The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has urged African leaders to renew their commitment to the ideals of the continental body, the African Union (AU).
A statement signed by Mr Kofi Yeboah, General Secretary of the GJA and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Friday said “The GJA believes that although the political, economic, and social underpinnings of the founding of the AU were and are still laudable and relevant, the continent is far from achieving the goals of the Union.
“Indeed, Africa is yet to come out of the woods of under-development, and more fundamentally, to shed its tag as ‘scar on the conscience of the world’.
He said It was for the cardinal reasons that the GJA urged African leaders to use the commemoration of the 2018 AU Day to renew their commitment to the ideals of the continental body.
“Foremost among them is the need to forge unity on all fronts to assert Africa’s rightful place in world affairs. With its current population estimated at 1.28 billion and total land area of 30.37 million square kilometres, Africa is not only the world’s second largest and most populous continent after Asia; it also holds the biggest economic potential in the world today.”
The statement said it would require of ideas and visionary leadership to turn the fortunes of the continent around.
“We believe Ghana will stand ready to lead the African renaissance as it has always done in the past, “it said.
The GJA further called on African leaders to be more committed to the development of the continent, which required committing more resources to critical sectors such as education, health, science, technology and agriculture to improve the human capacity for development.
The statement said the attainment of all those aspirations would largely be enhanced in an environment where the media was free to operate.
“That is why the GJA urges African leaders on the occasion of the AU Day, to be more committed to press freedom on the continent. The rankings of African countries on the World Press Freedom Index 2018 are clear indications that Africa’s press freedom credentials are not a source of pride,” the statement added.