, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – Deputy President William Ruto has emphasized the need for increased intra-African Trade in the continent pointing out that this will boost individual country economies.
The deputy president said that this calls for unity among African states as each of them focuses on their strengths.
Speaking during the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the AU on Saturday in Nairobi, Ruto pointed out that this will reduce poverty and create new jobs especially for the youth across the continent
“We must as a continent work in concert to tear down all manner of barriers and walls that prevent trade in the continent,” he said.
“We must build world class infrastructure to facilitate the movement of goods and services across our continent. Our children must be multi-lingual so that we can eliminate the barrier of language and communication,” he outlined.
He further stated that Africa as a continent has a vast amount of resources that if well utilized can benefit every country.
“Working together, we can build on the success that we already have in this continent so that we can enhance Intra-Africa trade and ensure that we build on our strengths, harness the resources that we have so that we can grow the economies of this continent,” he said.
He also observed that good leadership is needed if Africa is to effectively harness its potential.
“I am very clear in my mind that the new frontier for economic growth, the new frontier for opportunity and success is the African continent. It is us in this continent to make sure that we provide the best leadership that will give the people of this continent opportunities to tap into the continents vast resources,” he said.
He stressed that African countries have no option but to unite.
“Working together so that we can achieve economic transformation of our continent is not an option. It is a must if we mean business, and I must quote Kwame Nkrumah when 50 years ago when he said, our objective is African Union now, there is no time to waste. We must unite now or perish,” he stated.
Ruto’s sentiments came as African leaders gathered for celebrations for the 50th jubilee of the continental bloc in Addis Ababa.
Mass dancing troupes are set to perform to some 10,000 guests in a giant hall in the Ethiopian capital, home to the African Union.
The 54-member AU is the successor of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), established amid the heady days as independence from colonial rule swept the continent in 1963.
African leaders are expected to be joined by French President Francois Hollande, China’s Vice Premier Wang Yang and US Secretary of State John Kerry.