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Africa’s Integration key to continental security – President

Accra, Aug. 1, GNA – President Nana Addo
Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described as significant, the achievements being made
owing to the collaboration amongst countries in West Africa and Africa in the
fight against terrorism and armed groups.

“African countries are co-operating in the
fight against terrorism and achieving results, and this should spur us on in
our collective drive towards an integrated and united Africa,” he said when he
delivered the key note address at the graduation of Course 25 participants of
Nigeria’s National Defence College in Abuja, Nigeria on Tuesday.

 The
President Akufo-Addo noted that the co-ordination of activities between the
armies and the intelligence agencies countries such as Chad, Cameroon, Niger
and Benin and Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram, and with the leaders of
Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso, also launching a multinational
force to fight armed groups in the Sahel region, was essential to a successful
battle against terrorism.

Making reference to the strides made by the
European Union (EU), President Akufo-Addo indicated that the Union was given
the Nobel Peace Prize for its role in “the advancement of peace and
reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”, “transforming most of
Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace”, and the “successful
struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights”.

He noted that “it is a widely acknowledged
fact that the EU has helped prevent war amongst its current members since the
end of World War II in 1945.

History tells us that Britain, France, Germany
and Italy had for centuries waged wars over religion, territory and power.”

“Thus, the creation of a free market,
concealing economic and geographical borders, would erode the justification for
using war as the quickest avenue to wealth and power, and lessen its appeal.

“That was the vision that inspired the idea
behind the European Economic Community, now the EU, in 1957.”

President Akufo-Addo, thus, indicated that
Africa should be inspired by this, and hasten her efforts towards integration.

“If Europe, through the formation of the EU,
was able to stop the vicious cycle of violence that had plagued them for
centuries, and lead them onto the path of advancement, wealth and prosperity
for all, Africa can no longer dither,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo stated that closer
collaboration between Ghana and Nigeria could accelerate the growth West Africa
and Africa.

“Our respective armed forces have co-operated
successfully in joint peacekeeping operations in several conflict situations in
the region and on the continent, which have enabled peace and security to be
re-established. Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Togo,
Sudan, Somalia, Mali and, most recently The Gambia, all come to mind,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo, urged the two countries
to “now work together to unleash the energy and ingenuity of the African, and
with a market of 1.2 billion people, soon to reach two billion, the sky will be
the limit. Let us work towards the day when all of us will look to doing
business, first in our region and continent, before looking to Europe, Asia or
the Americas because we have the men and women, the goods, the services and the
quality”.

The way forward, he said was to implement
regional and continental decisions, such as the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation
Scheme and the Continental Free Trade Area, recognising that ultimately the
benefits are in everyone’s interest.

“Those of us who believe strongly in
integration can do no better than to give our full support to regional and
continental decisions. Through this, we will build institutional confidence and
integrity in the structural organs of ECOWAS and the AU,” he added.

The President expressed the need for all governments
in the region and continent, to collaborate to ensure that the countries of
Africa adhere to and maintain common values of governance, stating that “Such
commonality will facilitate immeasurably the process of bonding amongst the
nations of our region and continent.”

GNA

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