Mogadishu [MIC) 23 May 2013 – The President of the Federal Republic os Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud attended a ceremony in Mogadishu to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Organization of the African Union (OAU). Dignitaries present in the event included the Special Representative of the AU to Somalia, Djiboutian Ambassador to Somalia who is also the Dean of Diplomatic corps in Mogadishu, the EU and UK Ambassadors to Somalia and other diplomats.
Somalia has been at the heart of the African Union since its inauguration. As one of the founding fathers, Somalia is proud to stand here today emerging from decades of trauma, supported by African Union.
The President of Somalia said “It is a time to reflect on the past 50 years – to learn the lessons of the past and more importantly o celebrate the achievements of this continent. But most importantly, it is time to look forward over the next 50 years. Our continent is rich, beautiful and has all the natural resources to help us develop our continent. We have the potential to make the 21st century, Africa’s century.”
The President stated that Somalia took its part during old days to help fellow African countries and stated “Somalia stood so tall and strong for so many years. We were there to help those of our brothers who needed help. And we did so with selfless humility and generosity. Mogadishu and its faultless coastline was the African Riviera. Somalia was a welcoming, bustling, safe and prosperous country that enjoyed its freedom and took pride in its commercial success.
The President thanked AMISOM contributing countries and Ethiopia for their sacrifices which he believed has been laid down for peace in Somalia and he said Somalis will be honoured and will never forget.
The President while addressing the strategic place of the continent said “Africa is the global meeting point where the interests of East and West collide. We must harness Africa’s great natural resource to drive economic progress and prosperity right down through our population and put an end to the era of dependency. Africa is a wealthy continent.”
The President was quick to point the challenges faced and provided possible solutions to the challenges which he said is our collective desire to realize our partnership strengths. The President said “Across Africa, regions face unique challenges. But none of us can survive or thrive on our own. We need each other, and we need to appreciate each other. Our strength in development lies in the sum of all our parts. Famine, drought and disease must be stopped and we must find a way to alleviate the symptoms. As the old saying goes:“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
The President stated his vision for Somalia which he said “is for a United and Federal Somalia at peace with itself and its neighbours and which poses no threat to the world; a Somalia with a resurgent economy, thriving small and medium sized businesses and sustainable employment so that families are well provided for; a Somalia with values of kindness, respect and human rights, all underpinned by an education system that harnesses our intellectual spirit.”
The African Union has decided 2013 as the year of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance. The President said “nowhere says Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance like Somalia does! Somalia will be the shining example of African cooperation and support, and our renaissance will show the world that no problem is insurmountable. No depth too deep to recover from. 39 years ago, Mogadishu built the fabulous “African Village” in Hodan District to host the AU Summit of 1974, under the Chairmanship of Siad Barre. In 2011, African troops defeated Al-Shabaab from African Village and I can think of no better renaissance than to rebuild it in honour of those brave soldiers and the African Union and once again aspire to host the leaders of this great continent at an African Summit on the African Riviera.”
Xafiiska Wararka Midnimo, firstname.lastname@example.org