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Speech From Boni Yayi 2012

Speech of the Executive President of the African Union
His Excellency Mr. Boni Yayi for the Africa Day Celebration 25th May 2012
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today May 25th 2012, the whole Africa celebrates the 49th birthday of the foundation of the Organisation of the African Union, visionary project made by courageous men and loving freedom, peace and justice values.
This is an opportunity for us to reiterate our gratitude to these founder fathers, who have sacrificed so much to pave the way which led to liberation of the continent and laying the bases of its economical, social, political and cultural development.
49 years later I would be remiss not to remind to the good memory of all Africans the individual and collective successes, as well as the optimism and the pride of these great men, unknown by the general public.
The duty of memory that is the celebration of the Africa Day each year offers the opportunity to keep Africa and Africans awake in order to face positively and efficiently the challenges, more and more multiple and diverse which litter the path of development, peace, equity, democratic and economic governance of the continent.
We must seize this opportunity to think to the role that is ours, since our precursors have played their partition at peril of their own lives.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year the celebration of the African Day coincides with the inaugural World Summit on the African Diaspora. I am therefore particularly pleased and honoured to talk to participants of this Forum to recall the important awaited role of the African Diaspora for the building of a united Africa, blossomed and prosper. I would like to recall that the Africans of the Diaspora have a place of choice in their brothers and sisters’ heart as well as in the definition of strategies for the construction of a new Africa.
The Forum of the Diaspora in this year 2012, held under the double sign of shared values of the African Union and reactivation of the intra-African trade, as decided by the Heads of State and Government of the Union, recalls how important it is to consolidate these values which relate to peace, solidarity, mutual help, development, etc.
Having consider the challenges which the continent face to, inspired by waves of protest and change that we consider as normal process for improvement of our governance systems based formally on equity and sense of responsibility: the resurgence of conflicts generated by electoral protests; the tendency to confiscate power by non-consensual modifications of Constitutions; coup d’état or attempts to seize power by force; refusal for alternating or to accept population’s choice and also recent popular movements in North Africa, African leaders agreed to set up appropriate mechanisms in order to reinforce democracy and State of law in Africa, add credibility to our institutions and improve our economical and social environment.
This political will was translated by the adoption of important instruments and mechanisms like the African Charter for Democracy, elections and governance that came into force on 15 February 2012, African Architecture for Governance, the African Charter of Values and Principles of public Service and for Administration in Africa. The African Mechanism of Evaluation by the “Peers” (MAEP) etc. which are number of initiatives having raised so much hope and waiting before the African opinion, because of grave failures in governance matter, local development, participatory democracy, as well as rights and civil liberties and politics.
The promulgation of these instruments is even more important as they are anchored around shared values of the African Union, which constitute the third pillar of the strategic Plan of the Commission for period 2009-2012. The need of a structuring dialog for development governance in Africa is in particular at the heart of the African Architecture of Governance and for its instrument of action that is the African Platform for Governance.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I cannot ignore the dedicated theme by the African Union this year 2012, notably intra-African trade.
This subject places us not only at the centre of our concerns, expectations, and also hopes, as well as it reminds us constantly notions of competitiveness, harmonization, but also modernisation of our strategic planning.
In a world increasingly interdependent the global and transversal character of challenges that humanity is facing requires that the African Union speeds up the establishment of the African Economic Community.
Therefore policy and economy makers, African civil societies and our brothers and sisters from the African Diaspora must act in solidarity for the reinforcement and consolidation of Regional Economic Communities (CER) which are the pillars for the fulfilment of objectives of the African Economic Community.
There are five (05) Regional Economic Communities in Africa. But these regional blocks are struggling in creating co-prosperity because the commercial integration is insufficient. The intra-African trade is too weak. Obstacles to intra-African trade are numerous: costs of transport, energy, fragmented markets, customs barriers, etc.
Today cumulative effects of financial and economic crises create another challenge to Africa. Regional integration is one of the answers to that crisis through the creation of real regional markets. That objective can only be fulfilled with the construction of number of basic infrastructures.
We are still convinced that trade remains a political instrument which allows growth and development. Therefore the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the African Union decided to make every effort for accelerating vital African integration programmes for our economies.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In order to weigh at the international level and to be recognized as a full partner with credibility, our dear Continent must undergo political, structural and economical transformations. In that perspective we must start acting with an acute sense of responsibility to deconstruct political and economical models inherited from past to which a new economical endogenous order must be built, based on the three pillars that are democracy, national and continental collective autonomy and rehabilitation of a social democratic endogenous order.
The tragic past that our continent has suffered through slavery, colonization and inclinations of pernicious and sneaky domination of external forces must enlighten us on the appropriate political and economical choices that we must make today. Our Apprehensions and anxieties for the future must teach us in relation to errors that we must avoid in the management of development process of our dear Africa.
I thank you for your attention.

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