Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Millennial Challenge: Africa Needs Good Governance be it United or Federated!

ummit debates United States of Africa
By Barry Moody
July 1, 2007


Dear Patriotic Global Citizens and Friends of Africa:

Re: Exploring a Federal Government of Africa- Fact or Fiction- Can it be possible?>

Does Africa need Good Governance or Federal Government.

The recent African Union Summit at Accra tried to address the fundamental problem of Africa, that is good governance. However, people like Gadafi are suggestng United States of Africa. If the model is to follow the United States of America, may be there is a good chance of developing a federal government, where the current independent states will continue to act as Individual Sates within the Federation.

However, the first principle should be to develop a constitution that respects individual and group rights within the context of freedom to citizens and ability of African Citizens to move across the current artificial borders and develop enterprises, wherever the opportunity leads. Africa's current problems are the artificial colonial boundaries carved out by Colonial Europeans with out consulting the local geographical and anthropological landscape. Additonally lack of the basic tennets of Good Governance that is transparent and accountable to all stake holders is the main challgeng. However A Federal African Government with the right foundation of Good Governance will be the ideal solution.

The second challenge is developing relevant institutions that facilitate Good Governance across the board, where transparency and accountability are the order of the day from village to county and state and federal level. This will take time, resource and intelligent design. The current conflict zones in Africa are partly due to non equitable geographic resource allocations and partly due to lack of good governance and restricted freedom of movement.

Both the proponents and opponents of the Federal Pan African Government idea have to set up task forces to look at the challenges and opportunities of setting of a Federal Pan African Government and make the apppropriate landmarks and goals towards the Union. The benefits and barriers should be clearly articulated with appropriate solutions.

In a sense, the Lybian leader has the right vision, but may be not the right approach. He needs to lobby his people and fellow African Governments to move in the right direction with the right tools of appeal to the current interest groups. The experience from Soviet Federation, Europen Union and the United States of America provide quite a variety of models to choose from.

All the same, it is time to consider a bold attempt to address African Challenges. As the Ethiopoian/African Millennium unforlds, it is critical that we should seriously explore the opporrtunities for developing African Millennial Rennaissance. The Horn of Africa Peace and Prosperity Intitiative which Global Strategic Enterprises, Inc and Universal Peace Federation has been exploring is a perfect point to start.

The time is right to begin a new vision with a new commitment and approach from all African partners across the globe.

This is a very interesting report and needs serious qualitative and quantitative research towards productive and progressive development of a series of federal African Afrcan institutions that are precursors to the political union or federation.

Good luck Africa as you try to solve the current challenges of poverty, ignorance, pestilence that can all vanish with appropriate steps towards good governance.

The choice should be first Good Governance and then Federal African Government.

with regards

Belai Habte-Jesus, MD, MPH
Global Strategic Enterprises for Peace and Prosperity
www.SolomonicCrown.org; www.globalbelai4u.blogspot.com

Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi (Reuters)

Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, Ghana's President John Kufuor, Africa Union Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare, Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou-Nguesso and Gabon's President Omar Bongo (front row L-R) attend the 9th African Union Summit in Accra July 1, 2007. REUTERS/Luc Gnago (GHANA)

ACCRA (Reuters) - An African summit on Sunday debated the dream of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi for a single state stretching from the Mediterranean to the Cape, but other leaders warned of tough obstacles on the way to that goal.
Gaddafi has long campaigned for a United States of Africa as the only way to address the continent's grinding poverty and myriad other problems, including the challenges of globalisation.

In an impassioned speech on the eve of the three-day African Union summit, he told cheering activists and students: "Our continent is backward, poor, suffering from illnesses, divided and exploited ... shall we allow such a situation to continue?"

Gaddafi ardently backs the immediate creation of a continental government, but most of his fellow leaders feel this is an unrealistic, if noble, dream that distracts from urgent crises in Sudan, Somalia and elsewhere.

That view is shared by many ordinary Africans canvassed by Reuters.

"The task before us is enormous. We are at the crossroads and at the same time at the threshold of a new era," said Ghanaian President and AU Chairman John Kufuor.

Alpha Oumar Konare, the AU's top diplomat, supported an integrated continent in his summit opening speech but said many problems must be overcome, including the future of existing pan-African bodies and regional economic blocs.

"A strong African leadership must grapple with these issues ... we need to take the bull by the horns, we need to move towards a new country that is Africa.

"We want to liberate the continent from misery and hardship and this is the aim of integration." Konare said.


The summit coincides with the 50th anniversary of independence in Ghana, the first black nation in sub-Saharan Africa to end colonial rule under the iconic leadership of Kwame Nkrumah, himself a standard bearer for African unity.

"From Ghana came the cry of unity. So now from the same place, from the country of Nkrumah, Africa should become a reality," Gaddafi declared at a local university.

"Long live the United States of Africa, long live African unity," he said.

The Libyan leader, who says African unity should be decided by the masses and not leaders closeted in a conference hall, did not attend the summit's opening session.

U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres supported closer African integration, saying it would help avoid conflicts generating tens of thousands of refugees.

"What is evident is that on a continent that suffers from huge development problems, that still has so many conflicts, the solution to all these problems is political, economic and social integration," Guterres told Reuters on the summit sidelines.

Konare seemed to espouse the more gradualist view of many of the other summit participants in his opening address.

He said the leaders must first decide whether his weak AU commission should be given executive powers and whether the existing pan-African parliament should be transformed from a talking shop to a body with real clout.

"The AU commission, which should be the engine, does not have a well-defined status," Konare said.

He added that eight African regional economic communities must not be made into political blocs, which would hinder continental unity.

But he left open the door for "federations" between up to five of the strongest advocates of an immediate continental government, which include Senegal and other Sahelian states.

(Additional reporting by Orla Ryan and Pascal Fletcher)

Chaos mars start of AU Summit
ACCRA (News24) - Chaotic scenes have marred the opening of the African Union summit in Ghana, with a live feed of speeches failing, internet access collapsing and journalists barred from leaving the media centre.

The live feed went down just as AU commission chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare was making the first speech of the three-day summit.

When a group of journalists threatened to march from their tent to the main conference centre to launch a protest about both the poor infrastructure and lack of access to delegates, and even to film from a distance, they were prevented from leaving by security guards.

Janet Narh, a freelance Ghanaian television presenter based in Britain, was so incensed that she decided to draw up a petition among her colleagues.

"We are getting pretty frustrated and the government should apologise," she said as she went about collecting signatures from her colleagues.

The chaos also spread into parking arrangements as heads of state arrived, with huge queues building up outside the conference centre. The start was delayed by almost half an hour.

After their husbands had been dropped off, a number of first ladies endured the indignity of being mistakenly ushered in through a back entrance.

The summit was meant to be a showcase for Ghana on the 50th anniversary of its independence from former colonial power Britain, but red-faced officials admitted that things had not gone smoothly.

"What happened was unexpected," said Ghana's deputy information minister Oboshie Sai Coffie.

"We do owe the media an apology. We tried very hard to make things comfortable for the media but a couple of small incidents marred that feeling," she added.

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