, TRIPOLI, Libya, Nov 30 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka says Kenya and the African continent are keen to see a peaceful post referendum Sudan irrespective of the outcome of the January 2011 plebiscite.
He said Africa also wants the European Union to play an active role to help the people of Somalia reconstruct their country.
Mr Musyoka raised the issues during the 3rd African Union-European Union summit in Tripoli, Libya where he was presenting the position of IGAD and the African continent to the summit on the sub theme “peace and security.”
Mr Musyoka is leading Kenya’s delegation and is accompanied by acting Foreign Affairs Minister Prof George Saitoti, Immigration Assistant Minister Francis Baya and Wajir South MP Mohamed Sirat.
Africa will no longer be the scar on the conscience of the world, the VP noted. “We declare that the time for Africa to rise is now.”
Emphasising that the continent supports the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Sudan Mr Musyoka said: “We are therefore keen to see peace before, during and after the referendum to determine the fate of South Sudan in respect to the greater Sudan.”
Peace and security, he noted, were a key prerequisite for creating an enabling environment for sustainable development in the Horn of Africa.
“Kenya as the neighbour of Somalia feels the heat of instability there and urges the world to come together in partnership to restore this great African country.”
Mr Musyoka acknowledged that support from the EU through IGAD has helped the transitional federal government, boosted the process of reconciliation as well as helped broaden the political participation in Somalia.
He also lauded efforts which have culminated in the improvement of the security situation in the Great Lakes region.
“As the focus shifts to the post conflict reconstruction in the region I urge for targeted and coordinated policy intervention to enhance economic growth and avert future crises,” he added.
The summit brought together Heads of State and government from African and European countries including Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Robert Mugabe of Zimbambwe, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi, Ali Shein of Zanzibar as well as Prime Ministers of Italy, Spain Belgium, Denmark and Uganda among others.
The Prime Minister of Belgium Herman Van Rompuy, who is also the European Union current president said the greatest injustice is that hunger today affects mostly the poorest in the rural areas where the biggest potential for agricultural development is.
“We must break this vicious paradox,” he added. He said Belgium was committed to raising its development support in agricultural cooperation this year from 10 percent to 15 percent by the year 2015.
Mr Van Rompuy said small scale farmers especially women should be treated as real investors and discrimination against women in land ownership should be removed.
South African President Jacob Zuma said Africa has the potential to feed the entire world if it transforms its rural agriculture into efficient units of production.
The South African leader said the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) has put in place a programme to encourage investment in agriculture as a means for job creation and poverty eradication.
“The fight against poverty is a key component of the millennium development goals. Every indication is that Africa will not be able to achieve the millennium development goals by the year 2015. Failure by Africa to achieve the MDG’s amounts to failure by the world,” he added.