President Adama Barrow of the Gambia has used his address at Liberia’s 175th Independence Anniversary to trumpet unity and integration the West African region.

Addressing thousands of Liberians at the ceremony in Monrovia on Tuesday where he was the special guest of honour, Mr Barrow said unity and integration are essential for maintaining peace in the subregion and the continent.

He said Africa must concentrate on a new strategy of utilizing its human resources to maintain peace and promote development to raise the standard of living of its people.

“To achieve these, the need for cooperation and progress is most urgent. Thus, as we call for unity and African integration, we must give priority to sustaining peace in the sub-region and the entire continent, ” President Barrow observed.

He urged Liberians to unite against violence and construct a future that would assure progress and prosperity for all Liberians, adding that this is a path that all Africans should take.

Mr Barrow stated that Africa’s strength is unity in diversity. He added: “No country in the world is composed of one race or people. There is diversity everywhere in relation to race, colour, religion, gender, and economic status. What we have in common is our humanity. This cuts across all boundaries and should, therefore, unite us.”

The Gambia’s leader further added: “Despite the turmoil and wars that have enveloped the continent, Africans must demonstrate patriotism and avoid repeating past mistakes by focusing on the present and future for a better Africa.

” I advise that we reflect further on what we could have achieved after so many years of Independence from colonial rule. How many years have we spent fighting one another, destroying our structures, and ruining our modest achievements?”