic factor associated with slow or negative economic growth).

He said the Joint Commission for Cooperation between Mozambique and Ghana, which they had established would implement the accord that they had established during this his visit.

He said the Commission’s main mission was to identify specific areas and projects of interest involving the private sector and the public sector that would be implemented through the Mozambique-Ghana Business forum.

President Nyusi thanked President Nana Akufo-Addo for his support for Mozambique’s candidacy for the non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council; adding that last year, Mozambique also did support Ghana’s candidacy for the Council.

Touching on terrorism, President Nyusi said since 2017 Mozambique had been attacked by some terrorists’ groups in some districts in the northern part of the country.

He reiterated that these attacks had resulted in the murder of more than 2,000 civilians and that it had also created more than 850,000 displaced people.

He said terrorism was a complex phenomenon, which no country could declare itself immune to it; saying, “due to its trans-international character, the fight against terrorists requires commitment and, therefore, joint efforts of countries.”

He said in Mozambique due to the combative and the bravery of its defence forces and the support of the defence forces from SADC countries, terrorists’ actions of violent extremism had been neutralized; declaring that this had allowed the Mozambican Government to continue the provision of infrastructure like roads and water, energy, hospitals, communications, and schools for the citizenry.

On his part, Mr Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament said for Africa to develop, Africans needed to look within themselves, acknowledge and appreciate their values, work together and market these values to the rest of the world.

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said Ghana had established a framework of governance to bring the two countries together and that the good thing was that they want to escalate this to level of the formation of the Ghana-Mozambique Parliamentary Society or Association.

Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka Minority Chief Whip, who described President Nyusi’s visit to Ghana as historic (the first ever by a sitting Mozambican President), said it was Ghana’s prayer that Mozambique would be able to overcome the challenge of terrorism facing it.

He urged African leaders to begin to see terrorism as an African problem and to collectively proffer a solution it and not to leave it to the individual countries.

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