Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, says human and social capital are significant factors for growth and key to Africa’s overall development.
She said human and social capital empowered and instilled in the populace the requisite capacities, skills and knowledge geared towards the improvement of the lives and livelihoods of the individual.
That, she stated, led to higher earnings and consequently, improvement of the lives and livelihoods of the growth and prosperity of member countries, especially with particular emphasis on the lives of vulnerable women, adolescents and children.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey, was speaking at a flag-raising ceremony on Wednesday to commemorate African Union (AU) Day on the theme: “Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent: Strengthening Agro-Food Systems, Health and Social Protection System for the Acceleration of Human, Social and Economic Capital Development.”
The Organisation of African Union (OAU) now AU, was formed in 1963 to rid the African continent of the remaining vestiges of colonialism and ensure the complete political emancipation of the African people.
It had as its main goal, the promotion of unity and solidarity amongst African States, through drawing on the collective strength of its members in protecting and safeguarding the territorial integrity of the Member States.
In 2002, the OAU was transformed into the African Union and was officially launched with the vision of achieving “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.”
The Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister said the food security challenges Africa faced as it grappled with the impacts of climate, COVID-19 and conflict in Europe, showed how important it was for African States to work together to implement the African Common Position for Sustainable Food Systems.
She noted that there was a need for African States to put in measures to address primary health care issues, while expanding access to quality health care to improve health outcomes for all Africans and promote the quality of life of Africans.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey stated that the spirit of African independence and progress had to drive efforts to eliminate all forms of inhumane conditions such as malnutrition, poor housing and health, as well as improve access to energy for domestic and industrial use across the continent.
Fortunately, she explained, that those recommendations were in line with the AU Nutrition Year for 2022 aimed at securing greater political commitment and investment in nutrition to address the ongoing challenges.
The Minister, therefore, said it was important that all Member States promoted the linkage between nutrition and agriculture by investing more in food systems and fertilizer production among others to ensure food security.
She urged all AU Member States to garner the requisite political will in assisting the AU to work towards the successful implementation of Agenda 2063 and in delivering “The Africa We Want.”
Mr Pingrenoma Zagre, Dean of the AU Head of Mission in Ghana, commended Ghana for hosting the Secretariat of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to create a single market for goods and services to deepen the economic integration of Africa.
Mr Zagre, also the Ambassador of the Republic of Burkina Faso, further commended President Akufo-Addo for successfully spearheading the affairs of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) – a building block of African Union.
“It is our hope that peace and stability will return to the entire West African region, he said.
The flag-hoisting ceremony was attended by the Diplomatic Corps, government officials, students and a troop from the Ghana Armed Forces who hoisted the Ghana and AU flag amid a band march.