Papa Kwesi Nduom
Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom

On May 25, 1963, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was formed.  The organization was restructured and re-named the African Union on July 11, 2002.  Many commentators have suggested that the African continent has not made any progress towards unity.  I disagree.  More than any other continent on the face of the earth, Africa has suffered throughout the years at the hands of invaders.  The slave trade, the partition and sharing of its territory among colonial powers, religious crusaders, the east-west cold war, etc., have left difficult and stressful marks on the continent and its people.  So Africans speak English, French, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, all non-indigenous languages that require the people to learn multiple languages for survival.  The scramble for the gold, diamond, copper, gold, uranium and recently oil and gas has fanned the flames of internal conflicts from Liberia to Angola to Mozambique to Sudan, the Congo and points in between.  Yet Africa still stands and Africans have hope.

 

Those who want to discourage our people want to discount our history, the rape and theft of resources and assign a permanent mark of irresponsibility and despair on us.  The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) gave birth to the Peer Review Mechanism and gives our people hope that good governance will arrive soon in many countries through peer pressure.  We Africans must remember that it is through unity that we can have strong institutions that will help us do away with unnecessary internal conflicts, disease and poverty.  We must believe in ourselves.  A strong common security arrangement will help us deal effectively with the destructive problems such as prevail in Mali, Somalia and the Sudan.

 

What Africa needs are people to lead who will rise above petty ideological, ethnic and religious quarrels to consider the greater good of all African people.  

 

An effective Common Market will ensure that we retain more profits from our gold, timber, cocoa, diamond, oil and gas, etc., at home in Africa to rapidly improve the standard of living for our people.  Americans are fighting to retain their prosperous American way of life.  The European Union is fighting to strengthen the European markets and save jobs.  We need the African Union to wage an aggressive war against poverty, war and disease.  We need the African Union to open up our borders for intra-Africa trade, travel and investment.

 

Papa Kwesi Nduom

 

May 25, 2012

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