Diskussion über Themen der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (EZ) in/mit Westafrika einschließlich (und vor allem) der politischen sowie sozio-ökonomischen Bedingungen in den Ländern und was EZ bewirken kann -- oder auch nicht -- oder ob sie aber nicht sogar schadet. ACHTUNG: In Ermangelung von Kommentaren lediglich Beiträge zu EZ-Themen. _________________________________________________________________

15. Februar 2007

Kufour Urges International Solidarity

Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)
February 15, 2007

Ghanaian President John Kufour, who is also the current chairperson of the African Union, on Thursday urged the international community 'to show solidarity by assisting in the solution of the remaining conflicts on the continent'.

Speaking at the opening session of the France-Africa heads of state summit in the southern French town of Cannes, Kufour noted that the guns have fallen silent in a significant number of conflicts. Liberia, Burundi, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo were among those 'who have put the years of war behind them'. (...)

For Kufour, Africa's top priorities should be 'promoting democracy, good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law, intra-regional infrastructure projects, and bridging the digital divide'.

He was pleased that nowadays 'the majority of African leaders are democratically elected' and that average economic growth on the continent had risen to around six per cent a year (compared with an average of only four per cent a decade ago).

Kufour took a side swipe at the media for allegedly concentrating exclusively on 'doom and gloom' in Africa rather than 'the improvements that are under way'.

'Reports on corruption, crime and civil war should not be presented as if they are peculiarly African and exclusive to our continent, since they happen everywhere', he said. (...)

The German chancellor Angela Merkel was the only speaker in the opening session who mentioned the crisis in Zimbabwe - a country not represented at the summit, because of EU travel sanctions against President Robert Mugabe. Merkel denounced repression in Zimbabwe, and insisted 'the fight against poverty can only succeed when people live in peace and security'.

Recalling her own youth in what was then the German Democratic Republic (GDR), Merkel said that many of her generation never believed that the Berlin Wall would come down and they could set foot in the western half of Germany.

But the collapse of the Soviet bloc was proof that 'what seems to be insurmountable can be surmounted. We want to make this true for your continent too'.

(highliting by KDL)

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