By Omar Bah
Addressing the Liberian Independence celebrations on Wednesday, President Adama Barrow said Africa should maximise the use of her human and material resources for peace, development, prosperity, and better quality of life for its people.
“To achieve these, the need for cooperation and progress is obviously most urgent. Thus, as we call for unity and African integration, we must give priority to sustaining peace in the sub-region and the entire continent,” President Barrow said.
Further to this, he added, “we must use our resources more wisely and effectively for much faster development, better social services, and greater empowerment of our youth and women for self-reliance. Certainly, we will not attain these in the absence of peace, unity, and stability”.
“For Africa to protect its peace, there must be tolerance, discipline, and respect for the rule of law. In addition, we must embrace diversity as a strength. No country in the world is composed of one race or people. There is diversity everywhere in relation to race, color, religion, gender, and economic status. What we have in common is our humanity. This cuts across all boundaries and should, therefore, unite us,” he added.
As Africans, Barrow added, “we must take ownership of our development with courage and be strategic enough to overcome our multiple challenges”.
“I advise that we reflect further on what we could have achieved after so many years of Independence from colonial rule. How many years have we spent fighting one another, destroying our structures, and ruining our modest achievements?”
He said the need to rethink politics and raise awareness, love for country and devotion to service must not be taken for granted.
“If we redirect our energies positively, we will love one another, embrace Africa with pride, and quicken the pace of development for sustained prosperity.
“We are trapped in a world of crises, conflicts, and wars, which requires us to stand tall together. As Independent countries, free from colonial bondage for more than half a century, or more than a century as in this historic nation, the experience should teach us not to trap ourselves further in circles of divisions and disunity,” he noted.
President Barrow said he is encouraged and hopeful for a better Africa, because Africans are becoming politically mature enough to better understand global politics and its impact on the continent.
Turning to Liberian Independence, President Barrow said: “As you celebrate your National Day, I urge you to revisit your roles as Liberian citizens and reflect on how to pursue your development aspirations in a democratic environment. Unite against violence and terrorism to build a brighter future for every citizen. This is a task for all African nations to achieve.”