Dr Kikwete made the remarks yesterday when he addressed the 11th Mwalimu Nyerere Intellectual Festival which started yesterday in Dar es Salaam.
The former president said that after the liberation struggle the African Union saw that there were major challenges facing the continent, hence seeking to ignite the development mechanism to address them.
“The African Union Charter is fostered on bringing about social and economic development as well as realize the whole concept of good governance,” he said.
He however noted that despite initiatives taken by the continental organisation, steep challenges are still facing the continent even after nearly 60 years of independence.
These are the key issues for the continent to address, that about 90-perecnt of the poverty in the world is based in Africa and that of the 30 poorest countries in the world, 27 are in Africa, he told the gathering.
This year’s festival organised around the theme ‘Pan-Africanism and the Quest for Unity, Democratization and Development: The State, Markets and Knowledge Society.’
It brings together various dignitaries from within and outside the country, and the UDSM Chancellor Dr Kikwete was designated the distinguished lecturer for this year’s event.
The annual festival is taken as a moment for reflecting and making candid deliberations on the future of Tanzania and the continent as a whole.
The UDSM Vice Chancellor Prof William Anangisye said the festival has always been a moment of self-realization, a place for re-union and serious reflections on the past and future of Africa.
He said this year’s focus is on Mwalimu Nyerere’s key action points as he grappled with challenges of improving the wellbeing of Tanzania, Africa and humanity at large.
“The festival therefore gives us an opportunity to take a critical look at Mwalimu’s philosophical inclinations, policy initiatives and practical measures to bring about people- centered development,” he asserted.
During the event, former VC Prof Rwekaza Mukandala was installed as Mwalimu Nyerere Professor in Pan-African studies.