Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Why the African Union should be scrapped.
This coming Saturday marks the 50 anniversary of the formation of the AU(OAU) and activities with respective to that will be observed in different parts of the continent and possibly the west. As a young student reading about the AU (OAU) in relation to the works done by the likes of Kwame Nkrumah, Kenneth Kaunda,Azikwei, Julius Nyerere and millions of ordinary Africans who gave up their lives to achieve liberation for their respective countries, I was left with great sense of pride-a pride that people were more than willing to give up their lives for the good of their country and the rest of the continent. But a little over a decade down my years, the scale of reality about the AU continues to become clear to me;it has become an impotent body of corrupt dictators that should be scrapped. One of the key reasons for rebranding the AU, thanks to funds from Maummar Gaddafi of blessed memory, was to advance the economic wellbeing of the millions of Africans on the continent, promote human rights and ensure equality before all. Sad to say not even a scratch of those has been achieved. In short, they have lost the essence of the very goals they set themselves fifty years ago. Today, the very goals of economic emancipation are only understood by them. One should take a closer look at the opulence often displayed by AU leaders during meetings and the answers will be clear. Here in West Africa for example, one does not need a soothsayer to tell him about the sordid and depressing living standards of their people. I was in Niger about 2 years ago filming for a documentary and the scale of poverty was to glaring to ignore. Beggars had lined up the streets from both sides begging for a coin. It was as if they had been deliberately brought there for a special occasion. Mothers, fathers, children, young and old were all begging so they can feed. Their sad lives contrast that of their political leadership, most of whom live extravagantly. The blessing of oil has failed to impact the lives of millions of their nationals scavenging from dawn to dusk the basic ingredients needed in this life. Not only Niger but Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria and until recently Ghana, have all failed to use the oil benefits to improve the lives of their people. Maybe for Ghana one can say it’s too early but looking at how the leadership is managing the resources, I honestly doubt if even a drop could be used to fix deteriorating infrastructure. The AU has become an assembly of opportunists who are busy stealing from their people and stashing them abroad. The billions stashed away in foreign banks by African leaders cannot be ignored, desperately as most of them try to deny that sub-culture. Somalia, a member of the union, has become a banana republic. The AU is in no position to resolve its own conflicts. How AU leaders sat down and allowed NATO and its allies to invade Libya, create the mess, murder Gaddafi and leave the country in a mess still intrigues me. The AU’s failures are many and eventhough I don’t intend to list everything, I’m confident that the union has lost the fire power and should be scrapped.