Solidarity among Africans will change situations irreversibly – Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the solidarity among African countries is what will change the 21st century and the situations of Africa irreversibly.

He said, “When this happens, we are going to stretch our hands across the Atlantic to our brothers in the diaspora, to form a formidable alliance of people, talent, ingenuity and energy and then the most predicted century of Africa and people of African descent is going to be a reality.”

President Akufo-Addo, said this when he opened the third Kusi Ideas Festival, on Friday, in Accra.

The two-day hybrid virtual and-in-person festival is organised by the Nation Media Group (NMG) in collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority on the theme, “How Africa transforms after the virus”.

The President, said over the past few years, Ghana had positioned itself as the meetings hub of Africa and that hosting the event was in keeping with the plan to attract meetings, conferences as part of the trade and tourism agenda for the development of the country.

He was optimistic the Festival would help keep the “wider African path on the global system, shape its future and define its response to the world and itself.”

President Akufo-Addo said that path would “strengthen the connections of railway corridors that connect East Africa to West Africa, and South Africa to North Africa.”

“Accra is the headquarters for AfCFTA and has become the main convergence market between Africa and the black diaspora. Ghana stands as one of the points of modern Africa enlightenment and one of the continents functioning liberal democracy anchoring a story of transformation from the pandemic around it.”

On COVID-19, President Akufo-Addo said, “The work of the African Centre for Diseases on COVID-19 PPE and vaccines and the African Union procurement platform are a loud indication of working continentally and tells us to do more to break down walls together and avoid working in silos. This has been a break period for African culture production, and it is amazing how much Africa has grown.”

“Over the next two days, we hope to hear more about the anticipated transformation of Africa. The COVID 19 has come and gone, although most people forecasted that Africa will be destroyed through it, it did not happen, and Africa has survived and improved.”

Dr Wilfred Kimoro, Chairman, NMG, said the Festival was a pan-African initiative to provide a platform to explore the place of Africa in the world today and create a body of ideas that looked into the future of the continent with the objective of understanding to work together to manage the risk of its transformation and take advantage of the opportunities on the continent.

“We have had the dream of connecting the East to the West and we are going to see how we can have convergence of ideas. The Festival aims to create advantage and collaboration of brilliant African minds to create the opportunity for them to be heard on a continental level and globally,” he said.

Dr Kimoro said it was sad that six decades after most African countries fought for and gained independence, Africa continued to be treated contemptuously by the whole of the world.

“We need to put our minds together to see how Africa can succeed on the global stage and to play its role. It is a shame that as a continent we continue to ignore, procrastinate and fail to implement good ideas. We continue to shoot ourselves at the foot, set up long term barriers in and between our countries that impede domestic, regional and intra Africa trade, leaving the continent in perpetual poverty.”

Dr Kimoro said it was time Africa reflected on what the last two years of COVID-19 had taught her and tell her own story to the world.

The Kusi Ideas Festival was launched by the NMG in 2019 in Kigali Rwanda, as part of the country’s 60th anniversary celebrations, to be an “ideas transaction market” for the challenges facing Africa, and the various solutions and innovations the continent was undertaking to secure its future in the 21st century.

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