Ghana's President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the news of the continuing and deepening crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is leading to the massive displacement of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, is very depressing.
According to President Akufo-Addo, it brings into sharp relief the urgent necessity for the continental body, the African Union, to rise to the occasion, and find immediately a lasting solution to the perennial problems of that tragic country.
“That solution has to address the twin issues of the unity and stability of the Congolese state, and the establishment of democracy, that will allow the Congolese people the opportunity, in free and fair elections, to choose their leaders,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He stressed that “it is a test of the effectiveness of the AU, which it cannot and must not fail.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Thursday, 15th February, 2018, when he delivered the keynote address at an event on transformative governance in Africa, organised by the Kukah Centre, in Abuja, Nigeria.
The President added also that the Member States of the AU must demonstrate a commitment to strengthening and protecting the institutions and culture of democratic governance; respecting human rights, religious freedom, the empowerment of women, and the rights of the individual and minorities; building strong market economies and facilitating the free movements of people, knowledge, goods and services across member states.
“The time has now come for us in Africa to move on even further to deepen our democracy. It is time to make sure that we have genuine separation of powers between the various arms of government,” he said.
The President continued, “Our Parliaments, the legislative arms of government, must grow into their proper roles as effective machineries for accountability and oversight of their Executives. Our Judiciaries must also inspire confidence in the citizens, so we can all see the courts as ultimate, impartial arbiters when disputes arise, as they would.”
President Akufo-Addo noted that it is only when Africa’s public institutions are working as they should, that “we would be able to confront and deal effectively with the canker of corruption, which has been the bane of our development.”
He applauded the systematic targeting of corruption by the administration of Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, adding that it deserves the support of all well-meaning Nigerians and Africans.
“It is early days yet, but our institutions are growing, and the self-confidence of our people is become manifest. I dare say that we are even beginning to accept that a political party can lose an election with grace, and serve with honour in opposition,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo was confident that “if we stop being beggars, govern ourselves intelligently and honestly in freedom, and spend Africa’s monies inside the continent, Africa would not need to ask for respect from anyone. We would get the respect we deserve.”
He was confident that “stable democracies in Africa can help unleash energies to drive the transformation of the continent. There is a lot of talk that this will be the Asian century, the Chinese century - but take it from me: the 21st century holds excellent prospects for Africa. This can be Africa’s century. We can claim it, if we believe in ourselves.”