By Modupe Gbadeyanka
President of the African Public Relations Association (APRA), Mr Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, has advised the continent’s leaders to look inwards for homegrown solutions rather than waiting for foreign aids from the West.
Mr Badejo-Okusanya made this passionate call in commemoration of the annual Africa Day celebrated on Monday, May 25, 2020.
According to him, “Since inception, the need for Africa to stand together cannot be more acute than the present when the continent faces a global pandemic that has left every part of the world struggling for its own survival, with little room or thought for us.”
“But rather than brood over the situation, it presents a unique opportunity for Africa to look inwards by developing its own homegrown solutions be they medical equipment and innovation, to cures and indeed distinct economic models.
“It offers us the opportunity to break away from preconceived notions and mindsets that have held us bound for too long,” the APRA president added.
He said further that, “In the words of the founding father of African Unity, the late Dr Kwame Osageyefo Nkrumah delivered during the launch of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1963, We must unite now or perish. We must recognise that our economic independence resides in our African Union and requires the same concentration upon the political achievement. True words then, truer words even now.”
He said “if we must ‘silence guns and create conducive conditions for the development of Africa by jointly fighting this pandemic, communication is key and extremely vital.”
The Public Relations expert said this year’s theme for Africa Day Silencing The Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development and Intensifying the Fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic was quite apt while congratulating the African Union for managing the organisation’s cause for the past 57 years.
He assured that APRA will continue to lead the charge in creating a positive narrative for the continent and its people. We will create synergies with other professions, governments and organisations to achieve this goal.
Mr Badejo-Okusanya announced that APRA has set up a Post COVID 19 Advisory Team made up of respected professional colleagues from across the continent to advice the association.
The team, which is headed by an Honorary Counsel and their appointment ratified by the Executive Council, will be announced very shortly.
They are charged with the responsibility of giving Africa and APRA a voice on issues of governance, leadership and development, he said.
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