The Deputy Chair of the African Union Commission has challenged African governments to work towards demystifying the negative perception about Africa.

Mr. Erastus Mwencha is unimpressed with the tag of war and conflict hanging around the neck of the continent.

“Africa needs to address the perception that we are not a continent of wars. Because the rest of the world says if there a crisis in any one part of the continent they think is the entire continent.

“Not many people outside there understand that Africa is 53 countries. For them Africa is a country, and so a crisis in one, is a crisis in all.”

He was speaking with Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah on Monday on the necessity and relevance of an Africa Union.

He described as erroneous the impression that individual countries will lose their sovereignty under an African Union.

“Our sovereignty will more be guaranteed by us uniting,” he said, and called for a new pan-Africanist cast in the shadow of Dr Kwame Nkrumah to champion this cause.

Mr. Erastus Mwencha also cautioned against Africa’s continued dependence on European and foreign markets for the provision of raw materials and the destination of finished products.

That he said is hampering Africa’s drive towards economic liberation.

“Intra Africa trade is about 10 per cent which means we trade more with the rest of world than with ourselves.

“…We have continued to trade with our colonial regime markets and Africa has remained an enclave where we export raw materials and import finished products.”

Mr Mwencha stressed the need for African countries to pool their resources and small markets together to establish a strong integrated market.

He reiterated the need for Africa governments to embark on a massive infrastructure development to help in the growth and development of the continent.

“Africa needs to develop infrastructure so that we are competitive. With strong infrastructure it means Africa can produce food sufficiently, deliver it on the market and be able to out-compete other producers like China.”

Story by Nathan Gadugah/