President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that terrorist pressure has provided a pretext for the unwelcome return of military rule in three (3) of the fifteen (15) member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community, two of which, he claims, have borne the brunt of the Region’s terrorist outrages, Mali and Burkina Faso.
He stated that this is a trend that ECOWAS leaders are determined to reverse so that the ECOWAS space remains democratic.
On Wednesday, September 21, Mr. Akufo-Addo stated at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, “All of us in the Region are being forced to spend huge amounts of money on security.” This is money that should be spent on educating and training our youth, on building much-needed roads, bridges, hospitals, and other infrastructure, rather than fighting terrorists or preventing them from destabilizing our countries.”
“This is a global problem that deserves the attention of the global community for a global solution,” he added. Mr. President, I am participating in this debate on a date that is particularly significant for Ghanaians.
On September 21, we commemorate the birth of our first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. He would have been 113 years old today, and it is worth remembering the driving force of his political career, which was to contribute to the birth of a united Africa, i.e., a United States of Africa, on this day. “Today, more than ever, we recognize the importance of Africa’s strength in unity, and we are working to dispel the image of a helpless, hapless continent.”
“There is a renewed commitment to inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and economic integration, and the magnitude of the challenges we face today is only matched, as never before, by the magnitude of the opportunity.” We, as Africa’s current leaders, must be determined not to waste the crisis that we face.
“2022 is being billed as Africa’s Year of Action on Food and Nutrition Development Goals.” We see the current geopolitical crisis as an opportunity to rely less on food imports from outside the continent and make better use of our 60% global share of arable land to boost food production.”
“We have seen the devastation caused by relying on Russia and Ukraine for 70% of our wheat consumption.” We have enough land, water, gas, and labor to produce enough fertilizer, food, and energy for ourselves and others. But we also recognize that we cannot accomplish everything on our own.”
“As a result, our message to the global investor community is this: Africa is open for business. Africa requires you, and you require Africa. You require Africa because it is constructing the world’s largest single market of 1.3 billion people.”
“We will soon have a customs union, and we will soon have a continental payment system that will accelerate and facilitate trade amongst ourselves,” he added. Goods and services are already flowing more freely across our artificial borders. Consider Africa to be the new frontier for manufacturing, technology, and food production. That is why, six years ago, I implemented the successful ‘One District, One Factory’ policy in Ghana.
“A policy supported by government incentives that have resulted in the establishment of approximately 125 factories in various districts across the country, capitalizing on each area’s competitive advantage.” That is why, six years ago, my government launched an aggressive planting for food and jobs policy, which has helped our farmers increase their yields by order of magnitude. Indeed, we recognize that many of the items we import can be found or manufactured in Ghana or other African countries.”
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