Speaker charges Africa to develop a unique identity

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has charged African countries to focus on developing a unique identity linked with their heritage.

According to the leader of the house of legislation, the continent is losing out because it has not been able to clearly define its priorities and pursue an agenda that is unique to its heritage.

The Speaker addressed a delegation from the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) who paid a courtesy call in Parliament on Thursday.

The delegation, led by the Association’s Secretary-General, Dr Wale Okediran, solicited his support in engaging the relevant government institutions.

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin (right) receiving a book from PAWA

This is to immediately implement the relevant provisions of an agreement signed between the government and the Association in 1992.

The agreement stipulated, among other things, that the government would provide some facilities to PAWA to enable it to run its administration effectively.

Responding to a call made by PAWA regarding the agreement signed with the government, the Speaker assured them of Parliament’s support.

He charged them to develop programmes tailored at re-orienting the youth and leaders to place a premium on their cultural identity.

Alban Bagbin showcasing a painting presented to him by PAWA

Mr Bagbin recalled the foundational theme at the inaugural congress of PAWA in 1989, which was. “African Unity, A liberation of the mind”.

He said it was still very relevant in today’s Africa as was before.

“The biggest challenge in Africa today is the mind. We must be able to liberate this mind by using instruments like PAWA, which comprises 52 associations encompassing the whole continent,” he added.

Dr Okediran said since the signing of the agreement, which has lasted for nearly three decades, no significant move had been made to implement essential portions of the agreement by successive governments.

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This, he said, has affected the smooth running of the Association and asked the Speaker to support them in surpassing the challenges.

Dr Okediran also urged the Members of Parliament (MPs) to make an effort to write down their memoirs to serve as a guideline for the generations that will come after them.

He however commended Ghana for hosting the secretariat of the Association since it was founded in 1989 and paid tribute to the memory of its founding Secretary-General Prof Atukwei Okai of blessed memory.

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