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African Union Day commemorated

BY: Vincent Amenuveve
Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (right), Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, hoisting the flag to commemorate the AU Day yesterday
Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (right), Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, hoisting the flag to commemorate the AU Day yesterday

A flag-raising ceremony was held on May 25, 2022, at the forecourt of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in Accra to commemorate the African Union (AU) Day.

The commemoration was on the theme: “Strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security on the African continent: Strengthening agro-food systems, health and social protection systems for the acceleration of human, social and economic capital development".

The colourful ceremony was attended by members of the Diplomatic Corps and other dignitaries from the African continent.

A contingent from the Ghana Air Force mounted a parade, while members of the Ghana Dance Ensemble provided cultural music and dance.

Food security

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, said there was the need for African countries to work together and strategise to address food security challenges resulting from the negative impact of climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

She also urged them to work towards the implementation of the African common position for sustainable food systems, the Africa emergency food production plan and the West Africa food security storage strategy.

“That spirit of African independence and progress has to drive our efforts to eliminate all forms of inhumane conditions, such as malnutrition, poor housing and health, as well as improve access to energy for domestic and industrial use across the continent," the minister added.

Ms Botchwey also called on African states to expand access to quality health care, saying: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the inherent weaknesses in our national public health systems across the board.”

She said the experiences associated with the pandemic also emphasised the need for improvement in technology and upscaling of investment in human capital.

Successes

The Dean of the African Group of the Diplomatic Corps, Pingrenoma Zagre, said since the founding of the AU, the continent had made considerable progress in the political, social and economic spheres.

He commended the AU for the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which he said would deepen economic integration on the continent.