President Ernest Bai Koroma yesterday presented a report on the committee of ten as chairman of that committee to the meeting of Heads of States of the African Union in Sirte Libya.
As the 13th Ordinary Session of the assembly of the African Union started, the UN Under Secretary General Dr Asah said that Africa faces challenges on several fronts, saying that the world remains gripped in the most severe economic crisis in 60years.
She said that food and fuel prices remain high and volatile pointing out that climate change is growing more pronounced. The deputy UN boss said that the progress towards the millennium development goals remains too slow, noting that the scourge of non constitutional changes in authority is returning just when the thought that this was a thing of the past. She intimated that violent conflicts continue to imperil the lives of millions saying that the challenges demand resolute action from all of them.
Dr. Asah clearly spelt out that the meeting was at a critical time when more than half of all Africans currently lived in extreme poverty. She said that they must use the summit to mobilise action to protect the poorest and most vulnerable and prevent more from joining the ranks. She also said that since the earliest days agriculture has been the corner stone of development in every region, not just Africa. Although the share of Africans living in urban areas has doubled since 1965, she went on 70% of Africans still live in rural surroundings and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, most at subsistence levels. The UN deputy boss said that the benefits of investing in agriculture are clear pointing out that agricultural investments creates jobs, make economic growth more durable and increase food and nutritional security.
Officially opening the summit The Libyan leader and chairman of the African Union Col. Muammar Qaddafi said that history will never forget the leading role he played to activate the role of the organisation of the African Union to modernise it’s institutions to compete with its regional and international counterparts in advanced countries.
He said that following strenuous efforts exerted for several years, he climaxed such a role by the Sirte declaration on the 9th of September 1999.
That declaration he stipulated established the AU and the holding the first of its summit in 2002. He pointed out that since then the African Union has adopted various integrating and unifying initiatives and ideas, reflecting the spirit of joint action by the continued development of the African system leading to the establishment of the African Union’s Authority in order to fulfill the aspired goal. By Cladius Beckley in Sirte, Libya.