Roundup: African leaders pledge support towards sustainability agenda
by Christine Lagat
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, June 26 (Xinhua) -- African heads of state and government who met at the AU summit here Thursday renewed their commitment towards realization of a new era of peace, stability and shared prosperity.
Presidents, diplomats and foreign dignitaries agreed that Africa must address poverty, inequality, environmental depletion, conflicts and transboundary crimes to achieve renaissance.
President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, stressed in his opening remarks that African leaders have resolved to lead the fight against deprivation, disease, illiteracy and climate change.
"A huge presence of African leaders in this summit demonstrates our collective resolve to solve our modern day challenges. Nations all over the world are searching for solution to financial crises and climate change and Africa cannot be on the sidelines," Obiang told the leaders.
He was the host of the 23rd AU heads of state summit that focussed on the theme of agriculture transformation and food security.
Obiang challenged leaders to adopt radical measures that would accelerate sustainable development in Africa.
As part of solution to Africa's under-development, Mbasogo proposed robust investments in agriculture, infrastructure and education.
Obiang noted that public private partnerships will boost agricultural transformation, infrastructure development and provision of basic services.
He challenged leaders to prioritize the fight against climate change, armed conflicts and terrorism to realize new growth.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed Africa's current socioeconomic transformation.
He noted that most African nations have experienced economic growth, political stability and progress towards realization of millennium development goals.
"The United Nations is proud to be a key partner in Africa's transformation. We are committed to your goal of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena," said the UN chief.
He urged countries to invest in programs that promote shared prosperity.
The Chairman of African Union and President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, said that leaders have commenced dialogue to chart a new beginning based on good governance, promotion of unity and peace.
Abdel Aziz emphasized the need for African countries to craft new strategies to defeat the scourges of hunger, disease and conflicts.
"We have resources that can be harnessed to realize prosperity. Countries should implement sound macroeconomic policies to trigger growth," said the president of Mauritania.
He noted that the Agenda 2063 on Africa's transformation has gained traction among citizens and their rulers.
The president of Mauritania noted that Africa's vast arable land can be utilized to eradicate hunger and malnutrition.
"Agriculture contributes one third of gross domestic product in many countries. It will help address poverty, unemployment and health complications," remarked Abdel Aziz.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-sisi noted that Africa is the continent of hope.
"The fact that African countries have attained rates of growth surpassing the global average despite economic and financial crises, is a testament to the richness of our societies and the abundance of our human resources," El-sisi told African leaders.
He stressed that investments in strategic sectors of the economy including agriculture will lift millions from poverty.
Chairperson of the AU commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that countries have focussed on programs that have the potential to catalyze an African renaissance.