By Pay Wahun (Edited by Pormasu Tamkorfai)…..
Of all the UN speeches delivered by African leaders at the just concluded UN 71 General Assembly Meeting, Ghanaian President Mahama speech resonates with Africans all over the world.
In his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 21, 2016, President Mahama vehemently noted;
“Africa does not need your sympathy or Overseas Development Assistance. Africa needs a fair chance to trade with the rest of the world.”
According to him, one of the underlying factors behind the migration crisis affecting the continent and troubling Europe was the lack of fairness in trade. This he said forces many youth in sub Saharan Africa to sell off their investments and try seeking greener pastures across the ocean.
‘Some of the young Africans who hazard the desert and Mediterranean Sea to cross to Europe from my country are young poultry farmers or other entrepreneurs who sell their shops and undertake the journey because they can no longer compete with the tons of frozen chicken dumped on African markets annually, or the adverse business environment they have to face,’‘Mahama said.
“We have the resources in this world to guarantee each person a decent life,” he insisted pointing out that Africa was up to the task of taking care of itself.
He recalled how the European Union, in trying to curb unregulated migration, had created an emergency fund of 1.8 billion Euros in Valetta, he added that with land, natural resources and youthful labour to Africa’s advantage, there was a need to reset the trade relations to allow Africa to compete with the west.
‘‘Removing subsidies to farmers of the advanced world would create an even playing field for African farmers to compete. Removing revenue and non-revenue barriers to African produce would give African agriculture a fighting chance.
‘‘We can achieve a lot in collaboration with the rest of the world and yet we must realize that a lot rests within our own capacity to achieve as Africans, ’he added.
After his presentation, he shared a video on his Facebook wall, where he is seen receiving congratulations from UN staff who according to him, were impressed by the content of his presentation.