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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