Message of His Excellency Denis Sassou-N'Guesso, President of
the Republic of Congo, Chairperson of the African Union, on the occasion of the
Celebration of Africa Day
Peoples of Africa,
To be African in the
fullest sense of the word is a noble and inspiring feeling, which we should glorify
each day and forever.
For this reason, this year, the commemoration of 25
May, Africa Day, is placed under the theme: "Working together for integration
It is therefore under this presage and also under
the sign of new certainties and new convictions bearing the stamp of renaissance
that we celebrate this glorious day of our Continent's history.
As the embodiment
of these new certainties and convictions, the African Union came into being as
eloquent proof of the will of African peoples to turn the page: that of the Organization
of African Unity. A page in which a vast section of our Continent's history is
inscribed in letters of gold, that enlightens us about the heroic and multifaceted
liberation struggles of Africa under the yoke of colonization and apartheid, and
on the first steps towards the management of modern States.
Today, the context
has changed fundamentally, particularly with the coming of globalization and the
disappearance of ideological blocs. Having won political idependence and freedom,
Africa has resolutely embarked on the quest for its economic freedom.
recognition of these profound changes which have occurred in the world led the
African Union to endow itself with an ambitious development programme: NEPAD,
which on the whole, is a reflection of our determination and our readiness to
promote in a harmonious manner, the
economic and social development of Africa,
and to consolidate, while deriving maximum benefit from them, our cooperation
relations with all our partners.
It is to this end that we requested all
African Leaders who are chief executives of Regional Economic Communities, to
select from the list of projects identified within the NEPAD framework, a structuring
and integrating project for each Regional Economic Community
which will be
a symbol of our will to translate NEPAD into the concrete reality that the peoples
of Africa aspire to. It is therefore our duty, during our term, to seek various
forms of assistance from our partners for the effective implementation of these
At this juncture, I call on the G8 to ensure that Africa
and its integration and development projects are taken into account in global
In this regard, I welcome all the ties established between Africa
and its different partners such as the European Union, the United States of America,
China, Japan, South Korea, India, the United Nations and its systems as a whole,
and many others.
We firmly believe that the efforts we must make, particularly
to ensure the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, which are the pre-occupation
of Africa at the highest level, can count on the necessary support and assistance
from these different partners to honour the solemn commitments made by the international
community at the Millennium Summit.
We commend all the initiatives aimed
at seeking and mobilizing innovative funding for development, without which, as
we were given the opportunity to observe last year in New York, none of our noble
objectives will be attained within the set timeframe.
This is the sense,
and also the spirit of the action we have agreed to carry out in order to bring
about significant qualitative changes, so that Africa may change, transorm itself
and forge a more generous and productive future.
The promotion of women,
the problems of the youth, good governance, respect of human rights, democracy,
scrupulous management of the State, etc, have taken form in the vast majority
of our programmes, thus acting as a stimulus for our development efforts.
from international financial institutions show positive and encouraging trends
on this point. However, we must pursue our efforts so that the favourable growth
rates recorded should really reflect not only a general lasting trend but also
the well-being of our populations.
The well-being of the population entails
good health. We have to take strong, for-reaching actions, mainly to eradicate
pandemics such as HIC/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis which are plaguing Africa
We need to actively seek the substantial resources that will enable
us to achieve this goal. The aim is to harness massive, predictable, lasting and
innovating resources that are within reach.
These means and resources shall
come not only from the states themselves, but also from the international community
whose commitment to Africa we know.
Peace, above all, is essential for
the well-being of the population.
That is why we all must mobilize for peace
to become a concrete reality for all African people.
With calm reigning in
several hot spots, significant progress has been registered in this respect.
we still have to make efforts in very many areas.
Not only do we have to
lend support to the peace-building process in post-conflict countries, but we
also have to maintain our commitment so that from Somalia to Cote d'Ivoire, from
Sudan to Chad, peace and reconstruction can replace war, division and destruction.
Our common ambition, our common vision should be that Africa
may, in peace and unity, together with its partners and the international community,
forge ahead to higher heights so that all our States and all our people can live
in happiness and progress.
For this to happen, we must disentangle our continent
from the yoke of Afro-pessimism, short-lives, narrow-minded nationalism, suicidal
selfishness and illusions of prosperity which have caused some of our States to
become so individualistic, indifferent and disdainful of any
we want to be sure of today, and not to fear tomorrow, Africa must rely on its
available means and resources to become another land, an accomplished, mature,
and respected Africa.
That cannot be achieved without full
commitment to integration and development. Integration has to be perceived by
all not as an infringement of national unity but rather as a dynamic change bearing
the inherent elements of unity and intelligence for the future.
the task we should constantly strive for so that together, we can build a solid
edifice to which we are committed, heart and soul.
Long Live Africa.