The Secretary of State for Tourism and Culture, Mrs. Angela Colley, has said that the issue of African Unity must be taken seriously.
The Tourism and Culture Secretary made this remark on Saturday at the opening ceremony of a one-day conference held at the Kanifing Municipal Council hall. The event is part of a public awareness campaign spearheaded by Global unification. The theme of the conference was “One voice, one action one Africa”.
In the view of Secy Angela Colley, among the benefits that a united Africa could bring about is the certain boost in economic growth and the resultant sustainable development on the continent. She enthused that the accomplishment of African unity would doubtless compel the rest of the world that the continent is very much in touch with the realities of the times.
For his part, Professor NF Awason of the University of The Gambia said that the theory of the union of Africa falls within the obvious, explaining that the boundaries that separate the constituent states were the result of the design conceived in the 1884/5 Benin West Africa Conference and that those divisions were not intended to benefit the continent but rather the metropolitan powers. He said that in Africa’s quest for unity there is need to be aware of the fact that there are many interested groups, parties and individuals outside the continent who are the real obstacles.
“The Union of Africa is ongoing like the movement of an ocean and nobody can stop it,” he asserted. He expressed the view that there is no significant difference between those who advocate for forthright unification and those who want a gradualist approach to the goal.
Speaking earlier, Ebrima S. Dem, National Representative of Global Unification, (GU) Chapter, said that the Gambia Chapter is under the auspices of Global Unification Africa. Mr. Dem focused on giving support to the Africa, Union to realize its objectives to the people. He gave a brief history of the GU, which he said was initiated on 1st November 2004 in Australia by Late Patrick Surrey.
“The association has the sole objective of bringing together civil society organizations, youth groups, NGOs, government and people of the grassroots for the common objective of championing the cause of humanity. He thanked Action Aid, People’s Bureau of the great Libyan Arab Jamahiriyya, Gamwater, Youth Monument Bar and all those who contributed to the success of the campaign.
Mr Halifa Sallah for his part said that the issue of a federation presupposes the principle of collective sovereignty whereby nations do not lose sovereignty but rather gain. “By being part of a whole you can now have a voice to determine what happens in the whole.
You now have a voice on what happens in Nigeria, what happens in South Africa, what happens in all parts of the continent” he noted.
Deputizing for the Managing Director of Daily Observer newspaper, Dr. Sarja Tall, Mr. Hassan Sallah said: “We must realize that Africa is one single continent with one people despite our diverse cultures.” He therefore called on Africans to be of one voice on the issue.