Thursday, May 10, 2007
AFRICAN GOVERNMENT NOW!
By: AKYAABA ADDAI-SEBO
UNTIL the AU summit in Accra in July, I wish to begin by asking readers to reflect on this extract from Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah’s speech at the founding of the organization of African Unity in Addis Ababa on May 25, 1963.
“What are we waiting African GOVERNMENT NOW!
“What are we looking for Africa? Are we looking for mere charters, conceived in the light of the United Nations example? A type of United Nations organization whose decisions are framed on the basis of resolutions that in our experience have sometimes been ignored by member states. Where groupings are formed and pressure developed in accordance with the interests of the groups concerned.
“Or is it intended that Africa should be turned into a loose organisation of states under the model of the Organisation of American States which the weaker states within can be at the mercy of the stronger or more powerful ones politically and economically and at the mercy of some powerful outside nation or group of nations.
Your Excellencies, is this the kind of association you want for ourselves in the united Africa we all speak of with such feeling and emotion?”
“…We must therefore not leave this place until we have set up an effective machinery for achieving African unity. To this end, I now propose for your consideration, as a first step, Your Excellencies, a declaration of principles uniting and binding us together and to which we must all faithfully and loyally adhere to and lay the foundation of unity… and there should also be a formal declaration that all the independent African states here and now agree to the establishment of a union of African states.”
“… What brought all of you here? We shall then begin the triumphant march to the kingdom of the African personality and to continental prosperity and progress of equality and justice and of work and happiness.
It shall be our victory, victory within a continental government of the union of African states. Victory will give our voice greater force in world affairs and enable us to throw our weight more forcefully on the side of peace.
The world needs peace in which the greatest advantage can be taken of the benefits of science and technology. Many of the world’s present ills are to be found in the insecurity and fear engendered by the threat of nuclear war.
Especially, do we the new nations need peace in order to make our way into a life economic and social well-being amid an atmosphere of security and stability that promote moral, cultural and spiritual fulfillment.
“If we in Africa can achieve this example of a continent knit together in common policy and common purpose we shall have made the finest possible contribution to that peace for which all men and women thirst today and which will lift once and forever the deepest shadow of global destruction from mankind. Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands unto God Africa Must Unite!”
Fellow Africans of Ghana, Accra has come full cycle and our ancestors are talking to those who would listen as history repeats itself in Accra come July with President Kufuor as the Chairman of the African union. In October 1965, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah became the Chairman of the OAU and the West with their quisling African leaders tried to torpedo the summit from taking place in Accra and under Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah’s leadership.
Those leaders who dared to gather in Accra in October 1965 got frightened when Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah told them that they would not leave the conference hall until they reached a consensus on an African Union Government.
In 1997, at the 40th anniversary celebration of Ghana’s independence, President Nyerere, as the guest of honour in Accra, confessed, as much, to how they all betrayed Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah and the cause of African unity. Some of them, President Nyerere revealed for the first time, asked themselves: “What am I returning home as? What happens to my flag and anthem? What about my airline and also the name of my country? What would become of my minister? How would the world refer to me?”
And now the leaders of today are meeting in Accra in July at the instigation of President Gaddafi to concentrate only on the business of why they should muster the political courage to agree to establish an AFRICAN GOVERNMENT NOW and not tomorrow.
President Gaddafi, like Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, is pressing on his brothers and sisters to come to Accra to act only in the interest of Africa. Believe me, Anglo America, France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Holland will all descend en masse in Accra to lobby our leaders and their ministers to betray AFRICA and intone to those dithering African leaders that: “Gaddafi wants to be President of Africa.”
That’s how the enemies of Africa poisoned the minds of those African leaders who gathered in Accra in 1965 using the Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah as the “scarecrow” in their farm. After all we allow Africa to subsist still as the “plantation” of the metropolitan powers with Africa “Presidents” as their plantation overseers.
The question facing us all is: “What is the lesson that our leaders have learnt since October 1965?” Are they going to betray Africa or is civil society going to allow their leaders to do so? Where is our voice?
The voice of civil society must be heard. Civil society must be mobilized to ensure that the leaders do not betray us once again in Accra. History has a way of repeating itself and it is the wise and courageous who harvests the opportunity it presents in its wake.
Africa Must Unite!
*Akyaaba Addai-Sebo is an Independent Consultant
on Africa’s National Interest based in London
The Ghanaian Times - Thursday, May 10, 2007 Page: 13