The African Union (AU) Summit which concluded yesterday voted the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi as the new Chairman of the AU.
While the Arab African vowed to fast track the creation of one government for Africa under ‘The United States of Africa’ as the new name of the continent, some leaders and analysts doubt whether the plan will succeed.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) quoted Kathryn Sturman of the South African Institute of International Affairs as saying that Gaddafi’s vision of the new African government was a ‘ridiculous fantasy’ on his part.
And, her argument is corroborated by some of our leaders who do not want to give up their powers to a central government of the African Union.
But Gaddafi urgently wants the ‘USA’ on the continent and during his inaugural speech in Addis Ababa he said: “I shall continue to insist that our sovereign countries work to achieve the United States of Africa.”
The Arab-African leader acknowledges that some of his fellow leaders are not ready for the union but he went on to wish that the dream to become a united Africa under one government become realized in the next five months. He wants Heads of States in Africa to approve his unity project at the next meeting in July.
My opinion is that our leaders shouldn’t hesitate to form a single government if the Africans are to have a wider view and develop faster.
If, for example, members of the East-African Community are looking for ways of having a common government today, why should they delay endorsing Africa under one leadership?
The Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, told The Focus—a weekly new paper in Kigali in an interview last month that: “if we have big regional blocs then you will have a situation where more businesses from rich countries come looking for opportunities.”
He insisted that there was need to ‘do more to strengthen’ the East African Community to attract investors and end dependency on aid among member citizens.
“It would be hard for anyone, either from the West or elsewhere to ignore this market and its opportunities,” he observed.
Obviously Kagame thinks of business to a large extent given his great responsibility in the country and as the bloc’s current leader.
But the average citizen in the East African Community wants an arrangement that will allow him and his family to easily move and do business in any of the five countries within the bloc.
Now, if we see opportunities into strengthening regional blocs on the African continent, I think we should not hesitate to go an extra mile of fast tracking the formation of The United States of Africa.
If we don’t do it now, then we should be ready for European indictments, wars against each other because we sell to different clients as different African countries, economic sanctions on some States, and remaining land-rocked while our mother continent is surrounded by water.
The writer is a Rwandan journalist