President Ramaphosa calls on African countries to claim their positions on global stage

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on African countries to claim their positions on the global stage and refuse to be drawn into conflicts far beyond African borders. He says the continent is being threatened with penalties from superpowers for pursuing an independent foreign policy and for adopting a position of non-alignment. He was speaking at Africa Day celebrations at the Cradle of Humankind, north-west of Johannesburg.

The day is used to reflect on milestones, challenges and the future of the continent. This day is celebrated across the continent of Africa with some looking back at their colonial history and how they managed to defeat the enemy and thus gained independence. And President Cyril Ramaphosa says Africans have painful memories of proxy wars waged on African soil and the continent must not go back there.

“South Africa has not been and will not be drawn into a contest between global powers. We will continue to resist calls to abandon our independent and non-aligned foreign policy,” Ramaphosa adds.

Ramaphosa says if it was not for the resilient nature of Africans, oppressors on the continent would have succeeded in destroying its indigenous people. He says colonisers came to Africa with one mission, which was to take over the continent’s wealth, but because Africans are resilient, they didn’t succeed.

“We observe Africa Day, because we are reminding ourselves of the resilience we possess as Africans. Resilience that has taken us from where we have come and a resilience that is transporting us into our future. We observe Africa Day to celebrate our unity as Africans,” Ramaphosa explains.

President Cyril Ramaphosa leads Africa Day celebrations at the Cradle of Humankind:

Meanwhile, Gauteng premier, Panyaza Lesufi says for Africa to go forward, unity will be of vital importance. He says the continent has to unite to be modern and benefit from its wealth, through mineral resources.

“Our unity is not just abstract, it’s a need that puts us into practice in more tangible ways. Our unity is not just a conscious effort to renew our African identity, but it’s a process that embraces everyone. A process that wants to achieve one thing and one thing only, to modernise our continent.” says Lesufi.

Here in South Africa, this important celebration for Africa Day was observed under the theme, “Deepening the AU Vision for Unity, Prosperity, Peace and Mordenity for a Better Africa and a better World”