President Bola Tinubu on Sunday, in Kenya, said the forces that plundered Africa in the past and still seek to impede its progress today will not find easy inroads into the continent.
Tinubu said Africa was now strong and its leaders would no longer remain passive as they worked to harness their vast resources to better their respective countries.
“But here and now, let it be said to whomever the new scramblers might be, that our continent may be old, but our spirit is new. And it is strong. The bad that took place in the past must stay there. It shall never be repeated,” Tinubu told his counterparts at the Fifth Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.
The forum also featured deliberations amongst the various regional economic communities, the regional mechanisms and the African Union Member-States.
The President’s Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Dele Alake, revealed this in a statement he signed on Sunday titled: ‘In maiden speech at AU, President Tinubu affirms Africa’s unity and strength, rejects notion of a new scramble for continent.’
In his address titled: ‘Address on Status of Regional Integration in ECOWAS,’ Tinubu emphasised the need for Africa to overcome its challenges and work towards a prosperous future, focusing on inclusive growth, good governance and leveraging the opportunities provided by the African Continental Free Trade Area.
However, the President vehemently rejected the notion of a new scramble for Africa, noting that “some observers assert a new scramble for Africa is afoot and it is much like the old scramble that plundered our continent.”
The Nigerian leader called for good governance to ensure a prosperous future for Africa, free from the exploitations of the past.
“As Africans, we forge ahead, no matter the barriers thrust before us. The world we inhabit is often unkind and uncertain. History and current global difficulties argue against our future success.
“Lessons of the past few years teach us that the world economy can be disrupted in ways that halt progress and invite downturn. Our nations can suddenly find themselves in dire situations if we choose to be passive observers of our fate.
“Such passivity does not commend itself to me. I will not listen to it. Neither should any African. The challenges we face mean that governance will be difficult,” Tinubu said.
Harping on his message to uphold democracy in West Africa, the Nigerian leader, as ECOWAS Chairman, announced plans to strengthen the bloc’s Standby Force to deter coups and combat terrorism in the sub-region.
He argued that while leaders sat to discuss vital economic matters, it would be impossible to implement the outcomes of the discussions unless due consideration was given to the instability and conflict ravaging many African states.