President John Dramani Mahama has said the African has the potential to become the next rising continent if given a fair platform as other continents.
He said although the creation of a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by the African Union (AU) was commendable, the continent could chalk a lot of success if given the opportunity to trade fairly with the rest of the world.
Addressing the 71st UN General Assembly in New York, USA, President Mahama said the continent did not need sympathy nor overseas development assistance but a fair chance to trade with the rest of the world and amongst itself.
“Africa does not need your sympathy or Overseas Development Assistance. Africa needs a fair chance to trade with the rest of the world and amongst ourselves…Raising intra African trade alone from the paltry average of 15% will create better opportunities for Africa's youth,” he said.
President Mahama also noted that the challenge facing the continent at the moment was the failure by the West to acknowledge that the continent is made up of different countries with different goals and aspirations and therefore the need to be treated as such.
He said, “The mistake with Africa is that we are seen as a homogenous unit and treated as such, not taking cognizance that we are a whole continent with different aspirations, cultures, democracies and economic development.”
“Africa is a continent of 54 countries at different stages of progress and development. There must be room for us to make our mistakes and learn from them. Africa has the potential to be the next continent on the rise,” he added.