Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday urged African governments to promote peace and stability in order to achieve the objective of an integrated Africa.
Addressing the 9th African Union (AU) high-level retreat on the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa, Akufo-Addo said efforts at integration of the continent will be negatively affected if African countries continue to battle with the human security challenges which confront their peoples.
"No country would want to integrate with another whose house is on fire," he said while recounting the story of the formation of the European Union (EU) which he said its formation has helped, since the end of Second World War in 1945, prevented war amongst its members.
"The creation of a free market, concealing economic and geographical borders, was intended to erode the justification for using war as the quickest avenue to wealth and power, and lessen its appeal. That was the vision that underlay the idea behind the European Economic Community, now the EU, in 1957," the Ghanaian president said.
"This should motivate us in Africa, and hasten our efforts towards integration. If Europe, through the formation of the EU, was able to stop the vicious cycle of violence that had plagued them for centuries, leading them onto the path of advancement, wealth and prosperity for the majority of their peoples, Africa can no longer dither."
The retreat is aimed at reviewing the AU's existing instruments, partnerships and practices and to determine their suitability to effectively prevent and manage current and future conflicts on the continent.
It assembled over 100 dignitaries and peace-makers from the AU, the Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms, the United Nations system, renowned academics, experts, AU partners, among others.