Your Excellencies,I am honoured to be here today, on the 60th anniversary of Ghana’s independence, and on the anniversary of the beginning of Africa’s era of redemption. It is with great pride that I address you as a representative of a nation which was once the pioneer of African freedom and set Africa on a path to global recognition. We are grateful that leaders of this free continent have been able to join us on this historic day.Today, I stand here, not as a citizen of Ghana, but as a citizen of Africa. Together with you all, I would like to celebrate this privilege and reiterate and reinterpret, President Kwame N’Krumah’s vision of a united and prosperous Africa.On May 24, 1963, President N’krumah called for unity amongst us all in the face of imperialism.
By saying “We must unite or perish” he echoed the urgency of the union of African states at the time. But today the world is encountering new threats to global peace and hindrances to the progress of mankind.In the 21st century, the world wakes up to news of commencing conflicts, the expanding scope of terrorism, climate change disasters like “Hurricane Irma” in the United States and losses of life. These events are evolving and intensifying by the second. Antics unfolding in the middle east are now approaching our lands. We need to unite to ensure their dismissal and to guarantee the protection of our governance, our people, and our shared heritage.
It is no more the era, where we can rely on aid and moderation from our powerful allies like the United States of America, the French Republic, and the United Kingdom. We must resort to our solidarity.In my opinion in modern day Africa, utopia is necessary, not as mere hopeful thinking but as willed action. Utopia is the only place from which the discourse of catastrophe that has been undermining Africa can be countered, the only place from which our unfortunate colonial history can be subverted.
Today, I would like to share with you my utopian vision for Africa.I want to see an Africa that is liberated from internal strife, strife that places a burden on us all, strife that creates enmity, strife that robs Africa of her glory and strife that leads to a loss of humanity, preventive of an Orwellian reality. By 2025, I would like to see a continent with a common currency and open borders without states having to necessarily sacrifice their sovereignties, one powerhouse is more efficient than 54 fragments of it. I would like to see free and equal education afforded to the resources and leaders of the future. It is my desire to achieve free healthcare for all African citizens, whether male or female or whether a child or an elder by 2020. Having over 70% of all mineral and agricultural commodities being processed within the borders of Africa itself and boosts in trade amongst each other will be ideal. I want Africa to be renowned worldwide for its values of democracy and justice and I want an Africa in which all genders possess equitable rights and opportunities, may they be in policymaking as well.This is only possible if we unite and march together in an orchestrated harmony.
I believe it is time for Africa to hold its rightful place on the world stage. This Africa will not be a pawn for imperialists and it will refuse to violate its ideals. This Africa will be honest to itself and to the world, and this Africa will shed its cloak of ambiguity, and become a united global power.Uniting will not only allow us to protect ourselves but will, with enough hard work, make us rebuild Africa and achieve total and complete prosperity. President N’krumah believed that “our economic independence resides in our African union”, and that “It is only by uniting our productive capacity and the resultant production that we can amass capital”.It is and should be our sole duty to what is best for Africa. We must fall not into the temptation of self-interest, but for the greater good of this magnificent continent that holds our common history, our shared struggles, and shared resources.
When there remains no enemy within, no force in the world can inflict harm upon us. We may not all be the same in culture and may possess differences. To persevere we must respect these differences and learn from these differences.In the quest for unity and peace, we should not blind ourselves and expect to be all the same, as long as we speak with one voice, we can make Africa, the land of our aspirations.”Unless we do this by our concerted efforts, within the framework of our combined planning, we shall not progress at the tempo demanded by today’s events and the mood of our people.
The symptoms of our troubles will grow, and the troubles themselves become chronic” was President Kwame’s vision. If we fail to unite, we will be` paving the way for more division amongst us and will be charting Africa on an incorrigible course of assured destruction.We should choose not to solely “believe” in the cause of unity, but to actively represent it and fight for it and vow never to slacken, never to give up and never to tire in our capacities as beholders of this great continent.Thank you.