Is the AU evolving or regressing?

The Palaver Hut

When did African leaders start caring for their people? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is soon coming when every knee will bow down to an incorruptible fist of the African Union (AU), and then we will all see Africa in its full glory.

I’m not a big fan of the AU; in fact I’m not a fan at all. I don’t like the way its leaders exercise their powers. In particular, I don’t like the way they tend to practice politics like a bunch of puppets to some entity we all know about.

You see, when I started showing some kind of interest in politics, there was nothing I could do to prepare myself for it. Everything changed, especially with the way I now see the world around me. My point is, barely anything happens in the Horn of Africa without the AU rushing out a knee-jerk gimmick that looks good in headlines, only to be soon exposed for its inability to solve the problem.

The AU has proved incapable of addressing major issues affecting the continent. For instance, it has failed to fight corruption in African countries; it has done nothing to stop formation of political dynasties; it has not shown any commitment to promote democratic reforms; it has done nothing tangible to end poverty and child abuse in the continent; and it has failed to push for fair-trade policies to improve Africa’s economy and break dependency on western aid.

I’m sure the European Union (EU) can’t allow the AU to interfere in European affairs as we’ve seen EU countries do in Libya and other African countries.

It’s a disgrace that the AU just sat down and did nothing to solve the Libyan conflict amicably.

There’s no doubt the AU has disappointed many Africans.

But now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope that the light won’t fade off before we reach it.

On 25th August 2011, a remarkable thing happened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The AU leaders pledged more than US$350 million toward the relief effort assisting millions of people in crisis due to the extreme drought and famine conditions in the Horn of Africa.

I was very happy to hear this, I almost shed tears of joys to see the AU taking a leading role in solving African problems instead of just sitting down and waiting for western countries to dictate what must be done.

“This is no time for rhetoric but concrete action through the announcement of redeemable pledges that build concerted action by Africa against hunger on the continent,” said Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr. Jean Ping.

That’s right! I only hope all these promises won’t turn out to be empty promises.

I was even more astonished when the former President of Ghana, Mr. Jerry Rawlings, emphasized on this issue when he said: “The pledging conference was a message to the world that we (Africans) are not incapable of supporting our own.”

But my question to Mr. Rawlings is, was the AU capable of supporting our own in recent Libyan conflict? With due respect, Sir, I don’t think so!

Mrs. Asha Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary-General, pledged the full support of the UN to the AU with this effort. “This conference sends a clear message to the world: the African Union remains fully engaged with this crisis, and is taking a leading role in all our efforts to save lives,” she stated.

Well, I really hope the AU will now begin to take control of all African affairs including solving security problems and all others as they arise without allowing the western powers to barge in to solve them for us.

And as the AU makes efforts to fulfil its promises, it should not forget to give NATO an immediate order to leave Libya and play a leading role in reconciling Libyans. Enough said!

By Joseph Spencer

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