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The Africa Road Builders 2018: Trophée Babacar Ndiaye – General Commissioner’s speech at launching

Speech by Mr. Barthélemy Kouame, General Commissioner of The Africa Road Builders – Trophée Babacar Ndiaye and General Manager of Acturoutes on the occasion of the launching ceremony.

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“Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Excellency Ladies and Gentlemen, Ambassadors,
Honorable Members of the Babacar Ndiaye Family,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Honorable guests,

It is with great joy and emotion that I take the floor to say thank you for responding to our invitation. Welcome to everyone at the official launch ceremony of The Africa Road Builders – Trophée Babacar NDIAYE 2018.

It is with great emotion that we find Dakar, the hometown of the one who has been and will continue to inspire our initiative. We keep and will always keep from Dr. Babacar NDIAYE, the image of a great man who inspires, nurtures and motivates the noblest dreams for our continent. President Babacar NDIAYE has made many sacrifices for Africa. He showed us in the evening of his life how often he wanted the generations after him to “succeed”. The word “succeed”, I take it from him.

It is indeed here, in Dakar, on the occasion of the launching of the 2nd edition of the trophy that bears his name that he declared to us and I quote. “I believe that Africa will succeed, because those who follow us, those who have taken over, those who are in this room and beyond this room, have no more complex … They are connected to this which exists better elsewhere “. End quote.

President Babacar NDIAYE did not live only for himself and his biological family. Last September, during the tribute paid to him by the African Development Bank (AfDB), we were able to listen to testimonials that confirm our conviction. But we can bear witness to his work and his love for all, beyond the borders of his country.

Speaking of the AfDB, this great institution that he led for 10 years and to which he always gave support and advice until his last breath, he told us and I quote: “I do not know any nationalities, I know men and women serving Africa “. End quote. His disappearance put us in indescribable pain.

It is with great honor and humility that we continue to wear his illustrious name through The Africa Road Builders – Trophée Babacar NDIAYE. I would like to thank, on behalf of the General Commission and ACTUROUTES, his biological family who adopted us and adopted our project. As with himself yesterday, we would like here to reaffirm to the family our commitment to bear this name with dignity, just like the great man he was.

I would like to greet the Senegalese authorities, headed by President Macky SALL, who have not only honored President Babacar NDIAYE by accepting the award that bears his name but also paid him a tribute from the greatest to the announcement of his disappearance. We know how many times HE. Macky SALL was personally involved in the funeral of our inspirer. We are very grateful to him.

Returning to Senegal today, we also wish to salute the Great Builder Macky SALL, as proclaimed by The Africa Road Builders – Trophée Babacar NDIAYE, in 2017. This is also the meaning of the launching ceremony that we meet today. Remember our memories and congratulate the winners of the past edition, and encourage them to continue their momentum, even to do better. We associate these congratulations with the President of the Republic of Rwanda, HE. Paul KAGAME, also distinguished last year in Ahmedabad, India.

Roads and transports are like the blood vessels that are in every living body. They must not only exist where needed but also not be clogged. They must allow normal circulation, neither too slow nor too fast.

Roads and transport are beautiful when they serve the unhindered mobility of the people. Building good road and transport networks is a priority, maintaining them and adapting them to developments of all kinds is a necessity to which all States must devote themselves for the development of Africa.

This development notably involves industrialization. And the AfDB, under the enlightened guidance of its President, Dr Akinwumi ADESINA, is doing well to make this year’s participants reflect on the Annual Meetings on the Industrialization of Africa. Therefore, for us, it is appropriate to discuss the theme: “Transport and industrial transformation of Africa”.

In other words, what transport should we put in place in our different countries to achieve the industrial transformation of Africa? To answer this problem is to contribute to the success of the AfDB Annual Meetings. It is especially to create effective ways for the industrial transformation of Africa.

The meaning of The Africa Road Builders – Trophée Babacar NDIAYE, therefore, is to contribute to providing concrete solutions for the transformation of Africa, convinced that roads and transport are an absolute necessity. I would therefore like to thank very warmly President Akinwumi ADESINA, who not only adopted our project but also decided to accompany us in its realization.

I would like to commend the AfDB General Secretariat for sparing no effort to continue this program. And the presence of the AfDB delegation today with us is the living and comforting testimony of the support of the prestigious institution. Thank you very much, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Representatives. Please convey our infinite gratitude to our sponsor, President ADESINA.

Our ceremony today is on May 3rd. May 03, 2018. It’s a coincidence of the calendar. But in general, we say that chance does not exist. Our condition of journalist and media men and women feeds in any case this thesis. That is why, on this remarkable day of May 3, 2018, I would like to extend my warmest greetings to Senegal and its leaders, who are considered champions of freedom of the press in Africa.

I would like to pay tribute to them and seize this unique opportunity of the year to solemnly launch a solemn appeal to all African States to facilitate the work of journalists. No one should be afraid of the press. The press is and will remain the ally of development. The African press, in particular, wants to be the ally of the development of Africa, of every corner and nook of the continent.

I thank you for your kind attention”.

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