President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Equatorial Guinea counterpart President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo on Friday paid tribute to Africa’s founding fathers who toiled to lay the foundation of a united, free and economically integrated continent.
Speaking to journalists at the Robert Mugabe International airport in Harare where Mnangagwa was seeing off the Equatorial Guinea President, Mnangagwa said that it was time Africa moved beyond political cooperation to economic integration.
“We are grateful to the founding fathers of the AU and remembrance of their vision for Africa to be united, we will continue to remember and honour Africa Day,” he said.
He further lauded the recently formed African Continental Free Trade Area as a huge step towards economic integration of Africa.
“Again the last summit in Kigali which created the African Continental Free Trade Area is enhancing the vision for Africa to be united both politically and economically, for economic cooperation. This is where Africa is going,” he added.
The continent on Friday marked 55 years since the AU, then Organization of African Union, was founded, a day that coincided with the Africa Day.
On his part,Mbasogo, who spoke through an interpreter, echoed Mnangagwa’s sentiments saying there is need for the AU to enhance cooperation among member states.
“It is a wonderful day. Africa has been brought together one more time. We are almost there as a free continent except for the need for Africa to have closer cooperation in economic areas and political areas,” he said.
The Equatorial Guinea president has been on a two-day visit to Zimbabwe during which he held talks with his counterpart Mnangagwa and former President Robert Mugabe, the Equatorial Guinea leader described it as wonderful.
“It has been a wonderful visit. It has afforded me the opportunity of meeting new members of government,” he said.
He pledged to continue working with Mnangagwa’s new administration.