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Mnangagwa says 'Africa must pursue economic integration'

by Staff reporter
25 May 2020 at 07:38hrs | Views
President Mnangagwa has 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 today to mark the 57th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation for African Unity, now the African Union, on May 25 1963, the President commended Africans for defending the continent's independence.

"As we celebrate Africa Day, we are jubilant that the vision of our founding fathers has been by and large realised, kept and is jealously defended," he said.

"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.

"Our continent's desire is to achieve sustainable development, through concrete manifestations of the Pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity."

President Mnangagwa said the African Continental Free Trade Area that seeks to create a prosperous future was now in force and called for the scaling up of integration and cooperation at all levels. He said cooperation was imperative in the continent's quest to achieve food security and to mitigate the impact of climate change and threats posed by disease outbreaks.

"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 modernise and industrialise 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," said the President.

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.

"The realisation of sustainable development and the great vision of an improved standard of living for our people must remain a top priority."

President Mnangagwa called on Africans to deepen the culture of democracy and good governance as taught by the continent's founding fathers. Former colonial powers had no authority to lecture Africa on democracy as the continent had fought to achieve the democracy being enjoyed to this day. Africans should not be shy to express the rich cultural heritage, languages and identities.

"Zimbabwe continues to pursue robust cooperation with our neighbours and the continent as a whole; subscribing to a fully integrated continent of Africa. We must now urgently consolidate the implementation of cross-border projects, to improve our road networks, water, energy and ICT infrastructure, among others. This will inevitably accelerate multi-faceted sustainable development in the region and on the continent," he said.

The continent continued to face various challenges despite development made in other areas with civil wars and terrorism being experienced in some areas. He said the Extraordinary SADC Organ Troika Summit recently met to address the terrorism scourge experienced in some parts of Mozambique.

"Let me reiterate our unequivocal rejection of terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, and our strong condemnation of all terrorist acts, which will never be justified.

"Zimbabwe remains committed to play its part in all regional and continental initiatives as our modest contribution towards a prosperous and peaceful world order," he said.

President Mnangagwa condemned some Western nations for meddling in the internal affairs of countries on the continent. Zimbabwe continued to suffer from unwarranted interference and endure illegal sanctions imposed as punishment for reclaiming land.

"However, we are buoyed by the fact that we have re-united with our land, which is now irreversibly reposed into our hands, we its true owners," he said.

"As we commemorate and celebrate the unity of our continent, we in Zimbabwe deeply thank our Sadc region and the whole continent of Africa for standing with us. Africa has rejected and denounced the sanctions against Zimbabwe and the Sudan, urging those responsible for these illegal, heinous measures to immediately lift them without conditionalities.

"They are illegal, unjust, spiteful and undeserved. Above all, they go against the grain and spirit of civilised international relations as espoused in the United Nations Charter. We reiterate that sanctions have no place in modern international relations."

President Mnangagwa also urged Africans to remain alert to the threats of Covid-19 pandemic despite the continent recording low infection and mortality figures as compared to other continents.

"We must therefore, continue with the concerted efforts towards a continental response, and a united global response under the World Health Organisation. Covid-19 knows no borders; hence our response both on the continent and beyond must reflect this undeniable reality," he said.

The President urged Africans to re-dedicate themselves to defend the continent's liberty and unity and commit to fight for lasting justice and sustainable development, which leaves no one behind.

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Source - the herald

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