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“The 3rd Africa-Arab Summit is a unique partnership for growth and progress that must be seized upon”

“The 3rd Africa-Arab Summit is a unique partnership for growth and progress that must be seized upon”

KUWAIT CITY, Banyan Palace; President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma’s has today November 20th called for collective action for the development of agriculture, trade and culture between African and Arab countries. He made this plea on the occasion of the 3rd Africa-Arab Summit held in the beautiful city of Kuwait.

Please read below full speech delivered by President Koroma during closed session 2 co-chaired by His Highness Sheikh Sabah A-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait and H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Chairperson of the African Union Summit.

By Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone

Let me on behalf of the People of Sierra Leone, and in my own name, register our profound appreciation for the wonderful and brotherly hospitality accorded my delegation and I by the Amir of the State of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Government and People of the State of Kuwait.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Africa’s historic relationship with the Arab world dates back thousands of years and this summit is therefore, in a sense, a meeting of brothers and sisters, and it is always great for brothers and sisters to meet regularly to discuss not only issues affecting the family, but also global matters that call for the galvanizing of our common values, and our shared aspirations.

It is against this backdrop that we felt so elated at the revival of the African-Arab Summit in Sirte, Libya in 2010. That is why we are also here today to exchange ideas and path the ways on how we could collectively energize our actions for the development of agriculture, trade and culture in our common regions. Indeed, this is a unique partnership for growth and progress that must be seized upon.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, this is an alliance for peaceful co-existence which must be strengthened, and it is an engagement for the expansion of our common values of Islam, tolerance and good governance. This is where I am pleased that we have already established a framework that is the Africa-Arab Joint Action Plan 2011-2016 to ensure that we achieve these objectives. It is time to act now.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Africa is as much a center of Arab cultural achievements as the Arabian Peninsula, and as Africans, we are proud to be integral contributors to the flowering of these achievements. That is why we believe that very serious consideration should be given to reviving the African-Arab Cultural Institute to lead cultural exchanges between and among our respective countries.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Africa is on the rise and it has designed and currently implementing the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) to help us achieve food security.

Our continental organization, the African Union is stronger than ever before in leading our efforts at peace and security. My country has contributed troops to maintain peace and security in Africa including in countries like Somalia and Sudan, to mention a few.

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, we are not oblivious of the challenges that come with the maintenance of peace and security for development. But the battle for peace, security and good governance must be seen to triumph over the current security challenges in Africa and in the Arab world.

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, as Chairman of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government at the African Union, it is thus my appeal that this gathering of family of brotherly states will stand very firmly by Africa as we promote Africa’s common position on the reform of the United Nations Security Council, as defined in the Ezulwini and Sirte Declarations.

Indeed, Africa’s unity and Africa’s voice in the international community are deeply rooted in our collective efforts to achieve these ambitions thereby correcting the injustice meted out on Africa. This is where I call on all to seek in ensuring equity, mutual respect and mutual trust within the United Nations.

In conclusion, Your Highnesses, Head of States and Government, I am with the fervent hope and belief that the outcome of this summit will serve the aspirations of our peoples.

I thank you very much for your kind attention.

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