Addis Ababa, November 1,2022 (ENA) Former presidents Mulatu Teshome and Dramani Maham have shared their experiences to participants of the African Youth Summit today.
At the youth summit here in Addis Ababa, former of Ethiopian president Mulatu Teshome and former Ghanian president Dramani Maham highlighted the vision and sentiment of Pan-Africanism, the recurrent challenges of the continent, and Africa’s representation at the international bodies, among other issues.
Former president Mulatu said that Pan-Africanism provided an ideological foundation for the Organization of African Unity and subsequently the African Union.
He stressed that African countries have to assert that democracy is a universal human value, rather than a privilege of a limited number of developed states.
Therefore, “the promotion and protection of democracy is a common responsibility of the international community, including Africa.”
According to him, bilateral and multilateral development partners are expected to commit to financing growth, sustaining infrastructure and increase aid for improved social development.
However, many African development partners continue to advocate unilateral approach to addressing international issues, he added.
They interfere in the internal affairs of African states, infringing the legitimate rights and interests and inciting contradictions, differences and confrontations; thus hampering the development and progress of mankind against opposition from mostly the developing world, particularly African states, the former Ethiopian president elaborated.
He further underscored that Africa deserves a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.
The United Nations driven international architecture and international law-based world order seeks genuine multipolarity of the UN Security Council, playing a central and coordinating role in ensuring the inclusivity of Africa.
President Mulatu also highlighted that all Africans should interconnect with infrastructures in order to ensure free movement of goods and services.
Former Ghanian President Dramani Mahama stated that after the Second World War, it was decided that we needed a certain solidarity amongst African people in order that we could fight the continued oppression that we were subjected to. And that was the beginning of the birth of Pan-Africanism.
Stressing the need for trade between African countries, he noted that the African continental free trade area gives us the opportunity to be able to exchange goods amongst ourselves.
The former Ghanian president said we suffered and are still suffering from the effects of neo- colonialism after we have got independence.
The Western powers thought that it was necessary for them to make sure that the governments that were in place in our countries or governments that they could control, President Mahama stated.
Now, neo-colonialism is another form of colonization, where the foreign power does not come and dominate you.
“But they dominate you in a subtle way using strengths. And that is what the results we have in Africa is in terms of trade, in terms of aid, in terms of bringing in their capital, and taking out more outflows from Africa than coming into Africa.That is all part of neo-colonialism.”
The president also noted that even though Africa has contributed the least to the warming of the planet, Africa is suffering the most from the effects of climate change.
The African Youth Summit is underway here in the Ethiopian capital.