“If we must safeguard our fledging democracies then we must invest in security and safety for the continent”, says President John Mahama.
Speaking at a session of the ongoing Elysee Summit on Peace and Security in Paris, France, President Mahama reiterated his position that the continent cannot take advantage of the conditions it has created for growth and prosperity in “an environment of maritime piracy, terrorism, rebel activities, drug and human trafficking etc.”
President Mahama observed that African countries including Ghana have not paid attention to matters of security because of they have over the last many years been investing in human development especially to achieve the MDGs.
“This has left our continent vulnerable to any small group of disciplined and well-armed bandits.”
He noted that no country can individually guarantee its safety and security, and challenged African countries to act in concert against the threats that face the continent.
He therefore thanked President Hollande and the French people for creating a platform for the discussion of such important issues that are critical for Africa’s survival and progress.
Almost 40 African leaders are attending the two-day summit which is focusing on peace, security, economic partnership and climate change. The meeting is taking place after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution authorising French and African troops in the Central African Republic (CAR) to use force to protect civilians.
Mr. Mahama said Ghana supports the various initiatives suggested by the last Franco-African Summit in which we are currently engaged, including the development of an African standby force.
He told the summit that the standby force “is an idea originally mooted by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah”, adding that its establishment under the AU is behind schedule because of lack of funds.
President Mahama thanked France for the unconditional support for African Security which has been demonstrated in Mali and again in the Central African Republic.