AFRICAN UNION AND INTERNAL POLITICS -Ask
I have had a difficulty combining these very important topics into this single write-up with much difficulties in compressing thoughts on these broad areas that are of much interest to me.
As has been the norm at least in the past few years, I made it a point to dedicate this day (AU Day) to the life and works of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. What had ignited the need to include another subject to this all important topic is the synergy that seems to exist between these topics. Africa cannot unite when internal political systems are at variance.
To this end, I would attempt to segregate this piece into two interconnected parts with the first focusing on the significance of Africa Unity many years after the vision was sighted and what can be done; and the second, on how to build internal political systems that would stand us together for a better country.
Many years ago, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and many other African leaders some of whom obviously did not understand his foresight, came together to advance a continental union that was meant to harness the potentials of Africa – human and natural resources.
The vision, which was fought by the forces and powers of imperialism, was a long lasting vision that was not to see an end until it is achieved. Today, many fora are organized without much results.
On that fateful day, when he took the view before the leaders gathered in the room, that a resolution be passed that would depart from those high sounding resolutions that citizens of their various countries have been bombarded with, little did Kwame Nkrumah know that that dream was to remain yet to be crystallised.
A united Africa stands a greater chance of transforming its frontiers and making itself relevant in the world of affairs where it would have weight to sway the angles of discussions.
The resources we have as a continent cannot be compared to any single continent in the world. Some have placed African resources at about 40% of the total world’s resources. However, I dare say that African’s poverty should equally be summing up to 40% of the world’s poverty if not worse.
A continental Union stands us the opportunity to determine prices for our goods and services, negotiate for remuneration for labour, establish efficient transportation system, a robust security system and a strong communications network.
It is not a surprise that we are praised in our single efforts as individual nations in the affairs of the world while others are demonized. Indeed, we cannot expect equal contribution, but, our individual contributions to the pool of resources would afford us the opportunity to hold the hands of the weaker states among us.
To push this aside and assume we can climb the competitive ladder with our individual exports and production, we would be laughing at our challenges that we are unable to define.
Africa must take a different dimension if we really need to make a change in the lives of the people of Africa. So long as we remain on this continent, the state of the people of Libya, Somalia, Tunisia, Camaroun, Congo, Côte d’ Ivory remain our state.
African continental Union would remain a mirage if we continue to entertain internal state Democratic cracks. If our domestic political systems cannot please us, we have no business assuming success in our efforts to unite this large continent.
In my country Ghana, although some successes are being chalked, the internal political system is being fought on the back of divisions and cracks that are not allowing us to move as one people.
We have had issues with voters’ register either real or a mirage, that had dominated our political discussions and a basis for complains over election results for many years.
It appears a fundamental problem exist in this regard. As part of our discussions post 2012 election petition, which I have no doubt may resurrect as we move on, the issue of a national identification system was rife.
I would take the view, that, as we head into the 2016 elections in Ghana, we must have a common belief. Democracies that have become models for our references did not become what we see them to be today without conscious efforts. They have become what they are today because some people had to endure pain while others endured pleasure. In the end, the greater good for the greatest majority justified the sacrifices.
If we agree that we do not have a robust identification system which might have given room for ‘foreigners’ to be on our register, and if we agree that something must be done, and if we agree also that we cannot postpone this elections, then, we must all understand that no single candidate is entering this election with an advantage since that had so far not been proven.
We can proceed to conduct the 2016 elections on the basis of the ‘flaws’, get a president elected who would not have been advantaged by the circumstances, and then we begin doing something about the situation.
All parties would have contested on a ‘flawed’ register without prejudice to any. Then steps could be taken to establish a robust national identification system subsequent to which a ‘credible’ voters register would be compiled.
I am with the firmest of believe that, should we bury our desires at this time to make room for posterity to judge us positively, it wouldn’t matter who would emerge president after the 2016 elections. The greater good for the greatest majority would have been achieved, and Ghana would have once again established its credibility as the beacon of hope for African.
Happy AU Day
Long Live Africa