South African Minister Says Africans Must Entrench Pan-Africanism to Build Better Africa

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Addis Ababa,  February 7/2022 /ENA/ South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Naledi Pandor said African countries must absorb and entrench the notion of Pan-Africanism to work and develop as a unified force to build a better Africa.

African leaders advocated Pan-Africanism, vital movement in decolonization and liberation struggles of Africa, to serve as the basis for the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the precursor to the African Union (AU).  

AU is implementing agenda 2063 for a decade now to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity pursued under Pan-Africanism.

South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Naledi Pandor told ENA that “the reason for existence of the African Union is to promote Pan-Africanism. But you only achieve that ideology depending on the commitment of the member states”.  

Stating that African countries have to increase commitment and assist the AU’s plan to revitalize Pan-Africanism and develop the continent together as a unified force, the minister said “so all of us must absorb and entrench the notion of Pan-Africanism, which means, we work and we develop as a unified force.”

She further urged member states of the African union to focus on collective work as a unified continental entity with the spirit of Pan-Africanism instead of separate efforts to prosper alone as a country.

“Pan-Africanism is an important ideal because Africa suffered the same history of colonialism and we have got to work together as we build a better Africa and you can only do that when you are Pan-African. We cannot develop individually; we have to work as unified African continent.”  

Uganda Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem pointed out the need to resolve challenges and increase trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to strengthen unity and Pan-Africanism.

“Africa should increase trade between them, using the Africa Continental Free Trade Area initiative so that there is more trade within Africa and no trade barriers within Africa so that Africa takes advantage of the enormous resources in Africa.”

He said the AU and other institutions related to the trade initiative have to execute the trade initiative seriously to eventually increase the sprit of Pan-Africanism and unity in Africa, he added.   

The Pan-Africanist ideas have been transformed from an ideology for decolonization into a framework for African collaboration, unity, integration and development.

African Court Protocol Assistant, Tamambele Simba Tamambele on his part said African countries need common interest and commitment to strengthen Pan-Africanism and remove obstacles for integration and trade.

The African Court in Tanzania, the Pan-African parliament in South Africa and the Commission of Human Rights in Zambia are manifestation of Pan-African institutions that require the same interests of Africans and have to be strengthened, the African Court Protocol Assistant pointed out.

Africans should promote working together in different sectors, including agriculture, trade, currency, and sport activities, he added stressing the need to ease border obstacles among countries.   

If the barriers of integration are solved and countries are committed to strengthen Pan-African sprit, it is possible to achieve the development aspirations of the African Union, he indicated.

The genesis of Agenda 2063 was realized by African leaders as there was a need to refocus and prioritize Africa’s agenda from the struggle against apartheid and the attainment of political independence for the continent which had been the focus of OAU, the precursor of AU to prioritize inclusive social and economic development, continental and regional integration, democratic governance and peace and security amongst other issues.

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