AU: Africa could be wiped out
01/12/2005 13:09 - (SA)
Johannesburg - Africa would be decimated in 25 years unless it managed to achieve solidarity and put forward a common agenda, says African Union commission chairperson Alpha Konare on Thursday.
He said: "If things don't change, the situation will be hopeless and in 25 years to come, we will see the wiping out of our continent.
"If there is no solidarity... this continent will burn. If we don't take responsibility, it will be our own suburbs, our own homes that will burn."
Konare bemoaned the slow pace of putting in place AU institutions such as an African court of justice and central continental bank, saying it was time for Africa to take responsibility for itself and adopt a common front.
He said there were few individual national solutions to problems plaguing the continent today, such as diseases, environmental degradation and peace and security.
Foreign nations were taking advantage of Africa's "lack of harmonisation" to turn its people into consumers rather than producers, and to dump medicines and other products not wanted by the developed world.
In working with international institutions like the United Nations, World Bank and International Monetary Fund, there was no option, but for African nations to join forces and put aside questions of national sovereignty.
Konare described Africa as a country of 30m square kilometres. In 20 years' time, it would have a population of more than 1.3 billion, making it the third largest "democratic power" after China and India.
League of black states
The chairperson said that Arab African countries would have to be part of the envisaged "United States of Africa".
"The AU is a union of all of Africa from north to south, from east to west. It is not a league of black states."
It would be unacceptable for Arab states in north Africa to become part of Europe or the Middle East.
He said the nation-state had shown its limitations in Africa. While Europe sought to build a federation of nation states in the form of the European Union, African states would have to reconstitute themselves into a Pan-African unit.
Konare said it was imperative for the continent to move ahead with creating a common economic market, foreign policy and defence strategy.
An African court of justice was urgently needed to promote the fight against "impunity".
"If we don't do that, what would prevent people from taking us before non-African courts? We will be completely humiliated."
Similarly, a central African bank was needed to handle the continent's debts, create coherence between national macro-economic policies, and provide financing guarantees.
A common health policy also had to be developed, among others to deal with the spread of Aids.
Konare said the necessary resources should be made available for these endeavours to ensure they were effective and legitimate.