“Accelerate Actions To Remove Barriers To Trade In Africa”
--Foreign Minister Kemayah Tells AU Heads of State
MONROVIA-Liberia’s Foreign Minister, Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., has called for accelerating actions to remove barriers to trade and increase commodities for exchange in an open and free environment.
“We cannot accelerate trade when we are confronted with threats of terrorism, pandemics, negative climate reaction, and being chronically dependent. Fulfilling the theme will require us to create a suitable environment with new strategies of openness and inclusiveness with a focus on the wellbeing of the people of Africa’’, Minister Kemayah asserted.
Minister Kemayah made these remarks recently at the just-ended 36th session of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Dean of the Cabinet recognized Liberia’s collaboration in the promotion of the free movement of goods services and people as the key step in promoting partnership on the continent.
Minister Kemayah added that the Government of Liberia’s flagship program, the PAPD serves as a conduit to a larger continental commitment.
At the same time, The Liberian Foreign Minister also called on the AU to heighten its fight against conflict on the African Continent.
“There are conflicts and civil wars in every region of the continent, masterminded and supported by external interests. There are also conflicts instigated by non-state actors”, he said.
Minister Kemayah added that Liberia remains committed to its zero tolerance on political violence and unconstitutional takeover. On the margins of the 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union, Heads of State of the sub-region conveyed the Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS with a communiqué to deploy a technical mission to hold discussion with political parties in support of peaceful conduct of the Presidential election in Liberia. The communiqué added that similar mediation efforts will be made in Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
According to the communiqué, Heads of State and Government took note of reports on the implementation of the transition roadmaps in Mali, Guinea, and Burkina and dire humanitarian and security challenges in the three countries, particularly in Burkina and Mali.
Speaking at the ECOWAS extraordinary summit, Liberia’s Foreign Minister Kemayah reaffirmed President George Manneh Weah and Liberia’s strengthened resolve to ensure the conduct of free, fair, transparent, inclusive, and credible democratic elections. “Liberia, therefore, looks forward to the continued partnership of ECOWAS in accompanying the electoral process that will contribute to the consolidation of democracy in our region.’’
The communiqué further added that following the request of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali, for the Authority to lift the sanctions imposed on them following their respective coups d’état, the Authority of Heads of State and Government decided to maintain the existing sanctions on all the three countries and to impose a travel ban on members of Government and other senior officials in all three countries.
At the same time, Foreign Minister Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah has called for more support and commitment to the Africa Peer Review Mechanism. The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is a mutually agreed instrument voluntarily acceded to by the member states of the African Union (AU) as a self-monitoring mechanism.
Speaking further at the 36th session of the Heads and State and Government of the African Union, Foreign Minister Kemayah said Liberia fully supports the APRM given the country’s absolute zero tolerance for any means of unconstitutional change as being experienced in West Africa, noting that the APRM when fully committed will go a long way in ensuring that good governance is achieved.
Minister Kemayah said the APRM is an instrument that will help to ensure that transparency and accountability is achieved. At the same time, Foreign Minister Kemayah has called for the inclusion of the African Union on the G-20.
The G20 or Group of Twenty is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union working to address major issues related to the global economy, such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development.
Minister Kemayah believes that such inclusion will give added value to the union.
He said, “surplus effort to ensure that our being a part of the G-20 will not hurt”.
In another development, the Dean of the Cabinet is calling for more collaboration among African leaders in the fight against Climate Change.
“Africa continues to feel the brunt with respect to the effects of Climate Change and we are all aware that is threatening the livelihood or sustainability of the continent.
In another development, Liberia’s candidature for the post of member of the council of the International Maritime Organization region has been unanimously endorsed.
The decision was reached during the 42nd Ordinary Session of the executive council of the African Union ahead of the 36th Session of Heads of State and Government of the Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The election for the post of council member of the IMO will be held in November 2023 in London.
Other countries to be elected for the post of council member to the International Maritime Organization include Kenya and Morocco, representing the Northern and Eastern Regions.
When elected, Liberia will join other countries of the council, representing the western region for the period 2024-2025.