Africa is not out of the woods yet. It is still confronted with socio-economic, political and security difficulties which hinder its development and fulfillment.
The dean of African ambassadors to Switzerland remarked at the reception jointly organized on 14 May 2018 in Bern to commemorate African Day.
These difficulties are being faced in many sectors including the health sector where malaria and AIDS continue to claim many lives in the continent. So also in the security sector where terrorist groups have led to many loss of lives and destruction of properties in communities across the continent.
As if those are not enough havoc done, “the climate change is creating its own havoc exacerbating famine in already impoverished populations,” he said.
Ambassador Bindzi (L) and Ambassador Bollinger
The migration of young Africans on the hazardous and perilous journey to find greener pasture has claimed many lives. “It is therefore necessary to mobilise all actors to seek appropriate solutions to this dehumanizing and degrading phenomenon” and address immigration matter “in a holistic, serious and humane manner,” added the Dean.
He however said the bleak picture of Africa painted by the upsurge in illegal migration, climate change, terrorism, major pandemics and poverty should not overshadow the positive progress made on the continent. He pointed to the gradual awareness of African leaders of the need to strengthen and institute good governance, as could be seen in the recent elections in Sierra Leone, Egypt and Liberia, as well as the reconciliation between the two giants political opponents in Kenya.
Ambassador Bindzi who is the Cameroon’s Ambassador to Switzerland, hopefully expects a smooth and peaceful presidential elections this year in Zimbabwe, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo and his own country Cameroon.
Another cross section of African group of Ambassadors
He is of the opinion that achieving political progress in the areas of democracy and good governance will strengthen peace on the continent, and help the leaders to focus on the development of the continent.
Ambassador Erwin A. Bollinger, Delegate of the Federal Council for Trade Agreement, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECCO) said in his address that for Africa to develop its economy African governments must implement policies aimed at diversifying their economies, adding that “foreign direct investments (FDI) and international trade play a key role in enabling the diversification of a country’s economy.”
The private sector, he said, is an instrument for the realization of increasing trade and investment flows. It is therefore commendable to see African countries embarking on economic policies that favour private sector.
He believes the Swiss companies operating in Africa can make valuable contribution to the development of Africa’s economy.