Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday challenged Africa to pursue the vision of the founding fathers and promote economic integration and sustainable development for the continent.
In his address to the nation marking the 57th anniversary of the founding of the Organization for African Unity, now the African Union, on May 25, 1963, Mnangagwa commended Africans for defending the continent’s independence, state media reported. “As we celebrate Africa Day, we are jubilant that the vision of our founding fathers has been by and large realized, kept and is jealously defended.
“Above all, that vision continues to be elaborated upon, notably through Agenda 2063 which envisions an economically integrated continent of Africa which will be a global powerhouse by 2063.”
He stressed on Africa’s desire to achieve sustainable development, through concrete manifestations of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity.
With the African Continental Free Trade Area that seeks to create a prosperous future now in force, integration and cooperation at all levels should be scaled up, Mnangagwa said.
Cooperation is imperative in the continent’s quest to achieve food security and to mitigate the impact of climate change and threats posed by disease outbreaks, he said.”Conscious of Agenda 2063, we must continue to explore and exploit our vast natural resources.
The value addition and beneficiation of our various resource endowments must be harnessed to modernize and industrialize Africa’s economies. “In this ‘Decade of Action,’ let us give impetus to innovation. We must drive all facets of socio-economic development, leveraging on science, technologies as well as our rich heritage, history and cultures,” he said.
The promotion of human development and the economic empowerment of youth and women must result in an Africa that produces goods and services for itself through its own innovations and initiatives, Mnangagwa said.
“The realization of sustainable development and the great vision of an improved standard of living for our people must remain a top priority,” he said.