Show strong leadership in Africa – Politicians advised

Baroness Valerie Amos, the Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London has admonished Ghanaian politicians to show strong leadership in Africa.

“You can learn from our mistakes, remember to put the people first, tackling domestic challenges is key, that gives you a consensus lead to continue to play significant role in global affairs, bilaterally and multilaterally.

“The continent needs an engaged and strong Ghana, my message to you, go for it,” Baroness Amos stated in a speech at the maiden lecture series of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) – Ghana in Accra.

The CFR – Ghana, which is a think tank on the country’s foreign policy and international relations, is modeled on well-established think tanks such as the Council of Foreign Relations in the United States and the Chatham House in the United Kingdom.

Speaking on the topic: ‘Does the retreat from multilateralism create new opportunities for the African continent?’ Madam Amos indicated that a major power interest might not be the global interest but the African Union had set up an aspiration in its 2063 Agenda.

“One thing, I am confident about is the Africa region has opportunity to learn lessons from what was happening elsewhere, can go beyond its own challenges to shape bold innovative models, partnership and cooperation for the future.

“China through its support programmes for socio-economic development of other countries has positioned itself as a global power, France President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to invest 2.5 billion Euros ($2.8 billion) in Africa by financing and supporting start-ups and small to medium-sized enterprises by 2022,” she disclosed.

Baroness Amos, who is also a British diplomat and politician, touched on the United States’ President Donald Trump’s trade protectionism policy and his recognition of the Golan Height as part of Israel and its implementation for the rest of the world.

“They include a prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth, sustainable development, integrated continent, politically united, based on ideals of Pan Africanism, vision of Africa’s Renaissance, good governance, democracy, human rights, justice, rule of law and an Africa as strong, united, resilient, influential global player and partner,” she stressed.

On the implications for Africa should Britain withdraw from the European Union (EU), Madam Baroness Amos said Brexit would of course have some impact on development on the African continent; adding that “but I don’t think it is as much as people feel”.

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration observed that CFR- Ghana, would make their work a lot easier by giving them the knowledge that they required, take a good look at what Ghana’s foreign policy is and what direction to take.

Daniel Osei, President of CFR- Ghana, said the objective of the Council was to attempt to build a bridge between foreign policy and domestic policy. –GNA

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