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COVID-19 is a test for AU to advance development ---Foreign Minister

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayokor Botchwey has said the COVID-19 pandemic is another major test of the resolve of the African Union and its member states to advance development on the continent.

According to her, whiles dealing with the pandemic Africa cannot defer urgent actions on plans and programmes that would advance continental trade and development. 

“We must move ahead with the most ambitious steps towards Pan-African Integration with the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) ensuring it is operational as soon as possible”.
She was making a statement on the floor of the House to mark African Union day which was celebrated on Monday 25th May 2020.  

She indicated that it is very imperative to continue to keep alive efforts to drive the African agenda of security, peace and stability, democracy and human rights, and of women emancipation as well as protection of the environment.

Madam Ayokor Botchwey noted that global health emergency should under no circumstances derail the targeted efforts to silence the guns on the continent, as through Africa’s collective efforts and resilience that they can position Africa in the right place among the comity of nations.   

This year’s AU celebration day was on the theme, “Silencing the Guns creating conductive conditions for African’s Development”.    

In making a statement on the floor of the House, she further pointed out that African countries are applying technology and innovation to unleash great potentials for its development as well as addressing the challenges of climate change.  

One of the cardinal objectives of the African leaders in 2020 has been to operationalise the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) by July 1 this year to begin the continental trade. 

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/

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