29th May 2013. General Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said that while Africans forge ahead with “a new narrative” for their continent, the United Nations will support them as they faced any challenges that remain on the path towards a prosperous future.
In his message to mark Africa Day, which commemorates the founding in 1963 of the Organization of African Unity, now known as the African Union (AU), Mr. Ban acknowledged that over the past decade, the continent had witnessed “unprecedented progress,” largely at the hands of the AU.
Over the years African states have been key in championing development and bringing out peace and security in some countries including Liberia, Siera Leone, Somalia. In Somalia western companies tried and failed to bring about peace. However, lead by Uganda, African countries have been able to stabilize the country for now.
“The launch of the AU’s Partnership for Africa’s Development and Peer Review Mechanism has helped to advance economic, social, political and institutional reforms,” he stated, referring to the self-monitoring mechanism by which participating African nations promote and re-enforce high standards of governance.
“Similarly, the African Union is playing an increasingly more dynamic leadership role in preventing, managing, and resolving Africa’s conflicts through its revamped Peace and Security Architecture,” Mr. Ban added, while noting that many countries were also seeking to energize their private sectors.
The Secretary-General pointed out, however, that despite Africa’s gains and achievements, “numerous and serious challenges remain including conflict, environmental degradation, and the need for strengthened infrastructure and institutions.”
“We must accelerate efforts towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), from maternal health to HIV/AIDS, and keep Africa’s needs and aspirations front and centre in discussion on the post-2015 development agenda,” he continued.
Mr. Ban declared that while Africans forge ahead with “a new narrative” for their continent’s future, the United Nations would support them along the way.
“The United Nations will proudly continue to work in partnership with the African Union and the peoples of Africa to help build a continent of opportunity and hope for all,” he concluded.
He reiterated the UN’s support for the continent and praised it for its efforts to improve the lives of its citizens.
“I see a rising Africa rising to the challenges,” he said. “There is no problem in Africa that cannot be solved by the potential of Africa.”