Ghanaian president, Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, this week received a standing ovation after delivering a speech in the United States of America.
The president was addressing the opening ceremony of the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit held in Washington DC.
Drawing inspiration from Jamaican reggae star Peter Tosh, Nana Akufo-Addo, charged Africans in the diaspora that they remain an important part of the quest to change the African story.
“Let us remember that the destiny of all black people no matter where they are in the world is bound up with Africa. We should never forget that famous admonition of the celebrated Jamaican reggae star Peter Tosh and I quote don’t care where you come from, as long as you are a black man, you are an African.”
It is on this premise that Nana Akufo-Addo, charged all blacks in the diaspora to help make Africa a place for investment, progress, and prosperity and not where the youth flee with the mirage of a better life in Asia of the Americas.
Nana Addo said the time had come for all Africans both home and abroad to help change the African narrative. He said the characterization of Africa as the home of diseases, hunger, poverty and illegal mass migration must end.
Nana Addo used the Chinese diaspora and how they helped China’s resurgence into a global manufacturing giant through direct forex investments as a test case.
According to the president of Ghana, this will help the continent attain the respect it deserves on the global stage.
He added that this agenda is what has driven his government to rally Africans in the diaspora to come home as part of the “Beyond the Return campaign’.
“If we stop being beggars and spend African money inside the continent, Africa will not need to ask for respect from anyone, we will get the respect we deserve. If we make it prosperous as it should be, respect will follow,” the president said.
Describing the people of Africa as resilient, the president further called for solidarity amongst countries within the continent to attain their shared aspirations.
“Africans are more resilient outside the continent than inside. We must bear in mind that to the outside world, [there’s] nothing like Nigeria, Ghana or Kenya, we are simply Africans. Our destiny as people depends on each other,” he said.
According to the president, the continent possesses the needed skill and manpower but requires a concerted political will to “work”.
A number of African leaders have travelled to Washington to join a discussion aimed at strengthening the continent’s cooperation with the US amid concerns about Chinese and Russian influence.