Yesterday Africans from the diaspora and continent celebrated the 54th anniversary of the founding of the predecessor of the African Union (AU), the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), that was formed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on May 25, 1963, to spearhead the decolonisation of the continent.
The OAU successfully brought about political independence and passed the baton to the AU to complete the lap of economic independence. And today we should ask ourselves what are the steps we have taken to reverse the abysmal poverty on our resource-rich continent.
How many of us have been brave enough to demand what is rightfully ours from those who dispossessed us in the past?
How many of us share the vision that was espoused by Ghana’s founding president, Dr Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, on that historic day in Addis Ababa, 54 years ago, when he said Africa should marshal all its resources for the service of indigenous people, not foreigners?
Today only Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe stands for that vision which is why his government has been accused of posing an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States, a foreign policy of plunder and subjugation of indigenous people and their resources.
Thankfully our neighbours south of the Limpopo are shaking off the cobwebs and are today talking of radical economic transformation, but already Western capital has been sabre-rattling in a bid to dissuade them from that righteous and progressive path.
How many of Africa’s current leaders are prepared to take the bull by the horns and brave the backlash sure to follow?
Today all in leadership across the continent should ask themselves whether they have lived up to the progressive vision that saw some of the founding fathers like Dr Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Samora Moises Machel and Thomas Sankara cut down in cold blood?
Africans should ask why some of their leaders have become the darlings of Western countries if they share the vision of these founding fathers.
It is regrettable that 54 years down the line, Africa cannot agree on simple, vital things like the proposed reform of the United Nations Security Council, let alone the leadership of such specialised agencies like the UN World Tourism Organisation with some leaders opting to sell out the continental position.
It is saddening that Africa still relies on the duplicitous Western media for information dissemination, Western prescriptions for development paradigms and alms for development projects.
They should ask why the AU, that is supposed to fight for economic independence, has many of its organs sponsored from Western capitals when it is supposed to demand economic independence from the same?
So many questions beg answers on our question mark-shaped continent today and as we celebrate Africa Day, we should ask ourselves whether we deserve to celebrate, or self-flagellate.
At the same time we cannot ignore the steps that have been made towards the fulfilment of the dream of a United States of Africa.
We hail the adoption of Agenda 2063 that advocates the judicious exploitation of the continent’s resources for the benefit of Africans. We salute the Standing Committee of Heads of State and Government that was set up to expedite the creation of a United States of Africa by building on the synergies created by organs like the AU Peace and Security Council and the Pan-African Parliament.
We welcome the establishment of an African Standby Force and a Central Bank of Africa to guarantee territorial and financial independence. We call on African leaders to ensure that all these plans reach fruition so that Africa cannot continue relying on outsiders for the resolution of its challenges.
Let’s show them that we are not the child race they cast us out to be. –The Herald