It is only right and fit that we recognize and compliment those among our citizens who demonstrate vision, initiative and commitment in the creation of space for confronting the challenges that impede the accelerated transformation of our societies. It is in this vein that I wholeheartedly commend the foresight of Professor S.K.B. Asante for championing the establishment of the Centre for Regional Integration in Africa (CRIA) in Ghana, dedicated to the promotion of the most relevant dream of our forefathers to create a united and integrated Africa; a dream that continues to be elusive.
The Heads of State and Government of Africa, on the occasion of the Golden
Jubilee Celebrations of the OAU/AU adopted a Declaration which committed them to act to ensure that Africa attains the status of an integrated and prosperous Continent, at peace with itself and with the world; an Africa whose development is driven by its own citizens and which is a significant player on the world stage. There is no gainsaying however that there must be a paradigm shift in the management of the affairs of Africa and new thinking if these pronounced noble objectives are to be realized in the shortest possible time. Think Tanks such as CRIA constitute a significant resource to this end.
It is acknowledged that the greatest advocate of Regional Integration in Africa among the Founding Fathers was the First President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. It is appropriate in this regard that a Centre such as the one being inaugurated has finally been established in Ghana. It imposes a special responsibility as well on Government, the Private Sector and indeed individuals to extend maximum support, especially financial to promote the agenda of CRIA. My plea for assistance is equally directed at Africa's Development Partners and the International Community in general to make resources available for this commendable initiative. I wish CRIA abundant success for the future.