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Mugabe calls for African renaissance

by Morris Mkwate
30 Jan 2014 at 06:58hrs | Views
President Mugabe has implored Africa to re-examine its independence from colonial rule and urged fellow African leaders to be politically-conscious in order to realise the continent's long-held vision of development.

President Mugabe appealed to the African Union to spearhead unity and co-operation across the continent.

Speaking at a briefing with senior Government officials who attended the AU Foreign Ministers Retreat, President Mugabe said taking charge of natural resources was the first step towards the African renaissance.

"The number one priority has to do with control of resources; that is the starting point. We have given our resources to our erstwhile enemies and that is the situation in every territory," said President Mugabe.

"In other words, we should examine the issue of our independence once again. We have the minerals here, the soils, the waters. So, what do we lack? Bold leaders, of course. We must be man enough to say, no."

He said apart from being home to enormous mineral reserves, Africa required bold leaders to promote development and defend the resources.

"Let us learn to deal with ourselves. The trouble is we have no real unity. It is only a unity of geography not of ideology as was the case with our predecessors who visualised the complete freedom of Africa.

"Today, the West enjoys the right to enter, to interfere. It is going to be difficult and, in some cases, more difficult to regain our independence. The campaign has also included destroying organisations which helped us to fight for our freedom. NAM (the Non-Aligned Movement) is gone.

"We have got to think, ourselves, how we will unite? We must examine, country by country, what we have, and the AU must be the starting point. Zvino leadership yacho political consciousness vanayo here? Isu tinonzi tinopenga.

"Tinofurirwa kuti State must be a spectator. So, who will be the actors, moreso in the absence of capacity on the part of our people?"

"It is interesting that all the protocols granted to Africa by the then European Economic Community (ECC), now the European Union (EU), relate to market concessions on primary goods: sugar, bananas, coffee, tea, cotton; etcetera.

"Even beef had to come with minimum processing and with respect of sugar the requirement was that it should come in semi-raw state for processing abroad. Nothing by way of beneficiated products."

The retreat, where the represented countries, for the first time, unanimously agreed on the problems plaguing the continent and called for a strong, and bold political leadership, ran under the theme, "Agenda 2063: The Africa we want".

The ministers identified donor-dependence, failure to control natural resources, a dependency-driven education system and the role of the African state as a mere spectator among the major threats to Africa.

They also agreed on the need to industrialise, formulate a new strategy to manage relations between Africa and other world economic players, promote intra-continental co-operation and to end conflict in troubled regions.

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Source - The Herald