What is the purpose of the African Union(AU)? To promote African economic, social, and political integration, and a stronger commitment to democratic principles,good governance, peace and security and human rights.
Africa celebrates 49 years of the existence of the Union of African states. Happy celebrations to all Africans. What is important to the people of Africa is not the glamorous halls, expensive hotels and millions of dollars of the tax payers money spent on conferences on end without visible progress of the union. No; but the leadership of Africa working in the common interest of its people and improving their living standards adequately.
So far, the AU has been able to promote trade among member states and contributed troops in maitaining peace in conflict-inclined states within the continent. More trade among African states must be enhanced to improve living standards on the continent and reduce poverty.
Where is the leadership direction? It is important the AU know exactly where this Union is heading and put in the commitment to get there. The dependence of the AU on external donors to support its missions is a slap on the faces of Africans who desire to see a break-away from that dependency status. The truth is that Africans must find solutions to their own problems rather than running to western nations continuously. Can't over 50 states in Africa pull their resources together and support a single union adequately without looking elsewhere?
The African leaders should not just talk the talk but they must also walk the walk as well as practise what they preach. Put your money where your mouth is. Several African nations have not been paying their dues regularly; this leads to a setback in the organization plans and programs.
All Africans on the African continent should stand up and take their place as leaders as well in helping to solve conflicts and bringing relief to their brothers rather than ignoring the situation, hoping someone else will patch the pieces for them.
The AU must exist as an organization for all rather than a play club for the rich who use it as they want and camouflage the actions of their friends by diverting attention to other issues.The era of paying lip service is over. Bold moves towards Unity in Africa led by Gadafi were criticized and ridiculed, but his intentions were noble and in the continents interest. He wasen't a demon as some wanted Africa believe. One government, one currency, one market, one military etc is not asking for too much. When the AU is supported and strenghtened, Africa can move to other levels of integration.
Bigger and richer nations on the continent must take the lead. Nigeria, SouthAfrica, Egypt, Ghana, Angola have sat on the fence for long.Its time to take their place. This is not a popularity contest or a show of ego but a step toward greater unity. . This is where good leadership comes in.
The AU must work effectively and speak with one strong voice on issues regarding a memeber state going through difficulties. The AU handling of the Lybian conflict was not at all impressive. She became helpless and watched NATO and its Allies do as they pleased on African soil. We hope that lessons have been learnt form this conflict.
No one will do it for Africa. Africans must walk the talk.
Africa has hope because Africa has you.