Dr Sherif Amin Elkhoraiby, Chairman, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Sunday challenged Africans to follow the Chinese example of patriotism and complete dedication to nation building.
He said Africans must place love for their countries first and not tribal and religious beliefs as China did some decades ago to have a voice in the world.
Dr Elkhoraiby was delivering a talk on: “Economic and Regional Integration in Africa,” at the 45th Training Course for Young African Journalists at Cairo, Egypt.
The training was organised by the Union of African Journalists (UAJ).
Dr Elkhoraiby said the continent had all it needed to become the “game changer” in international market and politics and only needed good planning, patriotic leaders and citizens.
He expressed worry about too much talk about politics on the continent and said it was not promoting economic growth.
“Everybody talks about politics. We talk the whole day and nothing happens. We forget about our farms and industries and only talk,” Dr Elkhoraiby said.
He said just as China did, African states must give less attention to politics and focus on long-term economic planning and the education of their citizenry.
“Economics is the key to stability. Let’s all work to develop our economies. Too much politics only divides us and makes us poorer,” Dr Elkhoraiby stated.
He called for the formation of trade unions among nations which were geographically close for mutual benefits instead of importing goods outside the continent.
Dr Elkhoraiby said his outfit was creating an economic internet portal to facilitate the economic integration of African nations and was hopeful that could lead to the economic emancipation of the continent.
Mr Mahfouz Al Ansary, President, UAJ, challenged journalists to help find solutions to challenges facing the continent.