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AU Beyond 50th Anniversary

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FOR African leaders the attainment of the Golden age by the African Union, which started of as the Organisation of African Unity in May 1963, was something to celebrate. But it was a celebration that was lacking in highlight of accomplishments on social, political and economic fronts.

It was also a celebration that failed to set forth agenda for the future and perhaps testifies to the limited vision of those who lead Africa today.

Africa is a continent that is well endowed in human and natural resources. It is also a continent that is lacking scientific and technological mindset and aspirations.

For the member states that form the African Union, what has been so manifest in the past 50 years has been tales of woes, arising from wars, natural disasters, poor leadership, lack of development hunger, diseases and mindless exploitation of the continent by external powers, with their local collaborators.

The leaders that gathered in Addis Ababa in the Chinese built headquarters of AU, did not have much to count as their achievement.

The Mo Ibrahim award for leadership in Africa has failed in the past three years, to find a leader in the continent that deserves to be so honoured.

African Union has failed to rise up to the occasion in Mali where France sent its troops to halt the Al-Qaeda backed Islamist from taking over the entire country. The African International Support Mission (AFISMA) has continued to flounder because it has to rely on External funding from western countries. The proposed African standby force remains a mirage while the continent has become a haven for Islamist fundamentalist push for political and economic control. There is also the scramble for resources from Africa by China and Asian countries while the continent remains buffeted by poverty, corruption, bad governance and civil strifes.

The Economic Commission for Africa has no blue print for a continental economic growth while the entire project of economic integration is in disarray with Maghreb nations of North Africa, sponsoring Islamist insurgency in sub-Saharan Africa. The East and Central Africa Economic Commission is struggling to find its bearing while South Africa Development Commission SADEC remains a one man show where South Africa is the dominant power. With sit tight leaders like Yuweri Museveni in Uganda, Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Omar El-Bashir in Sudan, Dos Santos in Angola, the African peer review project has gone comatose. All these have left sordid taste in AU’s glass of Champagne.

We therefore call for an urgent review of the concept of leadership at national and continental levels, which will establish the relevance of the existence of a body such as the AU.

We urge humanist philosophy of leadership which will enthrone their citizens at the centre of their leadership ethos and vision. This will end this present hunt of African leaders by the International Criminal Court (ICC) which seems to have become  political albatross on the neck of African leaders.


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