, NEW YORK, Sept 25 — President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for building of stronger States in Africa that can withstand crises and respond to emergencies.
The President made the call when he spoke on threats facing Africa, ranging from terrorism, epidemics and instability in many countries.
The President used his maiden speech at the United Nations General Assembly to make a passionate plea to the UN member countries to work together to solve problems facing the continent and other parts of the world.
President Kenyatta said the Ebola outbreak in West Africa showed that Africa needs to focus on making States stronger with stable institutions so that they have the ability to serve and protect people.
He said State weakness in Africa comes from a history of wrong development paradigms.
“We must commit to build resilient and accountable states that can effectively respond to shocks, adversities and emergencies in the future,” he said.
The President said the old development model used in Africa for the last five decades has failed because it heavily relied on development assistance.
He said it was driven by external prescriptions heavy on political instructions but light on economic and social transformation or benefit.
“We now know that our social and economic transformation shall come first from within our nations, our region and our continent and only second from the compliment of external ideas and resources,” he said.
The President said the world cannot talk of a new era when hundreds of millions of people in the least developed countries are mired in poverty and diseases.
“I cannot emphasise this point enough. The scourge and shame of debilitating poverty, preventable diseases and chronic hunger must be erased from our global civilisation. In the development goals we have set ourselves, ……. a goal of 15 years to do so, we must not fail,” he said.
President Kenyatta said the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, with devastating effects, was not just a health tragedy but also an economic and security threat to the continent.
“Nothing in the immediate future requires a more urgent and determined response from the international community than the effort to stop and contain this devastating virus,” he said
The Head of State outlined his position on West Africa and stated that Kenya stands in solidarity with the countries affected by the epidemic.
He regretted many measures, including the suspension of international flights to Monrovia and other affected capitals, have further hurt the people and economies of the region.
“Our intention was not to do harm but, as a regional hub, the warning from the WHO left us few options. We now stand ready to resume Kenya Airways flights once appropriate measures are put in place,” the President said.