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COVID19: Africa needs to reposition itself

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Emmanuel Bombande

Mr Emmanuel Bombande, a Senior UN Mediation Advisor, has called on African countries to coordinate its actions together in engaging global players as the world seeks measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

He said when Africa repositions itself better, it would be able to remain at the centre of the global negotiations table.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Monday, Mr Bombande, who is a former Deputy Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, said it is also important for African states to raise their voices on the issues about global justice, as well as to embark on diplomatic and political engagement with these global powers.
“In the international arena nothing happens if it is not happening around the negotiating table so you are going to see that the big players in the world, the United States, China and Europe- everybody is thinking about what measures they are taking to accelerate their economies and lessen the negative impact of COVID-19”.“Where was Africa at that global table: raising issues of global justice”, Mr Bombande said and urged Africa countries to strive to be at the negotiation table to increase its voice around the globe.

He said at the local level, countries should ensure that good governance, equality and justice continues to be respected at the country level, adding that these are some of the things that each government could do to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic does not erode progress made.

Mr Bombande said the one way that Africa could overcome its challenges was to go back and refer to the traditional African understanding, “sitting as a family to talk about confronting issues, the more you talk, the more creativity and innovations come out for you to have a consensus that brings everybody together”.

He said in the course of the year, many of the countries in Africa, including Ghana would be organizing elections, hence the need for coordination and consensus building rather than allowing conflicts and disagreements to erode the peace gained.

Mr Bombande urged African countries to endeavour to put mechanisms of fairness, equity and credible elections in place, so they could come out stronger and be better at responding to the impact of COVID-19.

“We have come from a long way and we should never allow ourselves to fall on the wayside and go back to the period in which our ancestors and those that fought for our independence struggle, lay their lives for us then.

“For us and our children the responsibility then is to create a better Africa for their future,” he said.

Source: GNA

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