I want us to ask ourselves questions, briefly reflect on the resources of the African continent and whether or not the purpose for establishment is achieved. What Africa can do more to make the continent a better place for its indigenes and all member states generally?

Today, I want all Africans to reflect on Africa as a Union and as a continent, a continent that we live in and proud to call ourselves as Africans.

Today, I want us to ask ourselves this question, “Have we being impacted so far by the African Union and its activities and purpose for its establishment”?

Briefly, the African Union has in all 55 countries on the African continent, however, it is a continental Union. Its’ establishment is dated to 26th May 2001 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the Union was officially launched on the 9th of July 2002 in South Africa. I would like to highlight on few of the reasons/purpose for its establishment to give you a broader idea on the topic of this paper. It include the under listed:

  • To achieve greater unity and solidarity between the African countries and the peoples of Africa;
  • To defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence of its Member States;
  • To accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of the continent;
  • To encourage international cooperation, taking due account of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • To promote peace, security, and stability on the continent
  • To promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance

It is however undoubted that Africa as a continent is much blessed with natural resources and intellect to achieve such goals.

Additionally, Africa has 770 million people which implies that, such a number makes the African union one of the most attractive and largest markets worldwide. The African Union is also capable of being the world’s supplier of about 40% of its hydroelectric power supply. There is no continent richer in terms of natural resources than does Africa.

It is evident that, Africa is not exploiting its natural resources enough to bring the best out of it and I stand to blame the African Union as not playing a major role in getting Africa as a continent to the level of development that it ought to have being by now.

It is an undisputable fact that, comparing Africa to other continents, no continent is blessed like that of Africa and that is why the scramble for African resources led to the two world wars, and if not for the activities of the World Bank and IMF acting as referee and the clearinghouse among the western invisible emperors in the contemporary scramble, African resources would have caused a third world war. But it is however sad that, Africans have not realized that in order to continuously exploit its resources, the western world persistently support as well as ignite civil and inter-ethnic conflict around the continent so that while African brothers fight  and kill each other, their resources are not only exploited but almost always looted from Africa to the western world? The Au in its numerous summit and deliberations must consider possible ways of properly exploiting and efficiently allocating its resources to make the continent one of a great kind.

With Africans abundant natural resources, large market and human capital, it can afford closing its borders as a measure to protect its infant industries and can then begin to build a new continental economy. I can confidently say that, Africa must blame itself for its current underdevelopment and any future economic challenge being it poverty, disease, illiteracy, gender inequality and many others. It isn’t a continent that requires westernized assistance in terms of capital and humanitarian aid which has come with exploitation of its resources by the westerners using any means possible.

What the African Union must aim to tackle is trade barriers amongst its members to ensure a free flow of resources from a one member state to another, injustices meted by an individual of one member state on another individual from or within a member state. We must unite as Africans to be able to reason and plan about how we would put the resources into an efficient use to improve the lives of the current generation and the unborn. With regards to South Africa, it appears more like the violence and colonialism during the apartheid is still fresh in the minds of some South Africans, the notion that, South Africans are special and much better than other Africans may have triggered the xenophobic attacks in 2015 and early periods of 2017. In similar instance, in the period from April to July 1994, 800,000 people mostly of the Tutsi minority were murdered by the members of the Hutu ethnic group in the in the East- central African nation of Rwanda. These are mainly ethnic tensions and a prove of superiority over the minority groups (Rwanda: Background of Genocide).

This paper is not to suggest that the African Union is not doing well or is redundant, it is an effective Union but we must think beyond always begging for arms and plan to use our resources to improve ourselves as a continent. Looking at how blessed we are as a continent, in terms of natural resource endowment, a sense of togetherness, understanding among member states, a state of mind to rule with integrity and all seriousness on the part of our leaders will get Africa as a continent to the top among other continents. It is possible, Happy African Union Day. God bless Africa, God bless Ghana.

 

God lives.

 

Compiled by: Emmanuel De-graft Quarshie