Former President Jerry John Rawlings has in a meeting with former President of Cape Verde, Pedro de Verona Rodrigues Pires, expressed concern about the silence of the voice of Africa on global issues, describing it as ‘disturbing’.
He said though there had been so many negative developments since the collapse of the bipolar world (East-West divide), Africa had remained too quiet.
Mr. Rawlings cited the persecution of Palestinians by the Israelis and the treatment of Yemenis by Saudi Arabia as examples and wondered if Africa’s silence could be due to the extent to which the West had compromised the continent.
The former Ghanaian leader said while freedom fighters like Kwame Nkrumah could not change some of the problems associated with the Cold War they made pronouncements, which kept the younger growing generation in touch with what was politically desirable.
“It helped to build and maintain a national conscience and morality. There is nothing, which prevents today’s leaders from making pronouncements condemning the Israel-Palestinian issue for instance. How do today’s leaders expect that there won’t be a decline within their nations in terms of the moral fabric of our societies?” former President Rawlings stated.
Former President Pedro Pires who is in Ghana to deliver a series of lectures at the University of Development Studies (UDS) paid a courtesy call on former President Rawlings at his office in Accra on Saturday.
Former President Rawlings also referred to the recent allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Douma, Syria stating that the West was once again attempting to force the hand of the world to accept its military strikes in that country. He said had Russia not exercised restraint on the matter we could have been on the brink of a Third World War.
“We are very slowly losing the concept of freedom and justice, the way we’ve known it. We have to speak out,” Flt. Lt. Rawlings stated.
Former President Pedro Pires said many on the continent did not have the moral authority to speak against global injustices describing Libya as one of the worst injustices that had been imposed on Africa and the world. He said we are suffering all the consequences of the brutal change of regime, which has given room and opportunities to fundamentalists to do whatever they want in that country.
Mr. Pires called for the strengthening of institutions within Africa as such institutions could go a long way to bring sanity into the management of our countries. He said the elite had monopolized the state and the state seems to only serve the interests of the elite. “We have to think, plan and decide how to effect change,” the former Cape Verde leader said.
The former Cape Verde leader also commended the role Ghana and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah played in setting the tone for the liberation of African states as well as the African unity agenda.
“We can disagree with President Nkrumah but he has an exceptional place in African history,” Mr. Pires said.
The Former Cape Verdean President would be the main Speaker for the 6th edition of the Africa Leadership Lectures, initiated by UDS to contribute to a national and transnational discourse on productive leadership culture to support and enhance African Development. The 3-day Lecture would be held on Monday April 23, Tuesday April 24 and Wednesday April 25 at the Tamale Campus of UDS.
Mr. Pirez was accompanied by Mr. Nutifafa Kuenyehia, Chairman of the UDS Council, UDS Vice-Chancellor Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, Dr. A. B. T. Zakariah, Registrar and Michael Ansa, Assistant Registrar at the UDS Accra Office.
Other members of the delegation were Indira Pires, Executive Director of the Pires Institute for Leadership and Manuela Atevedo of the ECOWAS Secretariat, who acted as interpreter.