Friday, March 11, 2011

Come Celebrate May as **AFRICAN UNITY MONTH!**


This is because:

I chose 12 May to remind Africans about the necessity of remembering that the African Economic Community remains the FRAMEWORK for any kind of future for Africa under the African Union!

~For those who tweet: want to get trending #AfricanUnityMonth
~For those who blog: you can WRITE a post reminding ALL Africans about the importance of UNITY
~For those on facebook: you can use your facebook STATUS to remind ALL that many important African events took place in May.

By all means, if you discover anything Africa-related in May, convey it here!


UPDATE: Follow me on twitter:

~~We want to trend #AfricanUnityMonth by 25 May, 2011!~~

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Towards an Emerging Regional Governance?

Who would have thought it: no less than the US, through Hillary Clinton, urging the world to wait out a UN-backed no-fly-zone on Libya.
This contrasts sharply with when her husband was President in 1999, when Nato was allowed to run rough-shod over the UN Security Council
by dropping bombs on Kosovo, without the backing of the Security Council.

Perhaps even more interesting is listening to this same Hilary Clinton talk about partners, including the Arab League, the African Union; the European Union;Nato; and the Gulf Cooperation Council!

I would have loved to hear in that list the AU-mandated Arab Maghreb Union, but that is okay.

Though I am impressed with Nato Secretary-General Rasmussen's claim that Nato will not act without the backing of the UN Security Council as well, I still have little regard for Nato, an alliance I believe has lost its raison d'etre. Still, hearing that list has given me hope that however and whatever people might feel about the utility--or lack thereof--of these groupings, they DO still exist and they are unlikely to break away anytime soon.

I just hope this Libyan crisis is a wake-up call for them to crank up what may just be the framework for the emergence of some kind of regional governance, where regional organisations are recognised as partners in the resolution of conflict -- everywhere!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Too Many Afro-Pessimists in the Hood

**The AU lacks the mechanism to be proactive and has failed. Its existence is not warranted.

**The AU is nothing but a forum for idling by questionable characters who meet and compare notes on their mismanagement of affairs. The AU itself is a problem that Africans have to solve first.

**Once again, the AU has led Africans to come across as people incapable of solving their own problems. How will we ever be respected if we continue to portray ourselves as "the white man's burden"?


I have just read a fascinating piece by one Dr.Michael J.K. Bokor on Ghana's citifmonline website that reeks of Afro-pessimism. I thought it was important to highlight three quotes that have resonance with a lot of what many African are talking about, namely: the failure of the AU to act in Libya.

While I agree to a large extent that the AU was slow in responding to the crisis in Libya, I never expected it to react so quickly. After all, Libya has been a rather formidable purveyor of African unity in many more ways than we can imagine. While that may have been self-serving for Libya in many respects, the bottom line is that Libya alone has paid the dues of smaller countries unable or unwilling to pay AU dues; plus the country contributes no less than 15% of the AU budget.

Perhaps if AU member states got their act together and paid more of their dues, rather than leaving it for South Africa; Libya; Nigeria; Algeria; and Egypt, we would all have a more functioning AU!

I don't know about you, but last time I looked no organisation can exist without finances--and Libya has offered a lot of that in the service of African Unity. Even if in theory, let's give the devil his due!

On issues of peace and security, it is acknowledged worldwide that outside Europe, the AU outshines Asia and Latin America in conflict prevention, conflict management and conflict resolution initiatives.

As a West African learning every day about my sub-region of ECOWAS, I know that ECOWAS, out of all the regional economic communities, has a significant comparative advantage over the seven other ones on peace and security, having had sound experiences in Liberia and other hot-spots in the sub-region.

Simply put: enough of this Afro-Pessimism by the learned doctor. The AU needs to get its house in order, but it won't do that when the Afro-Pessimists who see nothing good from the AU decide to castigate it, without offering sufficient solutions on how to make it better.


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