President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that the terrorist pressure has provided a pretext for the unhappy reappearance of military rule in three (3) of the fifteen (15) member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community, two of whom, he said, have borne the brunt of the terrorist outrages in the Region – Mali and Burkina Faso.
He said it is a development ECOWAS leaders are determined to reverse, so that the ECOWAS space remains a democratic one.
Speaking at the 77TH session of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday September 21, Mr Akufo-Addo said “All of us in the Region are being forced to spend huge amounts of money on security. This is money we should be spending on educating and giving skills to our young people; on building much needed roads, bridges, hospitals and other such infrastructure, which we are spending to fight terrorists or to keep them out from destabilising our countries.”
He added “This is a global problem, deserving the attention of the world community for a global solution. Mr President, I am contributing to this debate on a date that has special significance for us in Ghana. 21st September is the date we mark the birth of our first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
“He would have been one hundred and thirteen (113) years old today, and it is worth recalling on this day 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.
“We recognise today, more than ever before, the importance of the strength in unity of Africa, and we are working to shed that image of a
helpless, hapless continent.
“There is a renewed commitment towards an inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and economic integration and the intensity of the challenges we face today is only matched, like never before, by the immensity of the opportunity before us. We, the current leaders of Africa, should be determined not to waste the crisis that confronts us.
“Incidentally, 2022 is billed as Africa’s Year to take 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 use better our sixty per cent global share of arable lands to increase food production.
“We have seen the devastating impact of relying on Russia and Ukraine for seventy per cent of our wheat consumption. We have enough land, enough water, enough gas and enough manpower to produce enough fertiliser, food and energy for ourselves and for others. But, we also recognise that we cannot do it all by ourselves. Our message to the global investor community is, therefore, this: Africa is ready for business. Africa needs you and you need Africa. You need Africa because Africa is busily building the world’s largest single market of 1.3 billion people.”
He added “Soon we will have a customs union, and soon we will have a continental payment system that will accelerate and facilitate trade amongst ourselves. Already, goods and services are flowing more freely across our artificial borders. See Africa for what it is: the new frontier for manufacturing, for technology, for food production. That is why six years ago, I launched in Ghana the successful policy of ‘One District One Factory’.
“A policy, with government incentives, that has directly seen, so far, some one hundred and twenty-five (125) factories being set up in various districts across the country, leveraging on each area’s competitive advantage. That is why, six years ago, my government embarked on an aggressive policy of planting for food and jobs, which has helped our farmers increase their yields in folds. Indeed, we are recognising that many of the things we import can be found or produced in Ghana, or in other African countries.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana