23 July 2015

Africa: Continent Is Stronger When United - Mugabe

Malabo — African Union and SADC chairperson, President Mugabe has called on the continent's leaders to unite against their common enemy if Africa is to succeed. He also implored the media on the continent to be progressive and not be abused by Western powers to castigate and despise African leaders.

President Mugabe, who has received rave reviews across Africa for his Pan-Africanist stance, made the call as he closed the International Conference on Africa's fight against Ebola in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on Tuesday evening.

He said the unity that Africa has shown in the fight against Ebola must transcend to other developmental projects.

"As for us the African leadership, we are challenged to take note of lessons learnt and roll from the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa," he said.

"One of these enduring lessons is that Africa is strong when united, working together and in collaboration. I would want to say when it is attacked, it is strong, when it is not attacked it is weak.

"Africa is stronger when it engenders the spirit of solidarity and Pan-Africanism. But it is extremely weak when narrow and parochial interest take centre stage."

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said Africa had enough resources to cater for its citizens.

AfricaHe said there was need to continue fostering collaboration and partnership in the whole of Africa if the continent is to succeed.

At a press conference later, President Mugabe said the African media must propagate the African agenda and not parrot Western ideologies that despise the continent's leaders.

"They don't do that to their own leaders. But they make you despise us, they make you destroy our images in the press and when you do that, are you being an African?

"Yes, we may make mistakes, but our elders have always said whatever wrongs we do in our families, we discuss them in our families.

"We don't want to expose them to the outsiders.

"But this is what our journalists are doing. Everywhere, it's not just here. It's everywhere. South Africa is the same, Zimbabwe is the same. So don't do that! Be one with your own people. You have a cause to fight and I ask you to uphold that cause," said President Mugabe.

He also hailed African governments and the corporate sector for standing together in fighting Ebola.

"We are most grateful for all your generosity and selfless gesture. We would like to assure you that each and every cent counts and will go a long way in alleviating the suffering of our brothers and sisters and hasten the actualisation of the recovery initiatives articulated at this conference and at the same time eradicate the disease.

"We urge the African private sector to continue with this relationship in other continental causes as we begin implementing the first 10-year plan of Africa Agenda 2063 the blueprint for Africa's march towards peaceful, prosperous and united continent," he said.

He said some of the resolutions of the conference had far-reaching benefits to Africa in general and the three affected countries -- Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in particular.

Some of the resolutions include mobilisation and advocacy for cancellation of external debt on the three countries.

The mobilisation of resources for the three countries would also continue while the speeding up of the establishment of the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention would also be high on the resolutions.

President Mugabe said the Centre was expected to facilitate research and production of vital drugs, vital vaccines and early diagnosis of virulent diseases in Africa.

"I have reason to be confident that the measures that we have collectively crafted will expedite the recovery of the livelihoods of people affected by this epidemic.

"The measures should help our brothers and sisters to restore normalcy in the education sector, help farmers to once again till their pieces of land and help entrepreneurs to open their small businesses and for people to regain once more, their lost confidence.

"International commercial activities disrupted by the Ebola outbreak should soon be fully restored," said President Mugabe.

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