Feature Article of Thursday, 2 February 2012
Columnist: Akomfrah, Nii Armah
Samia Yaba Nkrumah Chairperson of the CPP was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the unveiling of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s statue in Addis Ababa. This historic event was part of the activities marking the 18th Summit of African Heads of State at the African Union, January 28th 2012. She was accompanied by her elder brother Professor Francis Nkrumah. The guest of honour for the occasion was the President of Ghana, Professor John Atta Mills amidst many dignitaries. It was an event that was both solemn and celebratory with all Heads of States present looking on in admiration. For many on the African continent placing Nkrumah’s statue in front of the headquarters of the African Union (AU) means the recognition of his ideas for a greater and integrated Africa, and his great role as the chief strategist on the liberation of Africa.
Speaking to journalists and the media after the event, the CPP Leader said, “the theme for this 18th Summit “increasing intra-African trade” makes this occasion even more significant. Today, there is strong consensus among African leaders and thinkers that regional integration is indispensable for unlocking economies of scale and sharpening competitiveness. This she said was in recognition of the fact that the African market of one billion consumers can be a powerful engine for growth and employment, promoting intra-African trade has emerged as a top priority. However, despite the introduction of free trade areas, customs unions, and common markets within the Region, the level of intra-African trade remains among the lowest in the world -- only about 10% of African trade is within the continent, compared to about 40% in North America and about 60% in Western Europe.
The CPP leader went on to say “I believe we are in agreement that what will transform Africa's potential in the end is pan-continental trade, underpinned by concrete and substantial agreements. With many African countries on the point of making the transition from dependence to sustained growth, intra-African trade is the golden key. A strong and unified voice in global trade would mean Africa can deliver a better deal for its citizens, and be a significant driver of growth for the world in the era ahead. The greatest honour and everlasting tribute we can pay this great son of Africa is the realisation of his dream - integration of the African economy on a continental scale to deliver greater prosperity for all of our people.
This challenge falls to our generation of leaders. For too long the borders of our nations have been allowed to hold Africa’s people back. We believe it is time to make African free trade the common purpose of the continent. To set Africa on a path to prosperity and stability would be a wonderful legacy for the founding fathers of the African Union”
Nearly five decades ago, Dr Kwame Nkrumah wrote "Indeed, the total integration of the African economy on a continental scale is the only way in which the African states can achieve anything like the levels of the industrialised countries. The idea of African union is not just a sentimental one, emanating from a common experience of colonialism and a desire for young, untried states to come together in the effervescence their new freedom though sentiment undoubtedly has its part. The unity of the countries of Africa is an indispensable precondition for the speediest and fullest development, not only of the totality of the continent but of the individual countries linked together in the union"
The Legacy of Nkrumah is continued by the CPP and translates into the CPP’s plans for Ghana:
1.0 To organize our economy away from external
dependency, with a policy of National Self-Reliance, and the use of our natural resources and local technology in:
2.0. Ghana has the capacity to feed itself, and a capacity for an industrial revolution
- Local talent waits to be mobilised for this purpose.
3.0 The need to diversify our export earnings
4. 0 The need to add value to agriculture through more processing.
5.0 The need for employment oriented-economic development.
6.0 The need for linkages in our regions between local produce and manufacturing.
7.0 The strengthening of indigenous contractors to increase participation in construction.
The CPP is deeply honoured that the founder of our great party has received such respect by all of Africa. It is time now for all of us as Ghanaians to embrace his legacy and ideals.
Nii Armah Akomfrah
Director of Communication