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Regional News of Friday, 6 March 2015

Source: GNA

Mahama challenges Pan Africanists to promote research

President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday appealed to Pan Africanists to promote research in all fields of endeavour to come out with better findings that would promote growth and integration.

He said as Pan Africanists, there was the need to promote research, especially in Science and Technology that could propel their development agenda to be at par with other continents.

President Mahama said this when he opened the 8th Pan African Congress in Accra.

The congress, which was also attended by President Thomas Yayi Boni of Benin, and Special envoys from Iran, Equatorial Guinea, Togo and Algeria, would among other issues, address the African integration programme.

The congress would also discuss programmes and policies that would empower Pan African countries to harness their natural resources for the benefit of all members throughout the world.

President Mahama also called on the Pan Africanists to invigorate their Secretariat and ensure that their ideals worked towards the growth of all Africans and those that shared their values.

The President was not happy that the secretariat caved in after their last congress in Kampala in1994, adding that, their activities, coupled with those of the African Union and the various Regional blocs could help in the development of the continent.

On regional integration, President Mahama said as a chairman of the continental free trade policy, he would use his administration to forge ahead for regional integration in the areas of trade and commerce.

President Mahama said the Economic Community of West African States was also making frantic efforts to consolidate the move by both English and French speaking countries in the region to have a common currency.

He said the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in some West African states was enough to encourage African integration, to be able to uniquely solve their own and common challenges.

President Mahama called on Pan Africanists to pursue the African unity initiated by the late Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Sekou Toure of Guinea, among other African leaders.

Major General Kahinde Otafine, the Chairman of the Pan African Movement called on African leaders to spearhead policies that would enable them to create wealth and jobs for Pan Africans through exploitation of available resources in the continent and beyond.

The adoption of the policies, he added, would also stem the movement of Africans to other continents for non-existent jobs.

He regretted that Africa had since not integrated although institutions such as the African Union and the African Parliament had been existent for some time now and called on the leaders to make use of the institutions to integrate the continent.

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