Youth in African and Arab nations should consolidate partnership between them for unity, peace and sustainable development in their respective countries, Libyan President Colonel Muammar Gadaffi has said.
He was speaking at the closure of a ten-day Afro-Arab youth festival which has been taking place at the Speke Resort Muyonyo in Kampala, Uganda.
Gadaffi advised the Afro-Arab youth to actively participate in the development of their countries.
“The Afro-Arab youth must take up the responsibility of developing and resolving issues in their countries. You must resist foreign influence and dependency if your countries are to develop,” he said.
“All the problems we have here in Africa can be solved by our own zeal as Africans with clear visionary leadership for the people. For those rich nations which want to give us aid, let them do so but with no strings attached.
“These strings are a means of suppressing us. We need to invest together as Africans and Arabs because two-thirds of Arabs live in Africa,” the Libyan leader said.
According to a joint communiqué issued at the end of the festival, delegates called upon the African and Arab governments to: ‘unite against re-colonisation, form an Afro-Arab alliance, create a conducive environment for youth to actively participate in decision making and promote investments and common African and Arab markets.
They also called for ‘free flow of labour and capital in Afro-Arab countries’.
At the festival which attracted about 2,000 delegates from Afro-Arab countries, Rwanda was represented by 44 youth from the National Youth Council and civil society organizations.