Friday, April 16, 2010

Preserve Nkrumah's Legacy Says President Mugabe of Zimbabwe

Published by the government of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Preserve Nkrumah's Legacy - President

Farirai Machivenyika
16 April 2010

President Mugabe has urged Africa's youths to remain principled and safeguard the sovereignty and independence their forebears fought for.

Officially opening the Third Ordinary Session of the Conference of African Union Ministers responsible for Youths in Victoria Falls yesterday, the President said youths should preserve the legacy of great leaders like Ghana's founding president Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

"You must always be aware of the principles that guided the founders of the Organisation of African Unity, which is now the African Union.

"You must be the custodians of that legacy they bequeathed to us.

"We dare not give up or surrender. Are we today, as custodians of that sovereignty, holding it or we are allowing imperialism to come in using clandestine ways to permeate?

"That's not what people like Kwame Nkrumah fought for; that is not what they taught us.

"Nkrumah used to say principles are sacred, that vital principles are sacred.

"Africa for Africans and to never sacrifice principles at the altar of expediency, that is you want money, you want help and you lose your principles and sell your sovereignty," President Mugabe said.

He said the West was criticising Zimbabwe because of its principled stance to economically empower its people.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said it was imperative to empower youths so that they do not remain servants of foreigners on their own continent.

"We want to make sure they (youths) are owners of their resources and of companies and not to be workers.

"When shall we be masters? Let's begin with young people.

"It is therefore imperative that policymakers and youth development workers, along with experts should craft policies and programmes that will facilitate the empowerment of youths, be it social, political or economic," he said.

President Mugabe said youths had vast potential to develop Africa.

"Young people constitute a significant proportion of the productive population in Africa.

"The huge potential vested in their energy and dynamism make up a vital resource for sustainable development of security, peace and prosperity of the continent," he said.

President Mugabe said the conference showed how youth development initiatives had taken centre stage in Africa

He said youths should have access to land, minerals and capital to eradicate poverty and unemployment.

"There is need for more integration and co-ordinating among stakeholders in the implementation of youth development programmes.

"This way we can restore the youth's confidence and ability to change bigoted perceptions about Africa as a hopeless recipient of aid," he said.

Youth ministers and representatives of development agencies are attending the conference that precedes the World Youth Conference scheduled for August in Mexico.

Present at the ceremony were Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere; Matabeleland North Governor Thokozile Mathuthu; AU commissioner for human resources, science and technology Professor Jean-Pierre Ezin; current conference chairman and Libyan Minister of Youth brother Nouri Alhamdy.

The UN General Assembly declared 2010 as the International Year of the Youth.

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