The Observer (Kampala)

Africa: Continent Urged to Ditch Donors

The African Development bank has called on Africans to break free of foreign influence and be at the forefront of determining their future.

"We emphasize that Africa's challenge is economic transformation, which agenda should be led by Africans. To achieve this objective, we commit to explore all avenues for mobilizing sources of finance including tapping into Africa's own resources and global financial opportunities," the bank says in a statement.

The initiative faces steep funding challenges given that western institutions fund at least a quarter of many African nations' budgets. Africa also depends a lot on the European Union market. However, the continent managed to withstand some of the shocks from the EU's debt woes.

"We welcome the continent's resilience in the face of the recent global financial and economic crises but commit to further action with all relevant stakeholders to enhance Africa's economic independence, reduce vulnerability and diversify its relations within the global economy," the statement added.

The OAU/AU is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary in May this year. The statement asserted that "the time is ripe for a paradigm shift and a change in mindset towards realizing the vision of a continent that is integrated, prosperous and peaceful, and a dynamic force in the global arena."

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