Saturday, May 26, 2018

Zimbabwean President Pays Tribute to AU Founders
2018-05-26 02:58:40
Editor: Yurou

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa (R) speaks to his Equatorial Guinean counterpart Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo before bidding a farewell at Robert Mugabe International Airport in Harare, Zimbabwe, May 25, 2018. Mbasogo finished his two-day visit to Zimbabwe Friday.(Xinhua/Wanda)

HARARE, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday paid tribute to the founding fathers of the African Union (AU) for their vision of a united Africa.

Speaking to journalists at the Robert Mugabe International Airport where he was seeing off visiting Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Mnangagwa said it was time Africa moved beyond political cooperation to economic integration.

"We are grateful to the founding fathers of the AU and remembrance of their vision for Africa to be united, we will continue to remember and honor Africa Day," he said.

He said the recently formed African Continental Free Trade Area was a huge step towards economic integration of Africa.

"Again the last summit in Kigali which created the African Continental Free Trade Area is enhancing the vision for Africa to be united both politically and economically, for economic cooperation. This is where Africa is going," he added.

The continent on Friday marked 55 years since the AU, then Organization of African Union, was founded.

Mbasogo, who spoke through an interpreter, echoed Mnangagwa's sentiments saying there is need for the AU to enhance cooperation among member states.

"It is a wonderful day. Africa has been brought together one more time. We are almost there as a free continent except for the need for Africa to have closer cooperation in economic areas and political areas," he said.

Commenting on his two-day visit to Zimbabwe during which he held talks with his counterpart Mnangagwa and former President Robert Mugabe, the Equatorial Guinea leader described it as wonderful.

"It has been a wonderful visit. It has afforded me the opportunity of meeting new members of government," he said.

He pledged to continue working with Mnangagwa's new administration.

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