Monday, June 03, 2013

Let's ensure prosperity is achieved by all - KK
By Larry Moonze
Fri 31 May 2013, 14:01 CAT

Dr Kenneth Kaunda says meaningful emancipation of Africa can only take place if the continent achieves social and economic development.

Addressing the Africa Day reception organised by African diplomats accredited to Canada at the Quebec Conference Centre on Wednesday evening, Dr Kaunda said the quest for liberty, self-determination and independence was inherent in all human beings.

He noted that African leaders at the celebrations of the golden jubilee of the African Union and its predecessor the Organisation of African Unity in Addis Ababa reaffirmed their commitment to the ideals of Pan Africanism, including commitment to efforts in addressing the root causes of conflict in order to make peace and stability a reality for the continent.

"I am pleased therefore that leaders pledged their commitment to economic progress and bold steps have been made towards the construction of a united and integrated Africa including through the implementation of the continental Free Trade Area and our commitment to place African people, in particular, women and youth as well as persons with disability at the centre of our efforts to eradicate poverty. We live in a global village and in this fast globalising world we need to work together to ensure that our people in Africa attain higher standards of living. Therefore, anchored in our determination to respect the rule of law, human rights and the dignity of our fellow human beings, let us ensure that prosperity is achieved by us all and that the vision of our union to build an integrated and prosperous and peaceful Africa is realised."

Earlier, Dr Kaunda was introduced to an ovation in the Senate.
Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella had to call the House to order to introduce Dr Kaunda which in itself was a first such procedure in a long time.

However, Dr Kaunda did not address the Senate.

Earlier, in the day Dr Kaunda met with Canadian foreign minister John Baird to whom he delivered a letter containing "goodwill message to Canadian Prime Minister… From President Michael Sata in which he thanked Canada for its huge industrial investment in Zambia."

President Sata called for more Canadian investment in Zambia.
So far, Canada has invested some US$6 billion in two mines in Zambia operated by First Quantum Minerals. This is Canada's biggest investment portfolio in Africa.

Dr Kaunda said it was a great pleasure to visit Canada, which was a strong member of the Commonwealth and one of the Group of 8 influential countries of the world.

He said he readily accepted the African diplomats' invitation to join them in commemorating the 50 years of African unity because of the special place that Canada held in the struggle against apartheid.

"I wish to pay special tribute therefore to my friend and colleague Honourable Brian Mulroney, the former prime minister of Canada, who did not shy away from tough and controversial decisions but seized the reigns in the Commonwealth and fought shoulder-to-shoulder with us his colleagues to help dismantle apartheid," Dr Kaunda said. "This therefore secured freedom and justice for our oppressed brothers in Southern Africa. To this end I salute you my dear friend and your great country, Canada."

He said during the colonial era, Africans lived in racially segregated countries.

Dr Kaunda said racism was practiced in all sectors of human development including in places of worship.

"When we talk about the formation of the OAU, one of the aspirations that we received as freedom fighters was during the independence of Ghana in 1957 which I was privileged to attend with other freedom fighters," he said.

"On that occasion we heard the founding president His Excellency Dr Kwame Nkrumah proclaim that the independence of Ghana was meaningless until the whole continent was liberated. Indeed, that was very inspirational. It gave us encouragement that no matter how long it took, independence was attainable."

Dr Kaunda said Africa had had a share of successes and challenges over the years.

"Looking back I can say as a people we have succeeded on many fronts," he said.

"The aspirations of the people to self-determination and independence have largely been met. Colonialism, oppression and apartheid in Africa have been eliminated. The OAU has been replaced by the African Union and there are still challenges that we face as a people of the great continent. Initially the people's aspirations were for freedom and liberty but that is more meaningful if it is complemented by a higher standard of living. In this day and age as we engage with other partners in business we need to prioritise the placing of our abundant natural resources at the disposal of African people in general."

Dr Kaunda called for policies that helped Africa add value to her raw materials to facilitate creation of wealth and jobs for the people.

"That is what the people of Africa are looking for, an integrated prosperous and peaceful Africa," said Dr Kaunda. "God bless our union."

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